At St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas, the feast of Pentecost included an unexpected treat from the RCIA candidates and the team that supports them, when they performed a song together at the 10 a.m. Mass.

Traditionally, RCIA candidates attend formation classes through Pentecost. The feast day marks the end of the Easter season and celebrates the Holy Spirit coming to the apostles, giving them the gift of tongues so that may go out and preach the gospel.

Cantor Matthew Garonzi, right, leads the RCIA candidates and sponsors in song.

Much like the disciples, RCIA candidates are given their sacramental certificates — after receiving the sacraments at the Easter vigil — and they are encouraged to become involved in ministries within the parish, as a way to go out and proclaim the good news.

Knowing that, Matthew Garonzi — who was in the RCIA program last year and now serves as a cantor with the adult choir — met with the group and introduced them to one of those programs at the church: music ministry. Together, over a few weeks before Pentecost, they learned a contemporary Christian hymn.

“I assumed he’d choose a traditional Catholic hymn that everyone would be familiar with,” said parishioner Mary Rector, who heads the RCIA team. “Instead he chose one of Chris de Silva’s that he heard performed at last year’s Las Vegas Diocesan Conference, Walk With You.”

The hymn dates back to 2009, but its lyrics serve as a mantra and song of praise — both to the Holy Spirit and to the faith community in which it is sung. Here is just one of its stanzas:

“We walk by faith in community,
We see with eyes of truth and honesty,
We act with love and with dignity,
We follow you.”

Nearly one dozen parishioners serve on the RCIA team, either as a sponsor walking the faith journey with individual adults, or offering support by attending Sunday morning classes to discuss the readings of the day. This contemporary hymn seemed particularly appropriate, as it captured their journey with candidates as they grew together in faith within the wider St. Viator community.