Marco Pantoja III has a room much like any other 18-year-old: a navy blue New England Patriots flag for his favorite NFL team, handfuls of awards from his years playing soccer, and a tiny green sign for Siena College in Loudonville, New York, where he will attend in the fall.
What’s unique is his bulletin board: lined side to side with letters from a mission trip to New York City with his fellow classmates at La Salle Institute in Troy, New York. Resting on top of the board is a gold and brown cross — a sign of his newly found Catholic faith.
Pantoja became a Catholic in 2019, and unbeknown to him, it was a change that would impact not only his life but his entire family.
Looking back, there is a certain serendipity to Pantoja’s conversion — not just because he stumbled upon his Catholicism — but because of the unintended consequences of it.
Inspired by the passion for his faith, Pantoja’s parents, Blair and Marco, and his three younger sisters, Sofia, 16, Elena, 13, and Paulina, 12, also are now joining the Catholic Church.
Sounds like an incredible story, right? Wait, it gets better: At his family’s baptism this Easter, he will be the godparent to all of them.
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