Emily Alexandra González, a young evangelical Christian, became a new Catholic at St. Cecilia Church in Beaverton, receiving the sacraments of Communion and confirmation at the Easter Vigil April 16.

As a child, González understood that when adversity hits, God is the only true consolation.

Raised in an evangelical Christian family, González was 13 when her parents divorced and her father won custody of the family's three children, of whom she is the oldest.

In addition to her own pain and loss, González felt a mother’s duties land on her shoulders with the responsibility of supporting her father and caring for two younger brothers.

“I felt very burdened and the only thing I thought about was entrusting myself to the Virgin,” she said, explaining that most Mexicans, even non-Catholics, love the Virgin of Guadalupe. “I see the Virgin as my mother and I admire her example as the mother of Jesus, her love and her great faith in God.”

Baptized an evangelical at age 18, González felt she was achieving some stability. But a new test came in the form of conflict with her father's second wife. Forced to vacate her home, González was bereft.

“Again my faith in God was strengthened,” she said. “I pleaded with my mother, the mother of God who is our mother, for her protection and her intercession.”

At the house of María Candelaria Cabrera, a St. Cecilia parishioner and mother of her fiancé Edwin, González found refuge.

Maria and Edwin invited her to Mass. She was afraid but attended. That day she met Carolina Valdez, who told her she was in the right place and should surrender to God. Valdez would become her godmother.

Last summer, González participated in a retreat for women and her call to the Catholic Church was confirmed.

“I thank God for all this process that has been a great blessing and learning,” she said. “The greatest thing of all is confirming that God lives in me and has been with me always. In his hands I have put my life, my future.”