Conversion


#1

Who out of the non-Catholics here are:

  1. In RCIA and/or in the process of converting
  2. Not in RCIA, but seriously contemplating conversion.
  3. Not necessarily contemplating, but have learned enough to take a serious look, and haven’t ruled Catholicsm out.

If you are one of these, I’d love to hear which one you are and whatever you wish to include with it. Especially the whens, the whys, and the worries. :cool:


#2

Well, I’m in the process of converting. I started RCIA in August 2004. However, during the process, I came across some problems (family issues) and decided that the process was going too fast as I still had some issues (non-family). So, put my reconcilliation in March on hold - well, it’s too late now. :frowning: That being said however, I still plan on coming into full communion with the True Church, and am using this time to grow in faith in some of the things I may believe in intellectually, but not so clearly in my heart. I love this Church and look to the day when I will no longer be a “separated brethern”.


#3

I’m in the process of converting too. I started RCIA in July 2004. Right now I plan to get baptized and confirmed on Easter Sunday. I can’t say with absolute certainty that this will happen yet because I want to take things one day at a time. I’ve discovered that many of the things the church teaches correspond to my views on life, both intellectually and in my heart. My family hasn’t intervened in my journey (in fact, most of my relatives don’t know I’m doing this). My parents are supportive, even though they are a little taken aback by it. I love the church and plan to convert, but I wonder why God has chosen me to go on this journey. My mom is a fallen away Catholic convert, my dad is a borderline atheist, and my godparents are devout atheists. I invited my second mother (a non-relative) to be my RCIA sponsor, but she hasn’t been practicing it for quite a few years. Can anybody explain to me why God may be steering me in this direction. He has given me so many graces that I don’t want to risk throwing them all away. If I don’t get converted this year, I hope to complete the process by next year.

Don


#4

All right you rotten people. I see that 4 of you have voted (well, 5 but I was one of them so it doesn’t count) and I’ve only gotten TWO REPLIES!! I WANT STORIES!!!

I’m already getting conversion stories so that’s not what I’m after. I’m after “I’m thinking about converting” stories. I WANT MY STORIES tantrum

heh…seriously though. Maybe there’s not a whole lot here in any of the situations I described in my first post or in the poll. But if there are…I WANT STORIES!! :rotfl:


#5

There are MANY converts on here, why not ask them for their stories, or make “I converted” an option on your poll? :slight_smile:


#6

Mainly because that poll/thread has been done before.


#7

Here goes:

As the son of a Baptist pastor in a conservative family, my church life as a child consisted of attending numerous small, friendly, family-oriented Evangelical churches throughout eastern Texas. My spiritual journey was marked with baptism at age 9, Sunday school, church summer camps, youth group events and annual church “revivals.” Above all else, church was a place to go for fellowship with other Christians. Worship consisted primarily of singing hymns and occasional testimonies or re-dedications to Christ, and the best days at church were those in which we had a pot-luck supper after services!

My young adult development included many events that helped to lull me into spiritual apathy. My parents divorced, I went off to college, I began working on weekends, and for a variety of other reasons I became relatively un-churched for a period that amounts to almost 10 years. I never fell into anything particularly sinister or terrible really. I even still said a regular silent prayer before bed and, if somewhat indifferently, sought God’s guidance for my life. However, there was a distinct void in my life that I just could not put my finger on.

More recently, a series of what I am sure are divinely inspired events lead me back to church attendance at a psuedo-Baptist “non-denominational” church. I became closer in my walk with God than I had been since the relative innocence of my childhood, but there was still something lacking. Little did I know I would find that lacking element when I began dating a nice Catholic girl. I didn’t know much about Catholicism except what I had seen on TV and heard in occasional anecdotes. I loved the movie “Dogma” and I praised the misguided message of the movie “Stigmata.” Despite not having much knowledge of Catholicism, I already had a deeply planted dislike for everything Catholic.

Following a series of “heated discussions” with this nice Catholic girl, I went on a search for information refuting the validity of Catholicism. I was sure I could find information that would convince her that she should be a Baptist, or for that matter any kind of Protestant. My search, however, lead me to information that often seemed spurious, contrived and manipulative. While many of the authors of such material had great intentions, the end result was often an unconvincing collection of partial truths. I then decided to focus on apologetics and historical studies of my own religion. To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything of significance before the 16th century that wasn’t clearly Catholic, and nothing that would indicate any “universal” nature to being a Baptist. I had decided to give up on this pursuit, and I broke things off with my nice Catholic girl.

However, for reasons that am still unsure of, I agreed to go on a retreat her a few months later – a Catholic retreat. I would only later realize the great significance of this trip. My intense despise for Catholicism turned to confused awe after attending this retreat. In the silence and peace of the small chapel, I believe I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as the consecration of the Eucharist took place during the mass. For the first time I felt that something I had thought to be silly superstition might actually be real. This feeling lead me to again immerse myself into studying Scriptures, history and Apologetics. It became apparent to me that I was drawn to the Catholic Church by virtue of absolute, undeniable truth. It became further apparent to me that I had only two realistic choices before me: to deny the validity of Christianity and put into question everything that I believe or to affirm my belief in Christ and come into full communion with the Catholic Church. Thankfully I have chosen the latter. Along with dozens of books (Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Stephen K. Ray, etc.) and lots of prayer, the RCIA program is helping me to fully understand and accept the teachings of the Church. I anxiously await my entry into the Catholic Church on Palm Sunday this year, so that I may finally enter fully into communion with the Church established by Christ.

-SouthCoast (Age 29)


#8

Don, SouthCoast…wonderful. Great stories. Thank you.


#9

I’m choice #2, not in RCIA but seriously thinking about it. I’ll leave out the long history and just say that I was baptized and confirmed at an Episcopal church a year ago even though I had studied scripture and Christianity for much longer. Despite my happiness at conversion I stopped going about five months later, kind of just drifting away. I did not exactly lose faith in God but I just kind of stopped caring so much. I’ve been trying to dig deeper into my faith and the more I learn about Catholicism the more it explains all the little niggling things in scripture that I had just ignored before. It makes sense, is the best way I can put it. A month ago I bought a copy of the CCC and now I’m more than halfway through it. I’ve been attending Mass at a local Catholic church for the past 4 weeks as well. Very soon I plan on contacting the education director at the church to set up an appointment to discuss all these things with her.

I do have a number of concerns, but none that won’t go away as my faith grows, which I pray that it does.

My real problem is not book-knowledge. I have plenty of that. It’s spiritual knowledge. My biggest weakness is confusing the one with the other.


#10

Dbarrie…

I bet there are a boatload of souls like you who wonder why God is leading them into the Catholic faith. I’m sure it’s confusing at times. I’m a “RE-vert” that was gone into all the other churches for about 34 years and found them wanting after a guy attacked the church about the Blessed Mother. (“You Catholics worship Mary…” :rolleyes: ) It was that attack that got me digging into the teachings of the Catholic Church to insure that what he had said was untrue. (Though I must say that even as a fallen away Catholic I KNEW he was full of baloney {My apologies to the lunchmeat…} when he said it, told him so , and promised to prove it. He refused to listen to me or look at what I’d found when I kept my word and brought it to him. Dishonest?)

I am firmly convinced that all conversions are the work of the Holy Spirit, my own included. I have sometimes wished that I COULD be non-Catholic because to me it’s easier than Catholicism. You don’t HAVE TO go to church every Sunday…You don’t HAVE TO humble yourself and go to confession…and you don’t HAVE TO acknowlege the 2,000 years of history that gives us the Living Traditions of our faith. BTW I do all those things joyfully now because they are part of the way that I meet Christ in my life and I love it because I love Him.) All ya gotta do is show up “when the spirit moves you”, sing, say “amen”& Hallelujah" out loud and do your best to interpret the Bible all by yourself. (But for God’s sake don’t pay any attention to John 6, 1st Cor 10:16, & 11:23-29 or any of the last supper passages…oh yeah…and read around Matthew 16:13-19 or John 20:24 & 25, because you might just see the NT basis for the things that the Catholics believe. THEY JUST CAN’T BE RIGHT! NO WAY! But ya know what? Because I am commited to the truth at all costs, I HAD TO come back to the Catholic Church once I saw with my own eyes that they really are teaching the real NT Christianity. I’ve been “home” now about 3 years and I’m convinced heart, soul, mind, and body that every doctrine is true. Even more, I KNOW in my soul that when Msgr Hunt or Fr. Path or Fr. Knox lifts that big host and says “This is my body…”, that I’m looking the risen Son of God in the eye. Jesus promised it, I believe it, and (as out Prot friends say) that settles it.

Yes it’s mystical, but so what? ALL miracles are mystical…the resurrection is mystical, and salvation is mystical… CHRISTIANITY is mystical and only a fool will try to deny something so obvious.

Does any of this make sense? I’m rambling, but that’s because I’m wrapped up in the spiritual reality of Christianity. The kind that a man would lay down his life for like the early church fathers did.
Pax vobiscum,


#11

Since I’m not QUITE ready to let this thread die just yet, I thought I’d ask another question. And it’s a real question too…not just something random to bump the thread up.

Again my target is those considering conversion, but now I want to include those that have already converted. (I don’t know how to add another poll option or I would. And btw, thanks alyssa for that suggestion. )

You don’t have to give the whole big story…but I DO want to know some things about how you felt during the process. Like right now…I feel like some strange hybrid in limbo. My thoughts have already taken a shift, I keep having a tendency to refer to Protestants as ‘they’ instead of ‘we’, and a number of other things, mostly small. And I don’t even know if I"ll ever be Catholic or not. I seriously doubt I’m alone in this…this isn’t just to make me feel like I’m not alone. But I AM interested in hearing.

Any takers before I let this thread rest in peace?


#12

[quote=Curious]. Like right now…I feel like some strange hybrid in limbo. My thoughts have already taken a shift, I keep having a tendency to refer to Protestants as ‘they’ instead of ‘we’, and a number of other things, mostly small.
[/quote]

I know what your saying. I often times feel like i’m in the middle of the Tiber, not on either shore (Prot or Catholic). Rather adrift on the river ya might say.I know that I can honestly say I’m no longer Protestant in my thinking - I just can’t think like one now, but I’m in the process of learing Catholicism and how to think as one. (Rather like learning a new language for this former Baptist. :smiley: )
Good luck Curious and God Bless ya.


#13

Hey Church Miltant,

Thank you for your encouragment as I go on this journey and quest for faith. God truly does work in mysterious ways. I would like to expand on my journey and conversion story because I’ve barely scratched the surface. I will keep all of you updated on this. Thanks for your support.

Don

[quote=Church Militant]Dbarrie…

I bet there are a boatload of souls like you who wonder why God is leading them into the Catholic faith. I’m sure it’s confusing at times. I’m a “RE-vert” that was gone into all the other churches for about 34 years and found them wanting after a guy attacked the church about the Blessed Mother. (“You Catholics worship Mary…” :rolleyes: ) It was that attack that got me digging into the teachings of the Catholic Church to insure that what he had said was untrue. (Though I must say that even as a fallen away Catholic I KNEW he was full of baloney {My apologies to the lunchmeat…} when he said it, told him so , and promised to prove it. He refused to listen to me or look at what I’d found when I kept my word and brought it to him. Dishonest?)

I am firmly convinced that all conversions are the work of the Holy Spirit, my own included. I have sometimes wished that I COULD be non-Catholic because to me it’s easier than Catholicism. You don’t HAVE TO go to church every Sunday…You don’t HAVE TO humble yourself and go to confession…and you don’t HAVE TO acknowlege the 2,000 years of history that gives us the Living Traditions of our faith. BTW I do all those things joyfully now because they are part of the way that I meet Christ in my life and I love it because I love Him.) All ya gotta do is show up “when the spirit moves you”, sing, say “amen”& Hallelujah" out loud and do your best to interpret the Bible all by yourself. (But for God’s sake don’t pay any attention to John 6, 1st Cor 10:16, & 11:23-29 or any of the last supper passages…oh yeah…and read around Matthew 16:13-19 or John 20:24 & 25, because you might just see the NT basis for the things that the Catholics believe. THEY JUST CAN’T BE RIGHT! NO WAY! But ya know what? Because I am commited to the truth at all costs, I HAD TO come back to the Catholic Church once I saw with my own eyes that they really are teaching the real NT Christianity. I’ve been “home” now about 3 years and I’m convinced heart, soul, mind, and body that every doctrine is true. Even more, I KNOW in my soul that when Msgr Hunt or Fr. Path or Fr. Knox lifts that big host and says “This is my body…”, that I’m looking the risen Son of God in the eye. Jesus promised it, I believe it, and (as out Prot friends say) that settles it.

Yes it’s mystical, but so what? ALL miracles are mystical…the resurrection is mystical, and salvation is mystical… CHRISTIANITY is mystical and only a fool will try to deny something so obvious.

Does any of this make sense? I’m rambling, but that’s because I’m wrapped up in the spiritual reality of Christianity. The kind that a man would lay down his life for like the early church fathers did.
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]


#14

I long to be a Catholic. I was baptized Mormon as a young adult then married in the temple. My children, all reared LDS, have left that church. My husband says he believes strongly but does not attend any LDS services. He doesn’t know ‘why’ he believes, but just does the same way he embraces the LDS doctrine that the RCC is the Whore of Babylon.
I was able to attend a couple of Bible study meetings at the local parish, but my husband disapproves of my wanderings. He says I am just trying to find a church that is ‘comfortable’, not necessarily the correct one and implies that I have taken the easy way out and not done my duty to develop myself as a Mormon. He wants to know why I am looking because the Mormon church has all of the truth already and I shouldn’t need anything else. He is clearly disappointed in me as a wife and a mother. This is pretty painful for me.
He is not really well so I do not push the subject with him. I remain silent and study and pray the rosary privately. But when I drive by the RC church building, I feel a tremendous longing and loneliness to be there.
I wouldn’t mind if you remembered me in your prayers. I think the only way I will ever get to pursue my desire to become Catholic is through His Grace. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.


#15

Mochi, we can see that your mind and heart are not lost, but your situation is tricky. Of course you are remembered in our prayers.


#16

My mom is a methodist turned Lutheran (she actually doesn’t care too much about the differant denominations), my dad is a Catholic turned athiest, my step-dad is an anti-catholicism Catholic. I was baptised Lutheran, took communion in the Lutheran church, and less than two years ago I was confirmed in the Lutheran church. I went to non-religious schools in pre-K and Kindergarten. 1-5 I was in a Lutheran school. I’ve been in a Catholic school since 6th. But this is the first year I’ve had any Catholic friends with whom I have actually discussed the faith. I’ve actually found out a lot more about the church. I have noticed that the Catholic church seems to assume everyone understands everything the first time they hear it. It took 3 years for someone to explain why Catholic communion wasn’t cannabalism. It took 5 for someone to explain why I couldn’t take communion even though I did believe it was the Body & Blood of Christ Jesus. It also took 5 years to find out that in confession you DON’T go through every single sin, that it is mainly mortal sins. I have to admitt, from the way it first sound, I didn’t like the idea. “Yeah yesterday I didn’t do my chores when my mom asked me to. Umm, I yelled at my brother.” But now that I understand what it actually is, I actually kinda agree with it. Sorry I talked for so long.


#17

As a revert of 5 years (but not raised in the Church) I have actually had more years in study in the Protestant denoms than Catholic. I actually still find things that I had learned in Bible study that don’t agree with Catholic teachings. Now, most are small things not major but it still catches me off guard sometimes at how ingrained Protestant Theology is in me.

Actually, this one was kind of big, but the one that happened most recently was John 21:15-19, Peter’s restoration. I have “read” this countless times and even done Bible studies on these verses. It was not until about 6months ago on this site that I actually read these verses for what they said. Not feed my sheep 3x, but feed my lambs, tend my sheep and feed my sheep. 3 different directives. Totally caught me by surprise but completely blessed my heart!

So sometimes I still feel “caught” between worlds. But I also know each time things like that happen, they only stregthen my faith in the One True Church and Christ who is the Church, so I guess I wouldn’t change my walk for the cradle Catholic with no doubts no matter how devout.

God Bless,
Maria


#18

[quote=SouthCoast]Here goes:

As the son of a Baptist pastor in a conservative family, my church life as a child consisted of attending numerous small, friendly, family-oriented Evangelical churches throughout eastern Texas. My spiritual journey was marked with baptism at age 9, Sunday school, church summer camps, youth group events and annual church “revivals.” Above all else, church was a place to go for fellowship with other Christians. Worship consisted primarily of singing hymns and occasional testimonies or re-dedications to Christ, and the best days at church were those in which we had a pot-luck supper after services!

My young adult development included many events that helped to lull me into spiritual apathy. My parents divorced, I went off to college, I began working on weekends, and for a variety of other reasons I became relatively un-churched for a period that amounts to almost 10 years. I never fell into anything particularly sinister or terrible really. I even still said a regular silent prayer before bed and, if somewhat indifferently, sought God’s guidance for my life. However, there was a distinct void in my life that I just could not put my finger on.

More recently, a series of what I am sure are divinely inspired events lead me back to church attendance at a psuedo-Baptist “non-denominational” church. I became closer in my walk with God than I had been since the relative innocence of my childhood, but there was still something lacking. Little did I know I would find that lacking element when I began dating a nice Catholic girl. I didn’t know much about Catholicism except what I had seen on TV and heard in occasional anecdotes. I loved the movie “Dogma” and I praised the misguided message of the movie “Stigmata.” Despite not having much knowledge of Catholicism, I already had a deeply planted dislike for everything Catholic.

Following a series of “heated discussions” with this nice Catholic girl, I went on a search for information refuting the validity of Catholicism. I was sure I could find information that would convince her that she should be a Baptist, or for that matter any kind of Protestant. My search, however, lead me to information that often seemed spurious, contrived and manipulative. While many of the authors of such material had great intentions, the end result was often an unconvincing collection of partial truths. I then decided to focus on apologetics and historical studies of my own religion. To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything of significance before the 16th century that wasn’t clearly Catholic, and nothing that would indicate any “universal” nature to being a Baptist. I had decided to give up on this pursuit, and I broke things off with my nice Catholic girl.

However, for reasons that am still unsure of, I agreed to go on a retreat her a few months later – a Catholic retreat. I would only later realize the great significance of this trip. My intense despise for Catholicism turned to confused awe after attending this retreat. In the silence and peace of the small chapel, I believe I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as the consecration of the Eucharist took place during the mass. For the first time I felt that something I had thought to be silly superstition might actually be real. This feeling lead me to again immerse myself into studying Scriptures, history and Apologetics. It became apparent to me that I was drawn to the Catholic Church by virtue of absolute, undeniable truth. It became further apparent to me that I had only two realistic choices before me: to deny the validity of Christianity and put into question everything that I believe or to affirm my belief in Christ and come into full communion with the Catholic Church. Thankfully I have chosen the latter. Along with dozens of books (Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Stephen K. Ray, etc.) and lots of prayer, the RCIA program is helping me to fully understand and accept the teachings of the Church. I anxiously await my entry into the Catholic Church on Palm Sunday this year, so that I may finally enter fully into communion with the Church established by Christ.

-SouthCoast (Age 29)

[/quote]

As a revert, stories like this strengthen me. Stories like this also remind me why I’m in these forums to begin with. Thanks Southcoast.


#19

[quote=Michael C]As a revert, stories like this strengthen me. Stories like this also remind me why I’m in these forums to begin with. Thanks Southcoast.
[/quote]

I’m a revert also, but from 20+ years back. My parents were very loosely Buddhists. They followed a few formalities, honoring dead ancestors and such, but no real belief in any sort of diety.

I was a school taught Catholic from age 6 to about 20. At 20, I was barely non-atheist or basically agnostic for about 10 years. I couldn’t decide what to believe. I searched for some other philosophy to follow and finally settled back with the Church, but I came back with a far different perspective. While away I read through the NT once or twice, and it rekindled the faith I had lost.

I read stories about the lives of the saints, St. Paul, St. Luke and a few others, and it brought to light all the true heroes of our faith. And in spite of the negative press, the tainted history of the crusades, and some awful stories of some questionable popes, I came to the realization that the Church I left, was the only one that could claim ascendency from the Apostles.

The Catholic Church endures in spite of the attacks from outside and from within, and it does so because Jesus will never abandon His Church. As long as any two or more of us invoke His name, Jesus is with us. That is an awesome promise.

regards, wc


#20

[quote=SouthCoast]Here goes:

However, for reasons that am still unsure of, I agreed to go on a retreat her a few months later – a Catholic retreat. I
-SouthCoast (Age 29)

[/quote]

great story, welcome home, what happened with the girl?


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