Advice for a evangelical beginning his search?


#1

Hello all -
I've been protestant my whole life...the last 12 - 15 yrs we've been attending an evangelical church...basically raised 2 daughters there. And really have had the stereotypical view of the Catholic faith that most of you all imagine. On Easter Sunday, I watched the movie "Song of Bernadette". To say it started me thinking is a great understatement!...but for some reason, my view toward the Catholic faith is now very different....I just knew that the God that I love (and try to serve) would not doom such faithfull servants. I also realized that all I know is what I've been taught...and all I've been taught is what I've been open to learn about . Make sense? Let's just say my view is starting to widen. I am ashamed of how close minded I've been...and of the fact that I taught my kids in this manner, too. I feel like a sheep that has been just following along. Oh, BTW..both of my grown daughters have married Catholic men. :)

I've got plenty of questions to get answers to...starting with the basic things, I guess. The Catholic Answers site has an amazing amount of info...and I'm becoming addicted to reading it. I'm wanting to gain enough knowledge to honestly make my own decisions. Right now, I have no idea how I'll think about things...but I'm truly motivated to learn.

One of my concerns is how to explain this to family and friends...the fact that I am even reading and learning about Catholicism will be enough to flip some of them out. Any of you have to deal with this?....maybe I should just keep it to myself.

I just found the thread about books to read to learn...so I may pick up a book or 2.

I guess this thread might be an appeal for support as much as anything, as I am a little unsure about all of this...

I guess for now, I'm thanking God for opening my eyes a little.

Any thoughts or advise would be most welcome. Thanks.

Dean


#2

[quote="dal61, post:1, topic:281162"]
Hello all -
I've been protestant my whole life...the last 12 - 15 yrs we've been attending an evangelical church...basically raised 2 daughters there. And really have had the stereotypical view of the Catholic faith that most of you all imagine. On Easter Sunday, I watched the movie "Song of Bernadette". To say it started me thinking is a great understatement!...but for some reason, my view toward the Catholic faith is now very different....I just knew that the God that I love (and try to serve) would not doom such faithfull servants. I also realized that all I know is what I've been taught...and all I've been taught is what I've been open to learn about . Make sense? Let's just say my view is starting to widen. I am ashamed of how close minded I've been...and of the fact that I taught my kids in this manner, too. I feel like a sheep that has been just following along. Oh, BTW..both of my grown daughters have married Catholic men. :)

I've got plenty of questions to get answers to...starting with the basic things, I guess. The Catholic Answers site has an amazing amount of info...and I'm becoming addicted to reading it. I'm wanting to gain enough knowledge to honestly make my own decisions. Right now, I have no idea how I'll think about things...but I'm truly motivated to learn.

One of my concerns is how to explain this to family and friends...the fact that I am even reading and learning about Catholicism will be enough to flip some of them out. Any of you have to deal with this?....maybe I should just keep it to myself.

I just found the thread about books to read to learn...so I may pick up a book or 2.

I guess this thread might be an appeal for support as much as anything, as I am a little unsure about all of this...

I guess for now, I'm thanking God for opening my eyes a little.

Any thoughts or advise would be most welcome. Thanks.

Dean

[/quote]

Praise and Glory be to God.:thumbsup: You are more than half way there and on the right track. Keep asking questions, research, then ask more questions. Remember, flesh and blood has not reveiled this to you...:highprayer:

Peace brother Dean.


#3

First of all welcome to CAF. There are none I admire as much as those who are truly seeking truth and are intellectualy honest about finding that truth. I have always told people in your situation to approach the Church from a perspective of scepticism. Satisfy yourself that the teachings of the Church are true and are founded on solid ground. John Henry Newman took this approach and converted himself. In fact, he set out to prove the Church wrong. Read Scott Hahn’s conversion story “Rome Sweet Home”. He went through all of the difficulties you will be facing with family and friends, but he saw the truth and chose it inspite of those difficulties. This book will also address many of the myths you may have heard about the Church.

You will be able to receive much information from this forum, but, perhaps more importantly, I am sure you will receive many prayers; you certainly will be in my prayers.

God bless.

Steve


#4

Hi Dean,

I'm in a very similar position. I've been a Christian for most of my life, and much of my church experience has been either Baptist or non-denominational. I recently completed a graduate degree in history, with my thesis focused on Church history from the Byzantine era. During my thesis research I found myself becoming more and more interested in Catholicism. My mother always referred to herself as a "recovering Catholic," and my wife thinks of herself in much the same way. The only devout Catholic in my life was my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago. As a Protestant, I never fully understood her beliefs-- but, I didn't ask, either! So, my feelings on Catholicism have never been particularly positive. But, I feel like my eyes are finally being opened, and I am much more willing to learn about what may very well be the true Church Christ intended. I still have a lot of questions, but I've read a couple books recently that have helped in my path: Why Catholic?, by Ray Chidell, and What Catholics Believe, by Fr. Martin Pable. I'm looking to read more, so any recommendations are also greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God Bless!
R


#5

Welcome, Friend and Brother,

My adivce is the same that you've probably followed all of your life--pray! We are promised that those who seek Him will find the Lord. When you pray, pray earnestly that the Lord will reveal His truth to you. Be willing to follow that truth wherever it leads. Even if it be difficult. As you yourself said He won't "doom" (or abandon or lead astray) His faithful servants. I keep you and your family in my prayers.

In the Love and Spirit of Truth, Rhonda


#6

[quote="dal61, post:1, topic:281162"]
Hello all -

I've got plenty of questions to get answers to...starting with the basic things, I guess. The Catholic Answers site has an amazing amount of info...and I'm becoming addicted to reading it. I'm wanting to gain enough knowledge to honestly make my own decisions. Right now, I have no idea how I'll think about things...but I'm truly motivated to learn.

One of my concerns is how to explain this to family and friends...the fact that I am even reading and learning about Catholicism will be enough to flip some of them out. Any of you have to deal with this?....maybe I should just keep it to myself.

I just found the thread about books to read to learn...so I may pick up a book or 2.

I guess this thread might be an appeal for support as much as anything, as I am a little unsure about all of this...

I guess for now, I'm thanking God for opening my eyes a little.

Any thoughts or advise would be most welcome. Thanks.

Dean

[/quote]

Hi~ thank you for sharing your experience here! :) Prayers for you as you go about your journey.

I would suggest to take some time on your own. Pray, read, ask questions, learn and then share.

God Bless~


#7

[quote="dal61, post:1, topic:281162"]
Hello all -
I've been protestant my whole life...the last 12 - 15 yrs we've been attending an evangelical church...basically raised 2 daughters there. And really have had the stereotypical view of the Catholic faith that most of you all imagine. On Easter Sunday, I watched the movie "Song of Bernadette".

Do you also know, that St. Bernadette's body is uncorrupted to this day?

You may like this too...about Fatima.....ignatius.com/Products/13D-M/the-13th-day.aspx

One of my concerns is how to explain this to family and friends...the fact that I am even reading and learning about Catholicism will be enough to flip some of them out. Any of you have to deal with this?....maybe I should just keep it to myself.

I would say depending on the attitude of your family members....are they tolerant? Very anti-Catholic?

Check this CA website under "Groups"....you may join a group that have the same concerns like you.

I would say...pray about it...let the HS guide you....:thumbsup:

I just found the thread about books to read to learn...so I may pick up a book or 2.

I guess this thread might be an appeal for support as much as anything, as I am a little unsure about all of this...

I guess for now, I'm thanking God for opening my eyes a little.

Any thoughts or advise would be most welcome. Thanks.

Regarding books...there is a lot...depending on the subject or issue you have, or want to learn more about:

Eucharist...ignatius.com/Products/JJRE-H/jesus-and-the-jewish-roots-of-the-eucharist.aspx

Confession....amazon.com/gp/product/0385501706?ie=UTF8&tag=scotthcom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0385501706

scotthahn.com/scott-hahn-books.html

I would say.....try to find a Catholic parish with a Perpetual Adoration chapel in your area...spend an hour there...just thinking/contemplating about Jesus....if you are ready and up to it. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Or attend a Mass if you have not...that is if you are ready.... You will find it very biblical....davidmacd.com/catholic/catholic_mass_bible_references_full_text.htm

[/quote]


#8

Dear Dal,

I have also been raised a protestant and can very much identify with your situation. I had the same realisations as you and have been fascinated with all kinds of beliefs and philosophies since then.

You say that you feel like a sheep that has been following all the time. But you must realise that most people who have been raised with any other religion (including Catholicism) are doing exactly the same!

To find out what is right for you, I think it is necessary to study as many facets of religion as possible, and thus get a grasp of the bigger picture.

I believe that life is great with all its aspects and that it is your right to be happy. So I strongly recommend that you do whatever feels right to you. If the recognition of those around you is more important to you than your own happiness... well, then you are the sheep you are talking about, and you seem to want to become something different.

I will stop here for now. If you would like further help from me, feel free to ask questions or to pm me.


#9

Since you seem to have found the resources yourself. If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask them here - just pick one at a time. It’ll be chaos otherwise.

As for dealing with unreceptive friends - this is a fact of life for people who go from evangelical or southern baptist or other similar denominations toward a more Catholic lean. There are plenty of people here that have experienced this very thing.

My mother once had a friend. She would go on walks and this lady would be outside gardening. They talked nearly every day and grew quite close. My mom was invited inside to have lunch regularly. One day my mother said something (if memory serves, she used the word mass instead of church), which prompted the lady to ask her if she was Catholic. She said yes, to which the lady dropped her gardening tools where they lay and walked straight inside and shut and locked the door. My mother kept going on her walks, and she saw the lady inside sometimes, but she would shut the blinds. She never tended her garden again, it fell into disarray and the tools she left right where she dropped them to rust. They were still there some six months later when we moved.

The point is that the chances are good that at least one person is going to absolutely loathe you, possibly for the rest of their life, for your change in perspective. The only thing you can do is be prepared and ready for it to happen and to pray for them when it does. You’re losing friends, but gaining a family.


#10

Dean, I will be praying for you. I began my journey to the church a little over a year ago by finding Catholic Answers. I read every track, quick questions, etc. I found the Catechism on the Vatican's website and started studying it. I never told a soul what I was doing. I prayed and studied. In addition to the Catechism I read the following books:
Born Fundamentalist...Born Again Catholic
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
Catholicism and Fundamentalism
Reasons to Believe
Signs of Life
Did Adam & Eve Have Belly Buttons

By the time I spoke to my Priest about joining the church I was so prepared I was confirmed by profession of faith. Once I knew I was being confirmed I started telling those in my life. To say they were surprised would be an understatement. I am very fortunate. For the most part everyone has been very supportive.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send a private message to me. I'd be happy to help you in anyway I can.

I'll pray for you. God Bless!


#11

[quote="Farsight001, post:9, topic:281162"]
One day my mother said something (if memory serves, she used the word mass instead of church), which prompted the lady to ask her if she was Catholic. She said yes, to which the lady dropped her gardening tools where they lay and walked straight inside and shut and locked the door. My mother kept going on her walks, and she saw the lady inside sometimes, but she would shut the blinds. She never tended her garden again, it fell into disarray and the tools she left right where she dropped them to rust. They were still there some six months later when we moved.

[/quote]

Wow... that's really sad. Why did the lady act that way? Did she think your mother was evil or something?


#12

You people don't know how much it means to me to be able to share this with you...and to have your support and ecouragement. Thank you so much. Time really doesn't allow it, but I'd love to reply to each one of you....I'll likely pm to those of you that offered...in the next day or so....I'll try not to be too much of an annoyance.

I may have said it before, but I am amazed at how open my mind is to learning about this...and taking this journey, wherever it leads. I do have a lot of questions that would be nice to hear thoughts on....and I will try to contain it to one topic at a time...but it seems that one thing often leads to another.

Oh, I might have a chance to pick up a book or two tomorrow....as my youngest daughter will probably deliver our 2nd grandbaby tomorrow in a Catholic hospital with a very nice gift shop! ...her labor is being induced in the morning. Prayers would be appreciated for my daughter, her husband and their soon to come little boy, Jack Dean. :)

Again, thanks to all that have responded and I look forward to reading what others might havve to say, too.

Bessing to you.
Dean


#13

That's wonderful news. I'm praying for a safe delivery.

My offer is always open. Ask as many questions as you would like to at a time. You don't have to limit it to one with me.


#14

[quote="c0ldb33r, post:11, topic:281162"]
Wow... that's really sad. Why did the lady act that way? Did she think your mother was evil or something?

[/quote]

Catholic and evil were synonymous to her.


#15

[quote="dal61, post:12, topic:281162"]

I may have said it before, but I am amazed at how open my mind is to learning about this...and taking this journey, wherever it leads. I do have a lot of questions that would be nice to hear thoughts on....and I will try to contain it to one topic at a time...but it seems that one thing often leads to another.

Oh, I might have a chance to pick up a book or two tomorrow....as my youngest daughter will probably deliver our 2nd grandbaby tomorrow in a Catholic hospital with a very nice gift shop! ...her labor is being induced in the morning. Prayers would be appreciated for my daughter, her husband and their soon to come little boy, Jack Dean. :)

[/quote]

Congratularions!!!! There is no greater joy than seeing brand new babies, especially when they belong to you! :D

Please feel free to pm me as well! I'm sure anyone on here would just be overjoyed to help you in any way possible!

I too converted to Catholicism (as a teen) although with one Catholic parent and a Catholic education I was already half way there. And it caused problems with family members of course. But it was because they themselves had not taken the time to understand Catholicism themselves and now that they have and they see how close and personal my relationship is to Jesus Christ we have truly become partners in Faith, albeit two different faiths :)

I picked Bernadette as my Confirmation name because of the same movie! Everyone told me I looked like the little girl in the movie and I just found the story so beautiful and precious. Another movie that opened my heart was "Romero" which is the story of the Archbishop of El Salvador who was murdered while saying Mass during the unrest of the 70s before civil war broke out there. Another more recent film that really filled me with wonder was "Therese" the faith and devotion of such a young and beautiful woman just touched my heart so much, I think you would enjoy it.
:D best of luck! be strong, people don't have to agree with you. If this is what you choose, its your life and your eternal life, not theirs. I've found a lot of people to hate me over the years but I love the Church and Jesus more than all their hate put together.


#16

Thanks MrsE ...we are heading to the hospital soon to be present when she delivers. As far as I know her laboring has gone as well as it could.

You know it wasn't until a few days into my journey that I stopped to think about how friends and family might react....and have come to the conclusion that until they look into it for themselves and at least learn the facts...it will be hard to change what they might think. Last night I watched an hour interview/call-in tv show with Scott hahn on you-tube....and am going to suggest it to family /friends when I get around to having a conversation w/ them.

Again thanks for the supportive feedback....it's really needed and appreciated.

Blessings to you.
Dean


#17

[quote="ReformedRadical, post:4, topic:281162"]
Hi Dean,

I'm in a very similar position. I've been a Christian for most of my life, and much of my church experience has been either Baptist or non-denominational. I recently completed a graduate degree in history, with my thesis focused on Church history from the Byzantine era. During my thesis research I found myself becoming more and more interested in Catholicism. My mother always referred to herself as a "recovering Catholic," and my wife thinks of herself in much the same way. The only devout Catholic in my life was my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago. As a Protestant, I never fully understood her beliefs-- but, I didn't ask, either! So, my feelings on Catholicism have never been particularly positive. But, I feel like my eyes are finally being opened, and I am much more willing to learn about what may very well be the true Church Christ intended. I still have a lot of questions, but I've read a couple books recently that have helped in my path: Why Catholic?, by Ray Chidell, and What Catholics Believe, by Fr. Martin Pable. I'm looking to read more, so any recommendations are also greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God Bless!
R

[/quote]

Hello Reformed Radical

Are you in England?
Ray Chiddel is a friend of mine.
God bless
Mike


#18

[quote="dal61, post:1, topic:281162"]
Hello all -
I've been protestant my whole life...the last 12 - 15 yrs we've been attending an evangelical church...basically raised 2 daughters there. And really have had the stereotypical view of the Catholic faith that most of you all imagine. On Easter Sunday, I watched the movie "Song of Bernadette". To say it started me thinking is a great understatement!...but for some reason, my view toward the Catholic faith is now very different....I just knew that the God that I love (and try to serve) would not doom such faithfull servants. I also realized that all I know is what I've been taught...and all I've been taught is what I've been open to learn about . Make sense? Let's just say my view is starting to widen. I am ashamed of how close minded I've been...and of the fact that I taught my kids in this manner, too. I feel like a sheep that has been just following along. Oh, BTW..both of my grown daughters have married Catholic men. :)

I've got plenty of questions to get answers to...starting with the basic things, I guess. The Catholic Answers site has an amazing amount of info...and I'm becoming addicted to reading it. I'm wanting to gain enough knowledge to honestly make my own decisions. Right now, I have no idea how I'll think about things...but I'm truly motivated to learn.

One of my concerns is how to explain this to family and friends...the fact that I am even reading and learning about Catholicism will be enough to flip some of them out. Any of you have to deal with this?....maybe I should just keep it to myself.

I just found the thread about books to read to learn...so I may pick up a book or 2.

I guess this thread might be an appeal for support as much as anything, as I am a little unsure about all of this...

I guess for now, I'm thanking God for opening my eyes a little.

Any thoughts or advise would be most welcome. Thanks.

Dean

[/quote]

JL: Our Lady of Fatima started me on my journey to the Church. I told no one as I wanted to learn from Catholic sources. I didn't want members of my family or non-denominational church trying to confuse me. I didn't tell any Catholic either. I was saying the rosary on my fingers about eight months before making the leap. I attended mass, to see what that was all about, on Saturday evenings in a town about thirty minutes away from the little town where I lived, which also had a Catholic Church. Sunday I would attend my Protestant Church.

When I made my decision I was pleasantly surprised at the mild reaction.


#19

This thread is awesome! :D Welcome home to all of ya'll that have come home, and howdy-do to all of you, and the OP, who are looking across the Tiber.

I'll add my prayers and support too, and am open to PMs anytime, for encouragement or questions or prayer requests or whatnot.


#20

Praise God! I'm so happy for you.

I too was lost in "evangelical protestanism" for decades.

Please read the works of** Dr. Scott Hahn.** He's all over Youtube as well. He was a Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism as did his wife. He too had LOTS of explaining to do among his staunchly protestant friends.

Please visit your closest Catholic parish and ask about signing up (it usually begins in the autumn) for** RCIA,** Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. I have just sponsored a dear friend since last September, and she joined The Faith this very Holy Saturday during the Great Easter Vigil. I am still in awe of the process, rejoicing in all the new people joining The Faith founded by Christ Himself.

You are so welcome on these forums, and I hope our replies help.
You would also love a movie about** St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,** "Mother Seton." and I think the title is "Miracles." She was a convert as well.

Finally, I think you would appreciate "A Man for All Seasons," about St. Thomas More. He stood for the True Church during the infamous reign of Henry VIII. He is one of my favorite saints.

I will pray to our Blessed Mother for you. I'm sure** Our Lady **is watching over you with great joy, you and all your family as well. :heaven::harp::heaven:

Many blessings!
Kathryn Ann


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