I also think it is a great witness for all of us if a young person chooses to be received into the Church. It is maybe often said that the Church is dead or dying, but those events show us that God is calling people to his flock, but that we only have to listen to His voice.
I can remember my own reception into the Church, and the indescribable joy and awe I felt
when I received the Eucharist the first time. My Lord really came to me, truly present in the form of the Eucharistic bread, to live in me, and to stay with me! I only had to accept Him!
This straight away reminds me that I, or indeed we, should never take to Mass and the Eucharist for granted, that it should never become a habit. It is special every time, every time Our Lord comes to us in the Eucharist. Every time he knocks on the door, it is up to me to open and let Him have a meal with me and not to let Him stand in the coldness of my lukewarm heart!
Also, my parents visited me here in Ireland last week. It was a very nice time, and I really enjoyed having them around. I was able to show them a small bit of the life I am living here, which I think was very important for them to understand better what I am doing, and also to see that I am in a good place.
During the visit they made a very interesting comment, which very nicely ties in with the above. They said that in the Netherlands people were encouraged to go and join a church congregation and so to improve their life. It was publicly acknowledged that people who are parts of a faith community find fellowship and have a aim in life. This helps then against depression, suicide etc.
However, the important aspect in my eyes is that a mainly secular society sees the positive effect of faith in people. They might not as yet acknowledge that it is because people start to know God, and that God is really and truly alive and among us, but there is a first recognition of something, even that in their eyes they put it to human/psychological reasons and (not yet) to supernatural.
This again is one sign that excites me, and I am really looking forward to the future! There is stir in the water...