Most married men enjoy mother-in-law jokes.  However, Nick Chalfant has much for which he can thank his mother-in-law.  Besides bringing his lovely wife Marissa into the world, Nick’s mother-in-law was a driving force toward his conversion through SJB’s RCIA program. 

Born in the small town of Menifee, California, Nick and his family moved to Olmsted Falls when he was a teenager.  After graduation from Olmsted Falls High School, Nick obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from DeVry University.  He now works as a Branch Manager for Good Nature Organic Lawn Care.  Nick, Marissa, and their eight-month-old daughter Lucy reside in Brook Park.

Encouragement from the In-laws

Although Nick’s mother was raised as a Catholic, his family attended various non-denominational churches.  He was introduced to Catholicism while dating Marissa.  For eight years, Nick attended Saint John Bosco with his wife and her parents, Margaret and Mike Kuches.  “Fr. Jurcak made a strong impression on me,” recalls Nick.  “But Fr. Matt is so close to my age that he really ‘did it in’ for me.”  Then one day, Margaret made the pitch for the RCIA program.  “She told me that Fr. Matt was looking for 12 new converts, just like Jesus and his 12 apostles,” Nick laughs.  

RCIA Reveals the Reality of Catholicism

Nick was very impressed with the RCIA program.  “It was great to see that there were more people on the team than in the class,” says Nick.  “If you had questions, you really got individualized attention.”  Nick found common ground with one instructor, Abigail Yates, who came from California and even attended the same non-denominational church.  According to Nick, the discussion leaders were very informative and not afraid to tackle controversial topics.  After participating in the RCIA program, he notes, “The reality of Catholicism is 180 degrees away from what I learned in other churches.  Catholics are not judgmental.  They’re the most welcoming people I’ve ever met!”  By attending Mass and listening to homilies, Nick is now appreciating the interpretation of scriptures and ways to apply them in his life. 

For Nick, the most memorable event of the RCIA program was attending Mass at St. John’s Cathedral.  “It was an out-of-this world experience,” he reflects.  “It was so cool to see so many people that were my age who were interested in their faith.  Most people my age have no interest in religion.”   

Nick received Holy Eucharist and was confirmed on Holy Saturday, 2023.  Perhaps the most important aspect of his conversion is that he now has the ability to pass his faith along to his young daughter.  “My wife and I want to raise Lucy as a Catholic and implement faith into her life,” says Nick.  He is also inspiring other family members: his father and brother are attending the RCIA program at St. Clarence Parish.   

Nick encourages those considering conversion to “Be open to RCIA.  The evening classes are so accessible for working people.  Attend the first class and find out for yourself.”

Submitted by Christine and Bob Martuch

Note: The 2023-2024 RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program begins on Monday, September 11 at 7:00PM. If you have questions about the Catholic faith or are interested in becoming Catholic, please contact Fr. Matt by email at, Deacon Roger by email at or call them at the parish office 440-886-3500 to set up a time to talk about the process.