Coming "home"


#1

Hello friends. I'm so glad I've found this forum. As someone who is in the process of converting its nice to know there are Catholics out there willing to listen and offer advice. Im not sure if I'm posting in the correct thread so please bear with me. Perhaps I should give a little background.

I was raised Methodist but as I grew older and went to Catholic school my freshman year of high school I felt what only can be described as a calling to convert. I admit I lost faith in my early twenties after a series a tragedies and personal issues. I was a broken person. But somehow my faith was renewed, especially after the birth of my daughter past August. I thought after I set up her Christening in my old Methodist church that I would just raise her Methodist but after the service I realized more than ever that the Methodist Chrich was no longer "home" to me.

I set up a meeting with our local parishes rcia administrator, sister Rita. She was wonderful and my little daughter loved her. I was discouraged when I was told that our parish only does Rcia once a year and I would have to wait until September to start. I am baptized, went to church most of my life and have had some catechism (religion class everyday for a year). Never the less, I have been going to mass weekly and I must tell you I really enjoy it. I feel happier than I have in years.

My parents are confused by my conversion. They don't understand why I want to be catholic. My husband is too (he is a Southern Baptist) although he is supportive. I want to raise our daughter in the church and send her to catholic school. How can I explain to people without sounding hokey, that I felt a calling and I answered?


#2

Be yourself, and state what you did in this post. Simple, to the point, and non-confrontational.

As to RCIA, be patient. It will be worth it. The discipline to wait is of great benefit, and allows you to grow in knowledge and long for the Eucharist even more as you wait. If you can, attend the Easter Vigil mass, and you can see what you will go through next year.

One of the most important things we can learn is to be obedient to Christ's Church, and to show this obedience is to be patient and accept the method the Church has established to welcome you to the Church. There are good reasons for the wait, so that the decision to come into the Church is well-thought-out, and not taken lightly.

Regarding your husband, I would suggest offering the idea to him to attend RCIA with you. There is no requirement to join the Church, but could help him understand better Church teachings so that he feels more comfortable. Maybe even a book like Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. John Trigilio would help, so that he and you could look up some teachings that you don't understand.

God bless!


#3

[quote="Ashlea2685, post:1, topic:315933"]
Hello friends. I'm so glad I've found this forum. As someone who is in the process of converting its nice to know there are Catholics out there willing to listen and offer advice. Im not sure if I'm posting in the correct thread so please bear with me. Perhaps I should give a little background.

I was raised Methodist but as I grew older and went to Catholic school my freshman year of high school I felt what only can be described as a calling to convert. I admit I lost faith in my early twenties after a series a tragedies and personal issues. I was a broken person. But somehow my faith was renewed, especially after the birth of my daughter past August. I thought after I set up her Christening in my old Methodist church that I would just raise her Methodist but after the service I realized more than ever that the Methodist Chrich was no longer "home" to me.

I set up a meeting with our local parishes rcia administrator, sister Rita. She was wonderful and my little daughter loved her. I was discouraged when I was told that our parish only does Rcia once a year and I would have to wait until September to start. I am baptized, went to church most of my life and have had some catechism (religion class everyday for a year). Never the less, I have been going to mass weekly and I must tell you I really enjoy it. I feel happier than I have in years.

My parents are confused by my conversion. They don't understand why I want to be catholic. My husband is too (he is a Southern Baptist) although he is supportive. I want to raise our daughter in the church and send her to catholic school. How can I explain to people without sounding hokey, that I felt a calling and I answered?

[/quote]

I am so glad you are coming home and you will be in my prayers!

I am the only Catholic on both sides of my family. It’s the same for my wife as well. You can make an appointment with the parish priest and talk with him. Maybe you can join the Church this year. It all depends on where you are at in your spiritual journey. The priest will help you discern that. RCIA is a wonderful learning tool. I went through it with my wife and actually learned things I never really knew on some subjects. I would really suggest you to attend the class to grow in your faith! ;)

My family is Southern Baptist and Anglican. The Anglicans were more understanding of my conversion than the SB side. Sometimes God's calling is not always easy for us. We often will struggle and suffer in those callings. I suffered many times during my conversion but I knew that my suffering was nothing when compared to what Christ suffered for all of us!

Become a faithful and loving Catholic. Allow your life to be a witness to your Protestant family. Allow them to see Christ at work in you through His Church. I am sure you will encounter much grief for your conversion. Instead of getting frustrated and angry, but proud and thankful that you can share in the suffering of our Lord!

May God forever bless you and your family! May He continue to strengthen you on your journey and use you as a witness to those you love and love you!


#4

True Christians do not need any explanation when someone tells them that God is calling. But, given your background you might need some time for people to get on board. Pray constantly that God will speak to the hearts of your family and open their minds to your call. Welcome to the Church. I spent some time in the Methodist Church, if ever I met people who should be able to come to terms with your decision it would be them, open minds, open hearts, open doors. Hopefully your family believes the open mind part.


#5

It is so wonderful to hear this! I have been waiting for over a year to be received into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It has been at times agonizingly slow and at times the months seem to have flown by. Now we are just a very few short LONG weeks from the Easter Vigil and I can hardly wait. Believe me when I say it is well worth the wait. I have learned so much this past year, RCIA has been a blessing and the others in my class are very precious to me now. I am now officially a member of the Tiber Synchronized Swim Team 2013 :thumbsup:

Edited to add: A very wise woman told me to say to anyone questioning my conversion that I know in the depths of my soul that God is asking this of me and I must be obedient.


#6

Ashlea,

I am so happy for you!! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about RCIA or coming into the Catholic Faith because I was once there too.


#7

Welcome home!!
I am currently in RCIA, it is definately worth the wait.


#8

If hearing and responding to the call of the Lord is "hokey", then we should all strive to be as hokey as possible. :)

I think you did a great job succinctly stating things in the OP (original post). Perhaps some will be confused at first. They might even find it a bit hokey. What will end up speaking to them the most is the change they witness in you over time. Once they see that you are a happier, holier person because of this conversion, they will find it hard to argue that you were doing the right thing.

That doesn't happen over night, of course. Just keep walking that path with the Lord. :thumbsup:


#9

Welcome home!

The Sister was speaking in general terms. As you are already baptized, RCIA is not required for you. It is a program for unbaptized people and has been adapted for Protestants mainly for convenience. You can ask to be exempted. If you feel you are well-informed on the Catholic faith you could approach your priest and ask for an exemption. If he refuses, you can ask the bishop. Famed Catholic apologist Scott Hahn approached his priest during Holy Week and was received into the Church that Easter (it helped that he had been studying Catholicism intensely for years prior). Expect to be tested.

If your appeal is declined or you are judged inadequately formed to receive Confirmation yet, submit to the priest’s judgement out of obedience.


#10

Wow. The amount of love and support you all have shown me thus far is just further evidence that he Catholic Church is where I need to be. Thanks to all. From the bottom of my heart.

I'd like to elaborate further on my parents and husband. My father was Christened And raised Catholic, having a Polish Catholic father. He never completed his sacraments. My mothers mother was Italian Catholic but for some strange reason (probably my controlling Methodist grandfather) she had her children baptized Methodist. Through marriage all of my aunts and uncle from my mothers side are now Catholic as are all of my cousins. My father has reservations about the church because of the sex abuse with priests which many people do. My mother is glad in going to church but almost feels a little resentful, thinking that the church she raised me in was apparently not "good enough" for me. She'll get over it. My brother and sister are both in serious relationships with Catholics so there conversion will come soon. My husband is not receptive to converting at all. its nothing personal with the church he just has his own relationship win God and the Catholic church does not resonate with him however like I said he is accepting of me converting and converting our daughter. He's actually happy that I want to send her to Catholic school because she'll have a great education and she'll be taught the word of God everyday. Something blatantly absent in public school.

I was told because my husband and I were not married in a church we'll need a "blessing" for our marriage. Also might I add my husband was married and divorced before me (long story short he married a woman with severe mental illness who he was forced to file a restraining order against). Does anyone know what this blessing entails?

Also will I have to actually be re-baptized? Water on my head and all? And how will my daughter be re-baptized (she was baptized at 3 months old in the Methodist church)?


#11

[quote="Ashlea2685, post:10, topic:315933"]

I was told because my husband and I were not married in a church we'll need a "blessing" for our marriage. Also might I add my husband was married and divorced before me (long story short he married a woman with severe mental illness who he was forced to file a restraining order against). Does anyone know what this blessing entails?

Also will I have to actually be re-baptized? Water on my head and all? And how will my daughter be re-baptized (she was baptized at 3 months old in the Methodist church)?

[/quote]

As to the marriage, you will need to speak with the priest, and the sooner, the better. He will need to get a decree of nullity (annulment) for his first marriage so that the marriage can be convalidated in the Church. This is a serious matter. It is because the Church takes VERY seriously Christ's command that marriage is for life. If neither he nor his ex-wife were Catholic, it should make the process somewhat easier, as they probably did not have a true understanding of the Church's teaching on marriage. Your husband may not understand this issue, so I would discuss this with the priest as well about the best way to discuss it with him so he understands the Catholic perspective correctly and doesn't get the wrong impression.

Unless there was something askew with yours and your daughter's baptism, they are valid and accepted by the Church. You would receive Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Your daughter, depending on her age, will receive one or both of these (and if she is younger than 7 or so, maybe neither, she would go through normal classes and preparation with other children her age.)

Considering the questions involved, I would highly suggest going through RCIA so you have plenty of time to work these out, and become fully informed on the faith.


#12

[quote="zz912, post:11, topic:315933"]
Considering the questions involved, I would highly suggest going through RCIA so you have plenty of time to work these out, and become fully informed on the faith.

[/quote]

Indeed. :sad_yes:

Ashlea, I'm afraid I now have to agree that your entry into the Church will not be quick and painless. It will be a struggle. Whenever it is difficult, think how our Lord suffered for you and how He is helping you through.


#13

[quote="Ashlea2685, post:10, topic:315933"]
Wow. The amount of love and support you all have shown me thus far is just further evidence that he Catholic Church is where I need to be. Thanks to all. From the bottom of my heart.

I'd like to elaborate further on my parents and husband. My father was Christened And raised Catholic, having a Polish Catholic father. He never completed his sacraments. My mothers mother was Italian Catholic but for some strange reason (probably my controlling Methodist grandfather) she had her children baptized Methodist. Through marriage all of my aunts and uncle from my mothers side are now Catholic as are all of my cousins. My father has reservations about the church because of the sex abuse with priests which many people do. My mother is glad in going to church but almost feels a little resentful, thinking that the church she raised me in was apparently not "good enough" for me. She'll get over it. My brother and sister are both in serious relationships with Catholics so there conversion will come soon. My husband is not receptive to converting at all. its nothing personal with the church he just has his own relationship win God and the Catholic church does not resonate with him however like I said he is accepting of me converting and converting our daughter. He's actually happy that I want to send her to Catholic school because she'll have a great education and she'll be taught the word of God everyday. Something blatantly absent in public school.

I was told because my husband and I were not married in a church we'll need a "blessing" for our marriage. Also might I add my husband was married and divorced before me (long story short he married a woman with severe mental illness who he was forced to file a restraining order against). Does anyone know what this blessing entails?

Also will I have to actually be re-baptized? Water on my head and all? And how will my daughter be re-baptized (she was baptized at 3 months old in the Methodist church)?

[/quote]

There can be a lot of variables at play in making sure the marriage situation is straightened out. You'll need to consult with your priest on what steps to take.

A person can only receive the Sacrament of Baptism once. If you were baptized with the Trinitarian formula, you wouldn't need to be baptized. If there was some doubt about whether you were validly baptized or not, then the priest might "conditionally" baptize you. This would look much like any other Baptism. It basically means, "in case you were not validly baptized before, now you are; and if you were validly baptized, then we're just pouring water over your head." ;)


#14

Rather than receiving a "blessing" of your marriage, you would have your marriage convalidated. This is a REAL wedding that may be as simple as having you, your husband, the priest, and two witnesses and will be done in the church. My husband of nearly 35 years and I are having our marriage convalidated next week on my birthday :thumbsup: and I am thrilled. He is not becoming Catholic and has no interest at all but we still need to have this done. BTW, I also had a previous marriage that had to be nullified. So I would echo the others who have encouraged you to go through RCIA and get the necessary things done, at least started, at your earliest convenience, as the nullification request may take a while.

I wish you all the best and hope everything works out well for you so that we will be rejoicing with you when you are received into the Catholic Church. It will be well worth the wait.


#15

Thanks everyone. From what the sister told me since my husband and his ex were not married in a church and neither are catholic the process isn't as involved as you are all describing. She really didn't seem that fussed about it. She described having blessing of our marriage (similar to what HoosMommie described) and I would go through RCIA.


#16

[quote="Ashlea2685, post:15, topic:315933"]
Thanks everyone. From what the sister told me since my husband and his ex were not married in a church and neither are catholic the process isn't as involved as you are all describing. She really didn't seem that fussed about it. She described having blessing of our marriage (similar to what HoosMommie described) and I would go through RCIA.

[/quote]

Here is something for you to read..and share with the protestant side of your family...as you see fit.....zuserver2.star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m1/Mod1.html


#17

Welcome home sis


#18

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