Two students enter into Catholic Church

Feb 01, 2024
Fullerton & Green stand with Father Adam during their welcoming into the church
Fullerton & Green stand with Father Adam during their welcoming into the church

Last summer, Newman University student Austin Fullerton and Friends University student Davis Green set out to grow closer to God by receiving the Catholic sacraments.

For months, the two attended RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes every Tuesday night to learn more about the Catholic faith. Then on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 26, Fullerton and Green officially became members of the Catholic Church in St. John’s Chapel.

Fullerton and Green pose for a photo in St. John's Chapel after entering the church.
Fullerton and Green pose for a photo in St. John’s Chapel after entering the church.

Faithful Fullerton

Fullerton received three sacraments on Christ the King Sunday: Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion.

Fullerton, a secondary education math major, decided to join the church after being introduced to the young adult Catholic community in Wichita. Marcus Lines and Jose Morales, previous Newman students, introduced Fullerton to what the Catholic Church entails. These conversations combined with his own independent research solidified his decision to become Catholic.

“I regularly went to Mass and grew a sincere faith in the Eucharist. With this faith came an irresistible desire to receive Jesus. This was the final push that persuaded me that the Catholic Church is the same church Jesus entrusted to his disciples,” Fullerton said.

Faith has always been an aspect of Fullerton’s life but he didn’t fully immerse himself until his second semester here at Newman. He describes himself as a “lukewarm Christian” before finding his faith.

Fullerton was confirmed by Father Adam Grelinger, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries.
Fullerton was confirmed by Father Adam Grelinger, chaplain and director of Campus Ministries.

“Newman has seen me at my lowest and now at my highest. Looking back, it is clear that God led me to Newman University so that I would first be broken, then find authentic faith, and at last come home to the Catholic Church,” said Fullerton.

Fullerton said he is excited to encounter Jesus in confession and holy communion.

“I’m also excited to be a witness to the Catholic Church and help lead others to the truth,” he said.

Green commits life to God

Green is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education, K-12, vocal emphasis and a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at Friends University. He is a member of the Singing Quakers and has performed in several of its opera productions.

Davis Green
Davis Green

In April of 2023, Green began the process of joining RCIA. Since RCIA typically concludes in April due to it being Easter, Green decided to check with Newman to see if they were doing any RCIA classes. When Emily Simon, assistant director of Campus Ministry and the Honors Program, affirmed that Newman offered classes, Green took it as a sign.

Over the summer, while Green was taking RCIA classes, he got the opportunity to travel to Spain and Portugal with the Singing Quakers.

“When I went to Spain and Portugal with the Singing Quakers, I got to sing and tour some of the most amazing churches I’d ever seen. I saw relics and books that just baffled me. I went inside this cathedral in Portugal. The cathedral had wooden remnants of the manger of Christ. When I read the words, my knees buckled and I just fell in awe. When I came back to the U.S., I immediately told everyone I was ready to come home to God’s kingdom on Earth,” said Green.

Green went to the University of Kansas (KU) for a semester and then came back to Wichita because he wanted to be closer to family and his hometown.

“I missed my hometown here in Wichita. I had a lot of teachers from high school who were Friends alumni and I was offered a wonderful scholarship directly from President Amy Carey herself. They quickly made me feel welcome and I loved being back in a Christian-based educational environment,” said Green.

Green’s dad was a youth pastor at Central Christian Church in Wichita for about 15 years. He grew up with bookshelves packed with theology, Christian spiritual formation, faith and commentary books. Green was baptized at age 7 and continued to have a life where Christ was always present, but not always the center. While at KU, Green began his search into Catholicism.

“I was very misinformed about Catholicism all the way through college,” Green explained. “It wasn’t because my dad or even my churches taught me such things, but solely my views and what pop culture said. Then, I met my now fiancé. She is Catholic, and I remember our first date when she told me she was Catholic. I was dumbfounded. The first question I asked her was, ‘don’t you guys worship Mary?’ She was very quick to explain and at least clarify all my misconceptions. It was that single (interaction) that led me to do my own research. She began the process but in no means was the reason I became Catholic.”

Davis Green with fiance Autumn Bertels
Davis Green with fiance Autumn Bertels

Since joining the Catholic Church, Green wakes up every morning and chooses to follow and love Christ.

“I love being able to regularly receive Christ in his entirety in the most true, real and beautiful way. Being a Christian isn’t just following Christ, but it is waking up every morning, choosing Christ, choosing to obey his commands, receiving him every morning and receiving him in his entirety through the Eucharist,” said Green.

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