Conversion Stories...

Hello,

I listen to audiobooks while I potter about the house; at the moment it’s Scott Hahn’s Church Fathers series. Highly recommended! :slight_smile: One talk was given by a Baptist convert to Catholicism, by his own account, it was a difficult journey for him.

I love to read these accounts, partly from awe and partly from a desire to deeply feel the true worth of what; as a cradle Catholic; I’ve taken for granted my whole life. I wonder whether I would have the courage to seek the truth down the paths these converts took; paths that often led them away from their communities, friends and sometimes, families.

So, if it isn’t too much to ask; would some of the Tiber Swim Team here on CAF please share their conversion stories? I know they would be of great assistance to me as I seek to connect more deeply with my faith and perhaps it might encourage those staring with a toe in the water to take the plunge? :smiley:

Thank you!

I always thought it would be great if a book was published and sold on this site of conversion stories from those that post here.
Mary,.

A set of 3 books by Patrick Madrid are great conversion stories. “Surprised by Truth” vols., I ,2 and 3. I have learned sooo much from them. I am also a cradle Catholic and agree with Jenny… God Bless, Memaw

Thanks Memaw, I’ve read the whole series! An excellent read.
Mary.

I recommend watching the Journey Home series by Marcus Grodi on YouTube.
I particularly like it when somebody with a total lack of belief turns into a fervent Catholic. Jennifer Fulwiler is a good example - watch her telling her story: youtube.com/watch?v=sXmX8NrpaLE

I was born into a non-church-attending Church of England family, but I was always encouraged to go to church regularly, to join in the activities and be part of it all. I attended the CofE school attached to the church when I was a young kid.

I drifted away as life took me elsewhere, but I always wanted to feel that I belonged. I never felt like anything but an outsider at my own church, even though everyone knew me there. Throughout my teens, I tried out many different churches - evangelical, Salvation Army, charismatic Pentecostal (in somebody’s front room :)), high church, low church … all interesting, none right for me. I even started thinking about Judaism.

I never stopped looking, really. I thought a lot about faith, I wanted to be able to say “I believe” and mean it. As a teenager, I visited a famous Catholic church in Manchester and went to Mass - I can’t even remember now why I was in Manchester that weekend, without my parents. The service had an impact on me, the incense, the Latin. It was mystical and beautiful.

I kept Catholicism in my mind. Through my 20s and 30s I attended the local Catholic church near my home a number of times. I sat at the back, I watched what went on. The church was always packed out with young families. I thought how good it was to see a full church - rare in the CofE. I liked it there.

In my late 30s and early 40s I probably would have made a commitment to Catholicism, had I not been with someone who was strongly opposed to the Catholic church (for no good reason). My life changed again when I turned 50. I wanted to go back to church, so remembering how I’d enjoyed going to the Catholic church, I tried an Anglo-Catholic parish in my home town. The services were full of ceremony, but the pews were empty and the priest said inappropriate things in his homily, in my view. So I stopped attending.

And then suddenly, last year, I just thought to myself “I really want to be Catholic, I want to belong to the church founded on Peter”. I started reading about the Ordinariate, it all looked a bit complicated. So I looked at the website of my nearest Catholic church. It was friendly and welcoming. I saw that the RCIA course was due to start the following week. I sent an email to the priest and received a lovely reply. I went to the first session - and I was on my way!

I couldn’t make all the sessions last Autumn, as we live in Italy part-time, so I had some meetings one-to-one with the priest to catch up. He has been wonderful, I can’t thank him enough for his understanding and compassion. After Christmas, I was able to attend every RCIA session, started attending other activities at the church and was made to feel so very welcome.

I was so happy to be received into the Catholic Church last month. Holy Week was a great experience. And now I feel that I belong. :slight_smile:

I am now 56 and I wish I’d not wasted so many years. We are now back in Italy, but I’m attending Mass here in our little village and enjoying the difference! I know I’m at the beginning of my real faith journey, even though I’m definitely not at the beginning of my life - but at least I’m now on the right road. I feel I was always meant to be Catholic, and now I am. :slight_smile:

Great story!!:tiphat:

I agree and you brought tears!. Welcome home and I hope your family is there with you. God Bless, Memaw

What a wonderful story! It looks like God whispered in your ear for a few years, then eventually tried a megaphone! :smiley:

Welcome home, my dear. x

It was getting serious. Anyone could see that. And even though no proposal had been made or accepted, we began to make the compromises that all couples make. But there was one compromise that I knew I would never make. No child of mine would ever be raised as a Roman Catholic. That much was certain. I mean, just who did these Catholics think they were? We all believed in Christ. We were all in the same league. Just different teams…different teams.

It so happened that I was attending a Catholic college at night - La Salle in Philadelphia. Faith had nothing to do with it. It was just two miles from my home and easy to reach after work. In between classes, I would go over to the cafeteria to relax. One night, I noticed a pamphlet rack. There were several titles covering what several of the Protestant faiths believed and one was of mine. Now, I just had to read that one. I was certain that either there would be errors or, even worse, downright lies. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that not only was it accurate, it was also accurate. As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts.”

But wait! There was one on the Methodists and another on the Baptists. I knew something of them through friends so I bought and read them. Same thing - ‘just the facts’.

There were others on the rack covering confession, the Eucharist, the Pope, etc. One by one I read these so as to develop my arguments that I knew would be coming with my future wife. And one by one, I found myself being backed into a corner by these pamphlets. Imagine having to argue with these small tracts! And losing!

Three months later, I asked Nancy to introduce me to a priest and the rest is history. I joined the Church just a few months later. I wish I could say that it has been smooth sailing but it hasn’t. But I do know that I made the right decision.

It never ceases to amaze me the ways God reaches out to his children to call them into His Church. God Bless, Memaw

Thank you for the kind comments, folks. x

Welcome home! I have no doubt your guardian angel had something to do about your decision to attend the ‘most convenient’ college! I also have no doubt that; kicking as screaming as you were, your truth was very compelling.

I confess to envy; someone who learnt the faith on their Mammy’s knee will never face these trials. Please, be sure to tell your cradle Catholic children this wonderful story. :blush:

Good idea, maybe you could instigate it!! I also love to hear stories of how priests found their vocation. I have heard some really good ones. God Bless, Memaw

Reserve me a copy please!!! :smiley:

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here and this seems like a great topic to bring me back. I’ll actually keep my story pretty short.

I was raised in a Baptist church. In fact, it was a fundamentalist type church of the sort that only accepted the KJV of the Bible as reliable. I tried, throughout my life, to believe what was being taught, but I had, what I thought were legitimate questions (I won’t recount them really, but they would range from ‘why does the Bible say this here and that there’, or ‘if someone has never had the possibility to hear about Jesus, then why would God send them to hell’ and so on). I was met with answers such as ‘that is just how it is’, ‘you have to have faith’ or whatever. In all these instances, there seemed to always have to be an explaining away of certain Bible passages.

Well, I basically, during junior high and high school, left my faith. I pretended with my parents that I believed, but I didn’t. I basically just hated everything around me. Once I got to my senior year, I moved out, told my parents I was done with religion and that they were hypocrites, and left the faith en totale.

I looked into every religion from Buddhism, to Wicca to Satanism…even other types of Christianity (or pseudo Christianity). This was interesting, of course, but nothing seemed “right”. Finally, I decided that I needed God and started reading the Bible again.

My wife, who is not a believer interestingly enough, suggested at one point, if you’re going to be a Christian, then at least be a Catholic since they’re the oldest. I had thought of Catholicism, but never really investigated. I decided to do just that.

Once I began looking into Catholic teaching, I found that, as I thought of it at the time, it was a logical take on Christian faith. The more I looked into the faith, the more the Bible made sense. It was bringing new insight. Nothing had to be “explained away,” it was just explained.

I came into the church on the feast of Corpus Christi, which was celebrated in my Parish June 14, 2009. I felt at home finally. I’ve had struggles since then and questioned whether I still felt “at home.” But I have actually not questioned the Catholic Church being Christ’s church and I grow closer everyday to Him through His Church…

OK, not so short. Sorry.

Thank you for sharing your story, It was wonderful, welcome home and keep on learning. I am a so called “cradle” Catholic but I learn sooo much more all the time. Senior Citizen now and never to old to learn! God Bless, Memaw

What a wonderful story! Looks like you took the long road home but I’m glad you gor there! :slight_smile:

What about revert stories? I have read and watched many conversion stories about non-Catholics finding the true faith. As I tried to revert I didnt find what I thought I remembered. That left me in a very empty place. I wonder how many Catholics left or were taken out of the church after the late 60’s and managed to find their way back? I finally did, but home is now an Eastern Catholic sui juris. I still look upon my Roman friends with longing. But at least we still share Papa Francis. It was here that a priest was not too busy to listen to me, truly listen, not filling out forms or registering me for classes. I didnt have to struggle to prove my faith, to relearn what I had lived, I can finally just be, like I was before I was taken away.

Casilda, your story has touched my heart. I also ‘wandered in the desert’ but found my way home, since I had been taught my faith within my family. Pray for guidance and it won’t pass you by. x

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