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  #1  
Old May 11, '07, 4:31 pm
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Randy Carson Randy Carson is offline
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Default Calling All Catholic Converts

In response to the call for a day of prayer and fasting for his conversion, professional apologist and anti-Catholic James White has begun posting letters written by former Catholics who credit Mr. White for helping them to leave the Church.

I would encourage all converts to the Catholic Church to post the stories of their conversions in this thread. Please share what issues started the ball rolling, what the biggest obstacles were, and how you finally over came them.

I look forward to reading your stories!
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  #2  
Old May 11, '07, 6:00 pm
Michael Howard Michael Howard is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Carson View Post
In response to the call for a day of prayer and fasting for his conversion, professional apologist and anti-Catholic James White has begun posting letters written by former Catholics who credit Mr. White for helping them to leave the Church.

I would encourage all converts to the Catholic Church to post the stories of their conversions in this thread. Please share what issues started the ball rolling, what the biggest obstacles were, and how you finally over came them.

I look forward to reading your stories!
This is a great idea brother, I've wanted to write out my testimony for sometime now and this will give me the perfect opportunity
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  #3  
Old May 11, '07, 9:32 pm
m134e5 m134e5 is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

what issues started the ball rolling:
---I like sacred art, architecture, and music. The Catholic Church certainly has a good collection of all of those things. I wondered, from an early age, what inspired people to create such beautiful things. It was the liturgy of the Church. I had to have some respect for the Mass- since the great composers, artists, and architects of history seemed to.
---I wasn't happy in the Church I was raised in. I was very angry at God and left Christianity altogether when I started my first year of college. I thought of becoming buddhist (moreso in high school) or Orthodox (I liked the art and music and the mystery of it all), but I decided those was worth it- I became an atheist instead.
---A friend invited me to the Catholic Student Center shortly after 9/11. I decided to go, and a friend I met there asked me throughout the following week if I would come back. I decided to go back.
---The Campus minister invited me to a retreat for Catholic College Students. I didn't have to actually be Catholic to go- so I went. I decided at that retreat to become Catholic.
---I met a man involved with Communion & Liberation, which is a spiritual movement in the Church, who had a theology degree and was also a convert. He was able to answer a lot of my questions, and encouraged me in choosing where to go for RCIA (I didn't go to the parish I ultimately ended up registering at, but it is clear that God wanted me where I ended up going). He introduced me to orthodox Catholicism, which I'm not sure I would have known had I not met him. My faith would have died soon after my conversion if it weren't for what I learned from orthodox Catholics about the Faith.
---I met a student from Mexico who had fallen in love with CL. I learned piety, from her example. She eventually became my Godmother.

what the biggest obstacles were:
---The Papacy wasn't a huge obstacle, but I didn't believe in its significance. The summer after my Freshman year of college, some of us from the Catholic Student Center decided to meet. One of our discussions was on the Papacy. My Godmother led the discussion. I found the biblical truth in it. This was the only time I accepted a biblical answer as proof of Catholicism's truth. Until this point, the Bible was irrelevent to me.
---I had trouble believing in the Eucharist, but that wasn't a big enough deal to me at the time to discourage me. Thankfully, it was resolved before it became a big deal. I heard about an adoration chapel in town, and wanted to go. I didn't know what adoration was, but the person who talked to us at the Catholic Student Center about it seemed to really like it and asked us to go, so I wanted to see what it was about. I asked the person who would become my Godmother if she would take me there- and we went (around February the year I was in RCIA, I think). As we pulled into the parking lot, I somehow knew that Jesus was, as truly as I was in the car, present in the Chapel. I was sold on the Eucharist- but it wasn't because of scripture, the writings of the saints, or the study of theology- it was from God Himself.

how I finally overcame them:
(See above- I figured it would be best to list the issues and explanations together)
........................................ .........
The day before my first year of college began, I went to church with my parents. As we left the church that day, when nobody was around, I told God, provided He was there at all, "that's the last time I ever go to church"....





Don't ever tell God something like that if you really mean it! I learned that the hard way....



It's been six years since I said that. Nowadays, I look forward to going to Mass every Sunday and confession as often as I can, I regret that I can't go to Mass every day, I love praying in front of the Sacrament, I love my parish and my pastor, I'm active in my Church in more ways than just Mass. I'm on religious websites more than any other websites, I watch EWTN more than any other TV station (or at least I did- nowadays it seems the shows I like come on when I can't watch them and they aren't important enough to me to record them). I'm still active in the Catholic Student Center after all these years, and always make it my priority- and the members there have been my best friends-- and my only constant circle of friends throughout my college years.

This journey that still isn't over- and won't be until the day I die. I thought I knew so much as an atheist, and I was wrong. I thought I knew so much while I was in RCIA. I knew practically nothing. I feel like I have changed a lot since then, but I know practically nothing.

I still haven't finished writing my formal conversion story. I started one earlier this year. It's harder to do than I expected (both to write the story, and to think of some things I'd rather not think about). It's going to take awhile.
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Last edited by m134e5; May 11, '07 at 9:43 pm.
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  #4  
Old May 11, '07, 10:28 pm
Michael Howard Michael Howard is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

I had been a Protestant for nearly ten years. I was active in worship, bible study, youth ministry, cell groups and considered myself a pretty intensely devoted evangelical Christian. My wife was rasied United Methodist and was also very active in evangelical churches.

What got the ball rolling?

On our way to the airport one night to pick up some friends we ended up on Catholic radio and a gentleman who I later learned was Scott Hahn was giving a talk on the Blessed Virgin Mary and using scripture to support the Catholic position. I found myself shocked, fascinated and befuddled for I had 'assumed' the Catholic Church had no scriptural basis for most of what they believed and here was someone actaully making sense and using the Word of God.


A few days later I asked a friend of mine if he had anything in his library on the Roman Catholic position. He gave me a tape set to listen to, "Dave Hunt vs. Gerry Matatics". It was a six tape set and I was really hoping this would ease the turmoil I was feeling inside. Well it did not, Matatics demolished him and I knew it.

I was embarassed and angry that Dave Hunt was selling this at his website and actually promoting it! Matatics arguements were clear, concise and again he used scripture, he even recieved applause at one point which bothered me tremendously. But a strange thing began to happen, I listened to the tapes a few more times and found myself in a small way cheering Matatics on, part of me was changing but I did'nt know how much this would eventually have an effect on me.

This led me on an adventure that lasted almost four years, I went all the way back, went through the Fathers up to the Reformation,
studied hundreds of documents for and against the Catholic Church, listened to countless hours of debates, read many many books, looked at all the nasty accusations filed against the Church, studied the reformation and reformers in depth on and on and on up through present day, I knew one thing for sure...the early church was Catholic with a capital C!

I also began to notice a charity and love from Catholic apologists, especially in the debates I listened to, this profoundly influenced me. They were often jeerd, bood, laughed at and mocked, but I found it fascinating that some of these men were willing to be thrown into the lions den to uphold the Catholic position. Scott Hahn on the Bible Answer Man live?? Whoah, talk about being thrown to the wolves, but he did what I consider an amazing job for being under that kind of pressure.

I found myself turned off by the extreme "cockiness" and ego mania I was listening to in the debates especially from some Calvinist friends of ours and my heart softened toward the Catholic position, and then I began to thirst for it, really thirst for it.

I came to believe through my studies that Jesus was present in the Eucharist body, blood soul and divinity. I ended up going to an Adoration chapel one day and had a profound encounter, like being in the presence of the purest love I'd ever felt, I was overwhelmed, my heart was pounding and I knew, this was the real thing, Jesus Christ was there in POWER in the Eucharist!!

My biggest hurdle..

Was Mary. I had to get past my fears that she wanted to knock her Son off the thrown and steal all the glory, that I was worshipping a goddess and on and on and on. On a walk one morning I asked Jesus for a sign that Mary loved me and that He was granting me permission to love her. As I came around the corner up on a hillside I saw a statue of Our Lady just sitting there as if someone wanted me to have it. On my walk the next day I passed the statue again and there was a sign on it, "free". I instantly felt Jesus in my soul say, "This is my Mother, I'm giving you permission to love her", and all my fears melted away and this beautiful statue blesses the gateway to our home to this day.

It was a year and a half later when I came into the fullness of the Catholic church, my love for Jesus is burning hot, hotter than it's ever been and I'm constantly amazed by the splendour and beauty the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to each mass, I am in love a hundredfold with Jesus Christ and His Church!
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  #5  
Old May 11, '07, 10:37 pm
6YRSHOME 6YRSHOME is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

I'm glad you started this thread as well.

I grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. My mom was divorced and was raising me on her own with occational help from my maternal Grandmother. My Grandmother converted to the SDA church as adult, from the Catholic church. She had a very abusive childhood and a skewed understanding of her faith, so when she encountered the Adventists, it was an easy sell.

Growing up I loved the church, I loved my grandmothers devotion to God. My mom was less devout and we practiced our faith without regularity, although I did attend Adventist schools until 6th grade.

By the time I reached High school, Sabbaths had become a battle zone. I was questioning my faith and my church and my mom's response was uncomprimising. By this time she had grown in her faith enough that she was unwilling to let me abandon it. I made it equally clear that I would not be attending church any longer and she realized it was a losing battle and allowed me to leave the church. I became wild and managed to stay out of serious trouble, and even toyed with the idea of being atheist but could not seem to give up on God completely. Of course, He never gave up on me at all.

I let a mostly agnostic life until I got married. My husband has a daughter from his first marraige so I thought maybe we should start taking her to church. He agreed so we went church shopping. It was clear that I would not go back to the SDA church and neither would he. We finally settled on an Episcopal church at the suggestion of a friend. We were comfortable, and attended that church for over four years. It brought me back to thinking about God as a part of my life and building my relationship with Him. It was also my introduction to Liturgical worship. It was wonderful and seemed so much more worthy of Christ than the sermon centered worship I had grown up with. When I started classes to get confirmed I began to realize that the church wasn't really authoritative. One was free to adhere to a wide range of doctrines and the church didn't really take a stand on very many issues.

I had kind of been flirting with the idea of studing the Catholic church for a long time and as I was having some issues with the whishy washy foundation of the Episcopal church, so I started studying Catholicsm at the same time. I knew my mom, my grandmother and my MIL would not approve so I didn't tell anyone this for a long time.

I did lots of reading, Patrick Madrid, Karl Keating, some early Christian writings, and of course the Bible. I watched "The Catachism of the Catholic Church" on EWTN. For once, things made sense. The more I read the more things fit, like I was putting a puzzle together. Like authority. It made so much sense that God would leave us with an infallable authority to teach us His truth just as he left us His infallable written word. I remember wathching Mother Angelica on EWTN about the Rosary and having this urge to try it. I sent for a free Rosary and that first time I prayed I felt that someone was there, listening. I felt love and peace. It was amazing. I realized that I had to become Catholic. My husband, who is remained somewhat agnostic through this whole thing, was mildly supportive.

I entered the RCIA program and was confirmed 2 months after my daughter was born. My mom did not approve, my MIL did not approve. I was alone, there was no celebration. And for the next three years I attended church alone or with just my kids. I didn't know anyone in this huge parish and kind of got lost for a little while.

But 5 years ago, I swiched parishes and became involved and then my mom started asking questions. I couldn't aswer then, so I started going to classes and becoming invoved in the parish and now I love my church. I feel more at home and closer to God than I ever did as an SDA. My faith feels real and I know the meaning of "God is with us".

Last edited by 6YRSHOME; May 11, '07 at 10:50 pm.
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  #6  
Old May 12, '07, 2:03 am
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Here's Mine...
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  #7  
Old May 12, '07, 9:19 am
NathanR NathanR is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

Thank you for the opportunity to place my story. I will try to make a very long story short and precise.

I was brought up in the Church of Christ in eastern kentucky. My parents left this church because the elders could not agree with the pastor on various issues such as "once saved always saved", "tithing amount", "social issues like consuming alcohol sinful?" and most importantly how to spend church money. So the church broke apart and 3 churches were formed. My parents could not understand why God's Truth was impossible to obtain. Everyone had the authority to know what God's church should do but no one agreed.

My family church shopped for a while but my parents couldn't find a church they agreed with so we stopped going. Our salvation was saved by faith alone. My father and I prescribed we were closer to God when we went fishing on Sunday mornings than going to a hippocritical church.

As a teenager I went to a non denominational church with a couple of friends (who could drive). I enjoyed the entertainment, the good friendships, and sermons that were always inspiring. However, the focus was always on "how to save another person by inviting them to our church". I could never understand how I knew they were not already saved and who could decide who was saved. What more does one need to do than proclaim Jesus as your personal lord and savior and be a good moral person.

I received a soccer scholarship to a Catholic college. I didn't even know Catholics were any different that any other protestant denomination. We all loved God and were nice people. Although, parents of several of my friends often made rude comments about me going there. How could the son of an agnostic from eastern ky fit in with a liberal arts Catholic college and why would he want to go their? My 4 yrs there were typical of most college students. A lot of partying with non-catholics or non-practicing catholics. Then I fell in love with my future wife.

She was Catholic so I started going to Mass with her. I was very bored and uninspired so I took her to any other denominational church I could find. We went Church shopping for a couple of years. I took her away from practicing the Catholic faith and we spent our sundays going to the park and reading the Bible alone.

I asked her to marry me and she really wanted to get married in the Catholic Church so I agreed to check out RCIA because I knew the big marriage killers are religion and money. Once I started understanding when to kneel and when to stand I felt more comfortable with Mass so I agreed to continue. I was baptised and confirmed at a Newman center at a state university.

I loved the Mass at the Newman center because it was similiar to the services that I was familiar with as a nondenominational member. However, once we moved away from the larger city and relocated to our best job opportunities I felt stuck in a "traditional" Catholic church. So boring, I thought. I was oftened challenged by several friends who were protestant and I didn't have any answer for them. Your typical questions like, "why do you worship Mary", "What about purgatory" "Why doesn't the Catholic church want you to read the Bible". I became angry that I had become a member of such a Church as defined by non-Catholics.

So as any good former athlete would do I started training myself on apologetics. If this was the Church I was a member of I am going to show them why they are wrong. So I started reading information from anti-Catholic books and magazines (James White personal favorite). Once armed with information I would ask other Catholics why our beliefs didn't follow the Bible and show how we were saved by faith.... ect...No one could answer me. I was right all along... Then I discovered Carl Keating's book
Catholicism vs Fundamentalism: Roman attack by Bible Christians (not sure if that is the exact title). I was blown away!!!
He could answer all my questions and then some with Bible scripture. Next, Scott Hahn, Rome Sweet Home. I felt like he was telling my story. Then John Martinoni's CDs on "christianbiblesociety.com" Thank you John! These CDs for free have been spiritual weapons for those who attack me with their beliefs. I also have to mention the Father's of Mercy and Fr Wade Menizes(sp wrong). He is a spiritual powerhouse.

Now I am apart of "Catholics Returning Home" in our parrish. I am in love with the Mass and the One True Univeral Church. I am no longer confused my individual interpretation. I was looking for the Truth and found it in the Catholic Church. The defender and bulwork of the Truth. I pray anyone who reads this story will continue to look for the Truth with an open heart and go where it leads them.

The Gates of hell will not prevale against my Church!
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  #8  
Old May 12, '07, 9:41 am
Cat Cat is offline
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Thanks for this thread. I sometimes wish that CAF would have a separate section called “Home!” devoted to testimonies of reverts and converts. I love hearing conversion stories.

My story will take a couple of posts. Sorry.

Since my husband and I started dating so young (age 15), my story is linked with his.

My husband and I were raised as evangelical Protestants. I grew up in a Conference Baptist church that produced several Christian “celebrities,” great teachers and preachers like Evelyn Christenson, Gary Smalley, Steve Douglass (current president of Campus Crusade for Christ) and John Ortberg. These people were my teachers and peers. I think it’s safe to say that I grew up in a very good church.

My husband grew up in a huge Assemblies of God church, but when we started dating seriously, he switched to my church and broke his parents’ heart. Several years later, though, they left that A of G church after a hurtful scandal and didn’t return to any church for over 15 years.

We were married when were 21, and while we were in college, attended a Christian church, which was part of the Restoration Movement, in which churches try to emulate the New Testament church. For this reason, we had communion at every meeting, even business meetings. My husband and I developed a love for communion. I believe that this is when the first seeds were planted for us to one day become Catholic.

We moved to Raleigh, North Carolina after graduation, and were part of a Southern Baptist church for a few years, but the liberalism (both political and Scriptural) got to us, so we left, stumbled around, and eventually became part of a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. This church was fantastic because the people LOVED each other in many practical ways, not just in word. Our children were born while we were in this church, two daughters, and my oldest daughter still remembers the church and the loving people. My younger daughter has no memory of the church other than the Senior Pastor.

We moved back to our hometown and for three years, involved ourselves with a Christian and Missionary church planting effort that failed miserably. It was a horrible blow to us, because there is no other C and MA church in our city. Out of nostalgia for our family history, we got involved with a Reformed Church in America and learned all about Calvinism. We almost joined, but then we got a call one Saturday night informing us that the pastor had been fired. No one would tell us why. We were shocked. We liked the pastor. THEN they hired a woman pastor (who’s husband was a pastor at another church of a different denomination in our city!) and we got outta there!

We joined the Conference Baptist church that I grew up in, but it had changed horribly. A CCM musician/composer had taken over (he is world-famous—many of you would recognize his name, he died a few years ago). The church was all CCM and “seeker service” and “fluffy not stuffy.” We never knew what the minister would do on a Sunday morning. One week he had a casket wheeled down the aisle, opened it, and hundreds of helium balloons flew up to the ceiling. Yow.

After two years, we left that church because the minister’s wife was a mean shrew. How can a church be good if the minister can’t control his own wife?

If you’re keeping count, you’ll see that we had been involved with three churches in seven years. Our kids were pretty burned out by now, and so were we. But we kept looking and ended up in an Evangelical Free church.
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Old May 12, '07, 9:41 am
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From the very beginning, my younger daughter protested. She hated that EFree church. She said it was evil. She refused to go into the church without us and later, her boyfriend, and she never sat with anyone except us. In later years, some things happened that made me and my husband wonder if perhaps someone had sexually abused her in some way in that church. But we have no proof.

We stayed in that church for several years, and I became very involved, as I had in other churches, with children’s ministries. My children’s choir started out with 24 kids, double the next year, and tripled the third year.

Then something happened in 2001. I’ve actually written a small book about it (never tried to get it published). In brief, a woman pastor started telling lies about us, and it ended with a tribunal and us getting thrown out of the church. The people at the tribunal were men that I had never even met before, yet one of them called me “unloveable and unteachable” in front of my husband. My beloved husband DIDN’T kick the man in the privates, although he wanted to.

It was a nightmare. After the ousting, we were shunned. We weren’t exactly sure what the woman had told everyone; we suspected that there were hints of sexual misconduct, although I had always taken care to have other adults from the church in the room with me whenever I worked with children. But it scared me, and so a lot of the volunteer activities with children that I was involved with fell apart. My hands shook so badly that I couldn’t play the piano well (I still shake when I play sometimes when something reminds me of that church). I had terrible nightmares about people from that church chasing us and killing us. I dreamed that they cut my husband’s feet off. I dreamed that they chased me and my husband and younger daughter into a snowbank and gave us the choice of freezing or being executed.

It’s not over, either. Just a week ago, I had a terrible nightmare about a horrible cafeteria and that church; I won’t go into details, but it was terrifying (and it’s been six years since this happened!).

My life ended, because all my life I had been “in church” and now I wasn’t. I told my husband that I would NEVER join a church unless I was “wooed” back, because I could never trust them again.

I stopped reading the Bible. These pastors had used the Bible to justify their cruel treatment of us. I was afraid to read the Bible for fear that I would end up as evil as they were.

BTW, we found out a year later that the woman pastor who had destroyed us had been fired from that church—after she was caught in a lie. Apparently she was a pathological liar. The church has never called us to apologize for their mistake and treatment of us.

Both of our daughters stopped attending any church after this. My older daughter still has ideas of coming back to that church and telling them off during a morning service. And my younger daughter screamed, “I TOLD YOU THAT CHURCH WAS EVIL! WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT YEARS AGO!”

About a year before we were kicked out, my husband and I had started attending mass at our neighborhood Catholic Church. We couldn’t attend Sunday morning services at the EFree church because my daughter was a member of an elite synchronized skating team that practiced on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 5:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. So one Saturday night, I told me husband, “I’m going to mass. We have to obey the Lord and assemble with other believers.”

So we went to mass. We made an appointment with the priest to discuss what mass was all about, and he told us. Now this priest was the least likely person to be an evangelist. He talked slow and sonorously during masses. He wasn’t funny or charismatic. His homilies weren’t brilliant or stimulating.

But we loved him because he was REVERENT. When he talked to us, it was like talking to Jesus.

To learn more, we joined the church’s apologetics class, taught by a college professor who had been a member of MY OLD CONFERENCE BAPTIST CHURCH! He and his wife had converted in 2000.

And from then on, it was just a question of us being open to God’s leading, and many people in that church and in other venues (books, online, conferences, CDs, etc.) teaching us about Catholicism. We KNEW that this was the Church that Jesus started, and eventually, we said YES to His leading, joined RCIA, and became Catholic on April 10, 2004.

We love it! And this year, our older daughter has been attending mass in her city, and told us that she is planning to enter RCIA this fall. Our younger daughter and her fiancé have told us that they would like to become Catholic, but they are waiting because of his extremely Baptist grandma, who they don’t want to hurt.
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Old May 12, '07, 2:13 pm
mayra hart mayra hart is offline
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iam a cradle catholic but i truly like to read your journey stories. "May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Adored, Glorified, Loved & Preserved throughout the world, now & forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Worker of Miracles, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, please pray for me. Amen."
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Old May 12, '07, 3:02 pm
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Here is my story and like many converts it is long.

I grew up in an unstable home. My biological father died in Vietnam without my ever having seen him. My mom had mental problems. She was always seeking love and attention. I think this is what led her into a series of six marriages and five divorces. Not to mention her constant falling in and out of love. She was also melodramatic, extremely manipulative and emotionally and verbally abusive.

My first brush with Catholicism was purely emotional.

An elderly couple offered to let me, a shy, awkward teenager spend the night and attend their church. I loved the quiet of their home and the older woman's spirituality.

Their church was Catholic and I fell in love. The rituals, the icons, the traditions, all spoke to some deep need in me. I was blown away that Jesus would share his mother with me. Here at church, I had the stability that I longed for.

Due to the fact that my family was nominally Protestant, even if my mom was more secular then religious, this new found faith of mine threatened my mom. So from my family I got a lot of flak that I wasn't expecting. Plus I had a baptist friend that sort of took me to church, so that I could purposely be evangelized to. This was embarrasing to me at 16. To be singled out by her youth minister and lectured and questioned before the class. Because my faith was new and based more on emotion than fact, I couldn't defend myself.

The result was that I angrily turned my back completely on God. I was confused and I spent a lot of painful years looking for God.

(continued in next post)
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Old May 12, '07, 3:15 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb1 View Post
. . I was blown away that Jesus would share his mother with me.

One of the most touching statements I have read in some while.
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Old May 12, '07, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

I married a wonderful man. He wanted to explore his Jewish heritage and that was all right with me. I spent years reading books on Judiasm-althought I never converted. There is much to admire and respect in Judiasm. It is a beautiful, deep religion.

Across the street from me was another woman. She was a Christian and I was drawn to her because she reminded me of the elderly Catholic lady that I used to know. This young woman was not Catholic but she had the same quiet spirituality about her. She never tried to convert me, but I knew that she had something that I lacked. After she moved away, I became a Christian.

We joined the most fundamentalist church that I could find. I was hungry for God's word and wanted to do everything that I could to please God. In my mind, this meant putting a lot of rules on myself. Over time, I began to read more and more. I'm afraid I badgered my pastor with questions and I disagreed with his answers. I didn't see that alcohol drinking was a sin, nor could I escape the fact that once saved always saved can only be accepted if one ignores many bible verses.

When The Passion came out, I was eager to see it. My pastor though was against this move, for many reasons that boiled down to....A Catholic made it!! I knew that Catholics could be Christian so this disturbed me.

I began to explore the Catholic Church, mainly to prove my pastor wrong. The result was that I fell again in love with the church. But this time my faith was more logical and knowledgable.

Its difficult to say now what I had most trouble with. I never had a problem with Mary like most Protestants and have always felt drawn to her. Because I am in the south, I seem to have come across people with negative impressions of Catholic beliefs. But this is more saddening to me then anything.
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  #14  
Old May 12, '07, 3:21 pm
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Howard View Post
I
Was Mary. I had to get past my fears that she wanted to knock her Son off the thrown and steal all the glory, that I was worshipping a goddess and on and on and on. On a walk one morning I asked Jesus for a sign that Mary loved me and that He was granting me permission to love her. As I came around the corner up on a hillside I saw a statue of Our Lady just sitting there as if someone wanted me to have it. On my walk the next day I passed the statue again and there was a sign on it, "free". I instantly felt Jesus in my soul say, "This is my Mother, I'm giving you permission to love her", and all my fears melted away and this beautiful statue blesses the gateway to our home to this day.

!
Wow!
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  #15  
Old May 12, '07, 3:59 pm
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: Calling All Catholic Converts

I wrote one version of my conversion story while I was going through RCIA, and you can read that edition of it, along with the post-script, which was written three weeks after my Initiation (which is linked at the bottom of the conversion story page), in the link that you'll see in my signature.

There are certain things that I left out of that story, though, because either I forgot about them, or else I didn't think they were very important. The hand of God was evident throughout my journey, though.

What got the ball rolling:

August 7, 1983, about 4:55 pm

Age 22, too shy to speak to strangers, for any reason whatsoever. Out walking, got caught up in a group of people who were heading into a Church, waiting for them to get past. While waiting for them to get past, Father Arthur comes out, grabs me by the front of the shirt, pulls me in, and says, "Hurry up! You're going to be late for Mass!" The only alternative being to explain to him that he has mistaken me for someone else (physically impossible; see above) I go in and experience the Mass for the first time in my life. Completely blown away; ready to convert on the spot.

Mentioned this to my Bible study leader, she talked me out of it - at first. She got so anti-Catholic over the following months that her diatribes began to feel "overdone" if you know what I mean, so that I went back to Mass the following January, and have been attending every Sunday ever since. (Didn't become Catholic until April 2001, however, mostly out of fear of offending friends and family.)

Learned many things about Catholic teaching, practice and culture over a period of about 17 years, including two years spent in RCIA.

Lost my fear of offending friends and family on October 23, 2000 at about 9:00 am when my grandmother died. (The meaning of the phrase "God is no respecter of persons" became very clear to me at that time.)

November 19-28, 2000: Got into a fierce internet debate with some Catholics over at Steve Ray's board while posting under the name "Aunt Virginia," defending liberal Protestantism. Got thoroughly whomped, though not completely convinced. (Blamed my lack of debating skills and the hostile audience for the losses.)

November 30, 2000, about 5:45 pm: In response to a post I had made defending the "invisible Church" (the exact content of which I have since forgotten) someone posting under the name "pax" responded with four simple words: ONE. HOLY. CATHOLIC. APOSTOLIC. At which point, the lights came on, everything I'd learned since that moment when Father Arthur had messed up my shirt back in 1983 all came together, made sense, and I realized that "some day," I had to become Catholic - no choices, no ifs, no ands, and no buts.

November 30, 2000, about 6:00 pm: received a call from one of my Catholic friends regarding some volunteer work that needed doing, and the voice in my ear said, "Now. You have to become Catholic now."

Pondered on this and prayed about it for three days.

December 3, 2000 about 8:00 pm, said to my husband, "I think I have to become Catholic, and I think I have to do it as soon as possible." He stopped everything he was doing and just looked at the wall.

December 3, 2000 about 8:01 pm, at the end of the longest minute of my whole life, my husband said, "As long as I don't have to have anything to do with it, you can do whatever you like."

December 4, 2000, about 10:00 am, contacted Sacred Heart Church and made an appointment to see Father Cramer. Appointment set for December 20 at 7:00 pm.

The rest, you can read about in my link.
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