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Old Jul 3, '12, 1:30 pm
drfye drfye is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

from some of my other posts:

Originally Posted by drfye View Post

Originally Posted by JillianRose

"4. Another set of parents that went to Catholic School their whole life and told me they don't read the Bible or know what our Catechism says."

I think that is the catagory I mainly fall into which is one of the reasons I joined this forum. I went to a catholic grade school and high school in Ontario, Canada which is different from the US with one of the main reasons being that catholic schools in this province are funded by the government.
here is something i said in a different thread:

Originally Posted by drfye View Post
wow, thats pretty accurate to my experience in catholic grade school and high scool, I've never even held ,let alone read the catechism before. Outside of a few sunday school clases as a kid when I was going through the sacrements and those high school religion classes I Really didn't / don't know all that much about catholicism. It was only recently now in college at age 21 with some renewed interest in the faith that I learned how to pray the rosary. I ran into a couple people who I knew from high school, we started having a conversation and one them mentioned faith, they were/are under the impression that the church is against evolution and these were people who had gone to a catholic high school( some of whom had gone to the same high school as me). So yes it would seem that , at least in parts of ontario, there is a disconnect between catholic school and catholicism.
my parents are not all that religious so after I had been confirmed going to mass slowly just became non existent ,if it wasn't already by that time. As a teenager it was seen as simply not all that important and in high school religion class simply bacame a credit you had to get. The religion classes themselves for the most part ( at least as i remember them) were really more about morality then theology or church histoy, we opened a bible once in a while and read a couple passages but nothing really indepth. There was one religion teacher I had who taught "world religions" that kind of started to get me more interested in learning about the faith but nothing really came of it until a few years later when i was in college and was doing a course on violence which potrayed the chuch's history in my country in not exactly the best light, which again got me curious........long story short a few month ago i started seeing videos on youtube and other sites of catholic answers live which led me to catholic, videos of Fr.Baron, and eventually this forum.

I think at the end of the day a lot if not most of the knowlege kids have of the faith will be because of the parents and how much the parents know about it.
not quite practicing.....I suppose, but inching there. I think Fr Baron said it best in his youtube video about religious drifters.

I was baptized catholic, went through the sacrements and it wasn't like I stopped being catholic but when your raised catholic and don't know what it means to be catholic, I think your probably going to drift a little bit like what you see with people who are called "cafeteria" Catholics .

I think that sums it up for me. hahahaha, hopefully I stayed on topic.
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Old Jul 3, '12, 1:36 pm
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onjac onjac is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I know a few people who are practicing Catholics and genuinely good people. Maybe it's me but they seem to pick on people who are non-Catholic and they can be a bit pushy when it comes to getting everyone to practice a devotional or pray. Despite all their good intentions, it's a bit of a turn off for me. And it gets worse when my spiritual life falls into a lull and I want to be left alone.

I like watching people who are pious in that meek, slightly fragile sort of way. There's just something about them which isn't too different from people whose lives are consumed by particular craft or sport.

Pope John Paul I and Pope Benedict XVI
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Old Jul 3, '12, 1:43 pm
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JackVk JackVk is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

Originally Posted by onjac View Post
Maybe it's me but they seem to pick on people who are non-Catholic and they can be a bit pushy when it comes to getting everyone to practice a devotional or pray.
You got me, guilty as charged. . Young, devout Catholics like myself also seem to do this. I try not to, but in the desire to evangelize, we tend to inadvertently go off the deep end.
I was raised in a nominally Catholic household, but didn't start practicing till my senior year of high school, when I started attending my parish's youth group. Seeing their joy made me want to go deeper. Then I went on a Kairos retreat, which is when I truly can say I first met God.
Those who say it cannot be done should not stand in the way of those proving them right

"You have less to suffer in following the Cross than you do in following the world and it's pleasures." -St. John Vianney
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Old Jul 3, '12, 5:25 pm
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missmorgan389 missmorgan389 is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

Originally Posted by PennyinCanada View Post
I had an experience of God's love when I was reading a book on Fatima that someone gave me to look at. Of course I had a grandma praying the rosary for me.
You rock, grandmas with rosaries! Keep it up!

Originally Posted by Irishgal49 View Post
My dead son brought me into the faith.

I was a clergy, pastoring two churches in the United Methodist faith. I graduated from seminary in 1994. I was ordained deacon in 1993 and Elder in 1996. I figured my life was pretty well set. My son was 16 and was killed in a roll over car accident. He was brain dead. He was my oldest and we were VERY close. About 3-4 days after his death he came to me in a dream and thanked me for everything I did for his funeral. He said he needed masses said for him. I didn't really know what a mass was, I thought it was specific prayers. I ran around to every Catholic Church I could find and had anywhere from 1-3 masses a day said for my son for a year. All I knew was that Johnny needed my help and I was not going to fail him. I even contemplated committing suicide because I needed to cross over and help him. Thankfully I didn't do it because I had two other sons who needed me. My son had died May 20, 1996.

At Christmas-time a friend came over and set up a Christmas tree and a nativity set for me, thinking it was too hard for me to do. Well my oldest son always played Santa. He wore a hat and always said, "I love being Santa. Call me Mr. Christmas." When I saw those things upon arriving home a rage boiled up inside of me. I kept seeing his handsome face, his smile, the Santa hat and the pain was a raw scraping grating on my heart so I had to become enraged or, otherwise I would self destruct from the pain. I attacked the tree and tore it to shreds, putting it in it's box and bashing it on the floor until all the ornaments and lights exploded, then I hauled it to the trash and put it on the curb. I then went into the kitchen and saw that nativity set. I remember Johnny being Joseph one year and all I could see was his sapphire blue eyes as he smiled and said, "Peace on earth good will to men" and the rage flew again. I got the hammer from the junk drawer and smashed the nativity set with so much force my two sons had to stop me. We all sobbed and I never celebrated Christmas again.

In the process of having those masses said I had 2 nervous breakdowns in less than a year. I soon realized I had to step down from being a parish pastor and resign due to the fact something had triggered a severe mood disorder. I understand now that extreme stress can change a person's brain chemistry and cause a switch to flip and trigger a mental illness. Rarely once that switch is flipped does it ever turn back off so I stepped down from pastoral ministry right after Christmas, especially in light of how I was feeling. I became an atheist (angry at God more than anything).

I went to have masses said at a church and saw a flyer asking, "Do you want to learn more about the Catholic faith?" and I figured why not? That was RCIA. Right after I signed up my son came to me in a dream again and said, "Mom they said I can go with them now. I told them I can't leave until I know you are OK" I told him I'd never be OK if he didn't go and he told me he couldn't talk to me anymore. I told him that it was OK that we could think of each other a lot and that before he knew it we would all be together again. He said that whenever I hear the word star in a song he's thinking of me. We hugged for a really long time and then he was gone. I felt this weight lift from me and I knew he would come to me anymore and he never did.

At that time my first husband had died suddenly and I had married a guy I was living with for 7 years. During the Christmas season (which I always ignored) a sister in the RCIA class was giving out cards she had picked out for us. Not wanting to be rude I opened it and on the front was a nativity set....and inside it said, "Sometimes we just have to go back and start over".

I became Catholic in 2000 at Easter Vigil and loved Mass. I had married a Jewish man but did my best to live out my faith. One day while attending mass the priest at the parish stood up and admitted to having a sexual relationship with an altar server 22 years before then and I started having flashbacks and ran out of the church. I was sexually abused as a child and that was more than I could bear. I was outraged I stayed out of church for 9 years.

After 9 years of all this chaos, the marriage to the 2nd husband fell apart. In January of 2011 I moved into my own apartment. Then I had a dream a demon was straddling me in bed and threatening me. I was so terrified I did not sleep much for days. I was searching for holy water and that led me home to the Church. I have been back since.

Sadly the priest and I got into a horrible falling out and he shoved me off to the side and basically proceeded to ignore me. I was angry, rebellious, and rude but I really needed someone that would have set me straight and not discarded me as I felt discarded all my life. I was banned from confession with him, banned from leadership in the church, and banned from his advice/counseling/help in any way. He was rude, snappy, and nasty. He had his inner circle and you were supposed to be content with being on the outside. I totally admit I was disobedient and rude but the amount of "punishment" I received was way beyond what was called for according to a new priest I work with who has 35 years experience.

So after learning that being argumentative and rude is wrong, I have come full circle. I'm wrestling with staying at my current parish (new priest is there as of last week) and going to this new parish with a more experienced priest (I do have a mental illness and need someone with experience) so I'm not sure where God wants me, just glad to be Catholic and have the love of God in my life. I have submitted my "lack of form" annulment and am waiting for that reply. I'm told these are handled very quickly as I married outside the church. Keep me in prayer, I need it.

Hugs to all--can't wait to read your stories,

I absolutely loved your reason for your faith. God bless your son! I'm so sorry that you lost him, but I'm so happy he guided you down the right path.

I can't say the real reason why I became a "practicing" Catholic. I went on a youth retreat a few years back and since then I've been hooked on faith. Now I'm just educating myself in the ways of the Church and trying to develop strength to defend Her.

Not to mention, I'm discerning a vocation in religious life, so as nicky said, "like a moth" is probably quite accurate for me
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Old Jul 4, '12, 12:34 am
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OxygenMan OxygenMan is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I grew up in an entirely secular family. There was no hostility towards religion, it just wasn't brought up much. Around the time I hit 16, I had a serious, sudden emotional and spiritual crisis. I began to wonder about existence and purpose. Knowing that such things are outside the realm of science, I turned to philosophy for answers. I studied many different religions. I did my best to determine which were historically accurate, I looked for evidence and whether they were rational. Most pagan religions were ruled out quickly. Buddhism was empty and obsessed with annihilation. Hinduism, apart from its folk version of idolatry, lacked much historical ground and advocated the monstrous caste system. I briefly considered converting to Judaism, then I became immersed in studying gnostic sects. Eventually, I turned to Christianity as the only feasible choice. After studying the reason and history between the Holy Church and the various Protestant sects, the choice simply became clear to me.
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Old Jul 4, '12, 7:40 am
GorgeousBlonde GorgeousBlonde is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I like your reason OxygenMan, you basically studied all the religions before deciding on being Catholic.

I was for a while considering converting to Judaism as well.
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Old Jul 4, '12, 8:14 am
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

2000 years of history behind it.
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Old Jul 4, '12, 8:33 am
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I was born into it as a cradle Catholic and then became an agnostic/skeptic for over 20 years when I reached University. Then I did some research into religion to debunk it to a friend who suddenly became a religious "nutjob" some years back. Despite my initial inclinations, I eventually became compelled by the evidence and reverted back.
"Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason."
̶ Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Old Jul 4, '12, 11:44 am
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jeanannemarie jeanannemarie is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

Raised very barely as a Protestant, my first call came as a child while watching the televised Funeral Mass of Pope John XXIII. After that, every time I walked past the Catholic Church I was compelled to run up and open the door to go in, but never did it out of fear. Through junior high I pumped Catholic friends for every bit of information I could get about being Catholic. From them I learned the Hail Mary, Apostles Creed, and the Glory Be. Right after high school my older sister and her family converted. I put it all on hold, as a Methodist at that time, but when my oldest son asked to "visit" the Catholic Church in '92, we went and never left. Each day it only makes more sense, I love it more and cannot believe my good fortune that God so patiently waited on me to come to His Church. I love the True Church!!! I have several great grandparents who were Catholic, as do my children on their father's side. I think some holy souls were praying us back to the Church.
"Remember that the present day is given to you in order to gain the future day of eternity." Saint Francis de Sales
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Old Jul 4, '12, 8:20 pm
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Gordon Sims Gordon Sims is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I'm a cradle Catholic who fell away a bit during college. I tried to get back into practicing my faith more regularly after getting married, but never made a firm commitment for a variety of reasons, one of which was a priest who nearly drove me away from the Church with his attitude toward my wife & son (she had him shortly before I met her). When our oldest daughter was born, I told my wife we needed to recommit ourselves to practicing our faith. We did good for a short while, then fell out of practice again. When our second daughter was born, we tried again, although another bad priest kept us at arm's length from the Church. We hit a really rough patch in our marriage, ended up pregnant, then lost the baby. While going through that, I felt not only the full depth of God's love for me, but my wife's as well. The whole experience practically yanked me back into the Church. We also had a new priest who made me feel more excited about going to Mass than I had been since I was a kid. I started reading and studying about our faith and bringing myself fully back into communion with the Church. It helped a bit that my daughters were going through First Confession & Communion during this period, as this got me practicing the sacraments more faithfully than I ever had previously. Since then we've also had two more daughters which has strengthened my resolve even further. I've read numerous times that a father's faith is the strongest factor in determining whether kids continue practicing their faith, and with five children looking to me for their guidance, I finally have the proper perspective on how I need to approach my faith.
"How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many donuts."
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Old Jul 4, '12, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

It was a process. My Catholic High School actually had a lot to do with it, believe it or not. I nearly fell away from the faith when looking up arguments for and against it, because the against arguments were pretty strong.

But Catholicism was a family and cultural thing at the time, so I resolved to look deeper and really consider before making the decision to leave the faith. The wonderful blog "fallibleblogma" by Matthew Warner (I believe it's Warner, or Warren) helped me stay away from Protestantism, and Dr. Edward Feser (who also has a blog) stopped me from being an atheist.

I would have been a little bit more enthusiastic but still very uneducated Catholic had it not been for an absolutely fantastic theology teacher that I had during my freshman and senior years. He completely changed my outlook on Catholicism (and, by extension, life). He was one of the best teachers I've ever had.
"But he was undoubtedly a moron to begin with. Illiterate, superstitious, murderous....Look at him, and tell me if you see the progeny of a once-mighty civilization? What do you see?"

"The image of Christ," grated the monsignor, surprised at his own sudden anger. "What did you expect me to see?"
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Old Jul 5, '12, 1:05 pm
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UpUpAndAway UpUpAndAway is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

French secularism pushed me into full practice of my Catholic faith.

I moved to France eleven years ago. At the time, I spoke no French. Initially, I met most people through my husband, who is French. Then I joined an association that was supposed to exist to welcome newcomers to the area, and it turned out to be anything but welcoming. Things always began well, but as soon as people found out I was the kind of Catholic who actually went to Mass every Sunday, either they distanced themselves from me or they actually attacked me for it. At the time I did not pray outside of Mass, I did not go to confession, and I behaved in a lot of ways that went against Church teaching. So I was hardly devout, and I wasn't shoving my faith down people's throats. It was just easy to come after me for merely being a church-going Catholic. One woman pretended to be my friend so she could parade me in front of her real friends and they could laugh at me or criticize the Church then dare me to defend it, something I was ill-equipped to do at the time (even now, I often have trouble doing so).

I eventually grew tired of this so I pulled back and ultimately found myself with no friends at all after four years of French residency. What I did have, though, was time. I found that I could listen to EWTN Radio online, and they had Life is Worth Living on every weekday at lunchtime, so I started listening to this while I ate (Archbishop Sheen is a personal hero of my mother's). Sometimes I would forget to shut the stream off after the half hour program was finished, so I also listened to Mother Angelica pray the rosary. After a while, I deliberately left the broadcast running and prayed along with her and the nuns every day. This led to reading the Bible daily, which led to expanded daily prayer through the addition of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Chaplet of St. Michael, which led to daily meditations and the reading of other faith classics (early Church Fathers, Diary of St. Faustina, Lives of the Saints, etc.) I couldn't get enough.

By this time, my husband and I had moved twice so I had to change parishes twice. Then my current parish changed pastors. The new pastor was one of the coldest, most unapproachable priests I have ever seen. He rapidly gained a reputation among some of the parishioners for being impatient, harsh and too rigid. Eighteen months would pass before he and I would even speak. During this time, I realized that what was mistaken for excessive strictness was in fact...orthodoxy.

My French had improved to the point that I could tell his beautiful homilies are full of truth and challenged us, dared us to fully embrace Church teaching. At that point, I knew I had to end the silence between us. (That is a story all unto itself that I won't bore you with ) Since doing so, I have come under his tutelage. By following his advice, I now pray more than ever, adore the Blessed Sacrament weekly for two hours at a time, and attend Mass six days per week. I am preparing to confess every month in French instead of every three months in English (my native tongue) as I do now. And as a bonus, I have found the image my pastor projects is not the reality of who he is - a kind, sensitive, thoughtful, caring, warm and even charming priest. His love for God runs deep and is extraordinarily pure. He has been blessed with great intelligence and is completely faithful to the Magisterium whether the parishioners like it or not. When it comes to Church teaching, he stands his ground no matter what. I always come away from our discussions enriched in my faith and fortified in my convictions. Of course he has his faults, but that I am a practicing Catholic today is due in no small part to the example he provides for me by totally abandoning himself to the Lord.
per fidem intrepidus

Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church."
- St. Clement of Alexandria

Last edited by UpUpAndAway; Jul 5, '12 at 1:23 pm.
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Old Jul 5, '12, 1:15 pm
Rhuarc Rhuarc is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

Divine Providence. Can detail it more but that is the pure distillation of what led me from being a protestant to a muslim to where I am to stay.
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Old Jul 10, '12, 8:17 am
DonMack DonMack is offline
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Default Re: What Drew You to Be a Practicing Catholic?

I was protestant but not religious at all; questioning everything and understanding nothing. 2-3 years ago I was "drawn,or pushed or dragged " but certainly guided in a direct line to where I am today. A Christian. By Easter, I will become Catholic.
These are the steps I was led through.

1 Learn to KNOW there is a God.
2 Learn that the Bible is real, inspired and does not contradict it's self
3 Learn to KNOW that Jesus was a man and that he is God and separate from God
4 Learn to Know that Jesus died for our (my) sins and returned to God
5 Learn to Know that if we believe in Jesus and follow his law we will be united with him
6 Learn to know that Jesus provided us with a manual and teachers to show us how to
7 Learn to know that St. Peter and the Apostles were instructed by the Holy Spirit,and
were given the authority from Jesus to establish his Church
8 Accept the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit and act on the faith that He provided.

Each step has it's own story. These were my steps
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