I’ve been to church with my family this morning - my husband was serving. It’s a low church, evangelical Anglican church. Blimey it was hard. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing outrageously awful about it, it just felt so very empty with taking communion, and even when I take communion there I feel like there’s something enormous missing.
I’d like to get to a mass, but we’re so heavily involved in church I can’t see where I’m going to get the opportunity. I pray the rosary and listen to a mass on the radio. I just feel trapped my circumstances. I’m not sure what to do. Any advice?
I was the RE at an Episcopal parish so I was also heavily involved. I wrote a note to the pastor explaining why I was leaving his parish to become Catholic. He never contacted me, but a lady who was a pillar of the parish came to my door and demanded to know why I was leaving. I simply explained that I had come to believe the teachings of the Catholic Church, so I wanted to become Catholic. She looked confused and flustered, but what could she say? It was my business not hers, really. I don’t write that to be the least bit snide, just that it’s true. Some people were understanding and accepting and others weren’t. But, really, you have to break the ties and move on. They will survive and so will you. Indeed, you will thrive, which is what God wants for you.
My heart goes out to you both. May I suggest a solution to your problem? Please read this for it is a wonderful message to you from your blessed mother Mary.
In 1840, Mary instructed Sister Bisqueyburu, in Paris, who was a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, to help people having difficulty in their faith or lack of it. She wanted the sister to promote to those people a scapular of her’s, the color of it was green, and it had her picture on it of her immaculate heart. It was a token from her of her love for them and that she would pray for them if they wore it, or carried it on them in her name. And the greater the trust the person had in her to obtain great graces for them, the more those graces would come.
It is a her gift to us and her own wish that we carry it, and a favour to her that we carry it as she requested. She is our mother, and you know how mothers are, they can’t do enough for their child. Always worring about them and caring for them. Well, she is no different than any other mother and wants to make sure about our wellbeing. So she asks that this beautiful gift from her be used to bring us the help we need.
And here are some of the benefits of it:
… Conversion of those who do not have the faith
… Reconciliation to the Church for those who have lost/strayed from the faith
… Assurance of a peaceful death
… Strengthening of the faith for those already in the Church
… Protection from Satan for those who wear or promote the scapular
However for it to work, Mary did ask a favour of you.
The green scapular should be blessed.
Wear it around the neck, or carry it on you, in your wallet, purse, pocket.
Say this prayer at least once every day:
“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
Have great trust in her. Place yourself in her care and tell her that you know your problem is taken care of because she promised on her word. And thank her every day.
She didn’t say when, only that she would do it for you.
A free green scapular may be obtained by googling “geen scapular”.
May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.
Yes, bless their hearts, your Protestant church simply cannot confect the species of bread and wine (not grape juice). What they have is a prayer service, but they are not able to have a true communion service. The most that can be said is they have a form of spiritual communion, and that’s only possible because the real communion exists in the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Eruvande, ask the prayers of Blessed John Henry Newman. You probably know that he was one of the most eminent theologians in the Church of England at the time of his conversion, which certainly ruffled many Anglican feathers. But we can be certain that his work as a Catholic priest did far more good than his work in the Church of England.
If you haven’t read it yet, his Apologia is an excellent work from which you might take much good counsel.
You would be barred from this ministry if you became Catholic? Could you keep in contact with them? Or, you could volunteer for a similar outreach in your Catholic parish or through many Catholic charities. It’s certainly a matter for prayer.
I’m already girding my loins about my husband and many non Catholic friends, some of whom are quite prominent Protestants, and the firestorm of protest should I convert…
Yes, having a spouse not with you is very difficult. You might want to contact The Coming Home Network for support with that, and with leaving behind your Protestant church. They’ve helped thousands in your same situation. You have my prayers.
I think you’ll find the early stages are the worst. After a while they’ll mostly give up, and just let you go on your way (erroneous in their opinion). The main problem is your family, which is a relationship you will not want to sacrifice.
What you will need to do is some research on why you want to convert, so that you’ve got some answers. These days you can do a lot of it on the net - there’s a lot of good Catholic apologetics out there.
But don’t think you need all the answers at your fingertips. If someone challenges you and you don’t know the answer at that stage, just say so, but then get back to them later after you’ve checked your facts. You’re not a walking encyclopedia.
Oh I know there’ll be a price. Always is, and yes, my family is my main concern. Which is one of the reasons this is so difficult - my children are also heavily involved in church, and I don’t want that to change.
It would probably help to start delegating more tasks to other people as you can, and do not volunteer or join in any new ones as you complete something (you may or may not be able to do this with your children, as well, depending on your husband’s view of things). I know some things are much harder to “bow out” of than others… drop the easier ones first. As soon as you have the opportunity to “retire” from a ministry, do so. If you like to keep busy, you might also fill some of that time with volunteering in Catholic ministries, or perhaps spending an hour in Perpetual Adoration, if that’s an option for you.
Learn to say, “Oh, I can’t, I’m sorry.” Hint: You don’t have to explain why you can’t, but some people will want a reason. So, if they aren’t close enough to you to get a full explanation, simply cite, “personal reasons.” Because that’s the truth, in brief form, but it won’t get you sucked into a debate before you are ready.
I’m not sure how far along you are in your conversion, or whether you are in a RCIA program or similar, so take the following with that in mind. Generally, joining the Catholic Church takes some time (our parish program is about 9 months long, beginning in September, though there are exceptions made), and you’ll be learning and discerning as you go, so keep in mind that you may have a few months to make the transition a bit less sudden.
To the OP, I was in your shoes, highly involved in a protestant church. It took a year to detangle myself from ministry. Kindly enough the pastor gave us his blessing and left the door open if we wanted to come back. That was three years ago. Though my husband is now seeing the Catholic faith as the true faith, we made a horrible detour through the Eastern Orthodox and oddly enough the lack of Catholic priests has made our journey home most difficult. I do not recommend any of the Catholic coming home ministries. But I do recommend trying to find a priest asap to start you in the process BUT do not leave your current church until you are nestled in a Catholic one. It may take years, and the spiritual dryness and lack of support will leave you worse off than simply staying put in a protestant church. Btdt.
Indeed, it can be a long process, especially with children involved and a husband who is not interested in converting. Each of us has/had his own issues to deal with and no one way of disentangling oneself from a church one is deeply involved in will be right for everyone, of course.
I am curious why you write that you don’t recommend any Catholic coming home ministries. The Coming Home Network in particular has a very good track record with many people finding it a wonderful support while transitioning from their former ecclesial associations/ministries.
And not all areas of the country (thinking just of the USA here) have a shortage of priests, either. My parish has 3 as does most in our large metropolitan area. Outlying areas may have only one or share, but that’s not the norm where I’m from.
Yes. You can call to set up an appointment. Lay out all your concerns before him. He’ll be able to advise you as to how you may proceed and give you names of people in the parish involved in youth ministry/education and other areas of need/interest or in which you could become involved, if you should wish to do so. RCIA usually starts in September so you’ll have the whole summer to begin your transition to the Church. God bless you and yours.
The Coming Home Network has dealt with “reverts,” as well. Some folks have been away from the Church for so long or been so heavily involved in anti-Catholic groups that they have a lot of misunderstandings and baggage to unload before they can be reconciled to the Church. Having someone to help guide them through that process can be very helpful.