At the Easter Vigil last month in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 66-year-old Michael Cardona was received into the Catholic Church after a spiritual journey that included two Protestant baptisms and 30 years as a Hindu guru.

“I was lost,” said Cardona, who identifies with the prodigal son. He had significant health problems and sensed the Holy Spirit urging him not to delay.

“I had to make sure that I at least got the Eucharist one time before I die,” he said.

He joined a surge of adults who entered the Church nationwide this Easter. Baptisms of adults, older children, and teens hit an all-time high in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with 2,075 — an increase of 38% over the 2016 record. Cardona was among 1,521 candidates received after baptism in other Christian traditions, bringing the total to 3,696.

National numbers are unavailable, but many individual dioceses reported dramatic increases. The Archdiocese of Baltimore rose more than a third to 663. The 2,364 converts in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston marked the first total above 2,000 since 2019. Increases were not confined to large, urban archdioceses. The Diocese of Yakima in the high desert of central Washington reported the most converts in its 73-year history, with 460.

Social scientists attribute the increase to pent-up demand after Covid-19.

Mark Gray crunches sacramental statistics as the senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. Pointing to indications that Sunday Mass attendance is back to pre-Covid levels, he believes increased conversions reflect that rebound.

During Covid, “a lot of parishes were unable to have Mass and to celebrate the sacraments. There are people who would have entered the Church at that time, but couldn’t,” he said….

From Angelus News