I’ve been thinking about the numbers of people here and where they come from in the faith.
I had an a-C assert that we don’t want to hear the truth after his arguments weren’t well received.
I was just thinking to myself, “Self, doesn’t this guy realize that most of the folks here at CAF are here because they know and believe the Catholic faith?”
So anyway, here’s a poll to see where we come from and maybe discuss the reasons that we don’t just exodus from the faith en mass when n-Cs/a-Cs come in and present their arguments against the Catholic faith.
Well, CM, I am a cradle Catholic, cathecized post-Vatican II, during the late-80s and early 90s. I had some trouble maintaining my Catholic faith while I was in the service. I remained a stagnant, cafeteria Catholic after I was discharged from active duty. I became more alive in my faith after meeting my girlfriend, now fiancée, and soon to be wife (87 days to go). She is a Methodist who has attempted to bridge the gap between our two faith traditions. I got really into reading apologetics to better my abilities to discuss why I’m Catholic. In doing so, I became a much stronger Catholic.
I guess that the reason that I won’t flee the Church is because it is the only one that has presented any reasonable evidence to its authenticity. Other Christian faiths spend a good majority of their time here trying to refute, or more truthfully, bashing the reasoning behind the Catholic faith. I have the confidence in Christ’s promise that He would be with His Church forever. The gates of Hell will never prevail, and that’s why I cannot see myself anywhere else. I’d rather be inside a place that can’t be destroyed by Death than outside it.
I don’t really fit any of them - I was always raised Catholic and considered myself to be Catholic (never receiving the Eucharist though), but was never baptized and fully received into the Church until my 30’s.
I was born as a Catholic but am currently learning and growing in my faith.
When I was about 10, my mom used to wake me up at 5:30am to go to Mass. I loved to read Bible because of many miracle stories.
As I was growing older, I stopped reading the Bible thinking that I went to daily mass and listened to the readings and Gospel and my pastor’s homilies was enough.
Growing older a little bit and living in US, I had got so caught up with school and other stuff, my faith was fading away although I never skipped Mass. However, I would only go to confession once a year or even longer. Now, I am looking back, I was just a Catholic by name.
Thankfully, my loving mother who is always with me had convinced me to pray 10 Hail Mary’s per day and she would pray the rest of the rosary. She also purchased me a daily mass readings for me to read.
After 1 1/2 year of praying the 10 Hail Mary’s, reading the daily readings and asking God to help me know how to pray and praise him, I’ve seen my spiritual life has begun to change. The turning point of my life was at a seminar of Life in the Spirit.
I am so grateful for God’s mercy and love and for the greatest love and patient of the two mothers of mine - my own biological mother and my Heavenly Mother Virgin Mary.
I want to be living as a Catholic by faith and not by name. I do believe in all the teachings of the Church and praying for the grace of God that I will always listen to and obey what Jesus teaches … and that is to listen to the Church.
I am a convert and growing. My first experience with going to church on a regular basis was with the Catholic Church. In high school I had stayed the night at a friend’s place and went to Mass with him the next day. I liked the idea of going to church regularly and so I kept going back to Sunday Mass with him. During Easter Vigil Mass I attended I saw someone not much older than I be received into the Church and I could see the joy on his face. I had decided to become Catholic.
I started RCIA and went through 1 year of a 2 year program before I left and start attending a non-denominational church. The pastor of that church was a former Catholic seminarian who left the Church due to his disagreement with certain dogmas. He had me convinced that the church was wrong. However during my next 10 years as a non-denom Christian some Catholic habits remained, specifically making the Sign of the Cross whenever I prayed.
When The Passion of the Christ fever started in early 2004 I started to rethink my stance on the Catholic Church. I researched my objections to the Catholic faith and discovered that all of my problems with the Catholic Church were rooted in ignorance. I let someone tell me why they thought the Church was wrong about certain things and I never gave the Church a chance to defend Herself. After getting satisfactory answers I decided that I wanted to complete what I started a decade ago and officially join the Catholic Church.
I sought out my local priest and to my surprise, after explaining the situation to him, he received me into the Church right there and then in his office: making my Profession of Faith, hearing my first Confession and then Confirming me. Later that day I received my first Communion.
And I say that I’m growing still because there are things I’m relearning about the Church that I had forgotten during my RCIA days and I’m learning new things frequently.
The more I grow and learn, the more disdain I have for Protestant Christianity. I have nothing against Protestants (except the anti-Catholic ones) but I find deficiencies with that version of Christianity and feel at home in the Catholic Church. Having been on both sides of the fence, and straddling it for a while, I’m grateful to have landed on this side.
I am a convert, but not your typical one. I never had anything against the Catholic Church. I was raised in a protestant denomination that may or may not have anti-Catholics in it (however, my grandfather was a preacher from that denomination, and has supported me all the way). I always liked the Virgin Mary, and had no problem at all with the rosary. The Papacy wasn’t a big stumbling block for me- I just thought it irrelevant, until I found where Peter is given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible- and even then, it wasn’t that big of a deal to me- everything else about the Church seemed closest to how things should be (moral theology, reverence, etc.) so why should that be any different? The idea of the Eucharist took a few months to accept, but I felt something I never felt before the first time I went into an adoration chapel, and I was convinced. I converted easily- perhaps because I was very unhappy in the religion I was raised in, but I strongly believed in something- even though I tried to deny it for a time- when I discovered the teachings of Catholicism, I knew I had found what I had been looking for.
I don’t give anti-Catholics much credit. I do not understand what makes them think they know so much about how wrong a religion is that they are not a part of, but that they owe their existence as Christians to Catholicism.
Please be careful about using abbreviations. They are more obvious to some than to others.
I chose “Other” in the poll because I consider myself both a Cradle Catholic and a growing Catholic. I was born into a Catholic family, had all my sacraments, etc. Most of my Catholic training and education was in the 80s and 90s and I would say that it wasn’t very good until I got into high school. From the time I made my first Penance in 2nd Grade, I was in constant search of deepening my faith in God as a Catholic. Our catechism training was not good… we didn’t even use the book. We had as teachers and mentors, what I would call, left-over Hippie Catholics from the post Vatican II era. They didn’t really instill a true and deep understanding of being a Christian. They also seemed to take out all the mysterium from the mass and dumbed it down for me - so many liturgical abuses - especially when it came to the music liturgy. As a child, I always wondered what was wrong and didn’t feel right. I also would wonder why we never performed that beautiful Gregorian chant and polyphony, yet we’d learn that it was the official music of the Church. It wasn’t until I attended some incredibly inspirational and reverent masses as a young adult that I realized what they did was take the child’s intellect for granted and dumbed it down. I don’t want to do that with any future children God will bless me with. My husband had it worse since he attended public school as a child and went to CCD. He said that all the mothers taught was basically secular humanism and some things about the sacraments. It wasn’t until he attended a private, Catholic highschool, that he Catholic faith was charged up and inspired.
My grandmother and a couple nuns did more for me during my childhood years than any of my teachers. I had an excellent religion teacher in highschool who was tough, but I learned a lot about our Judeo-Christian history and we studied the entire Bible from start to finish. It wasn’t until I got to college and out of college, that I did a lot of reading on my own and with my boyfriend (now my husband). We also were blessed with a couple very good priest mentors in college to help us along. So, I feel as I get older and dig deeper into my faith, as well as meet others along the way who are equally as yearning to do the same, who I am as a Catholic continues to grow.
My story is similar to frail’s here, with the relevant portions posted. I was born Catholic though, and remained relatively pure in my faith up until about my Confirmation. I didn’t really fully appreciate it, as I was starting to have some doubts by then, and really only went through with it (the largest reason) because I was under the mistaken impression that I could change my name. (I never liked my name Tim as a kid). So, I took the name “James” as my Confirmation name, thinking it would legally change my name to James. I was disappointed when I found out it didn’t, and now, since my middle name was James before, I have two middle names of James. But I digress.
Soon after Confirmation (which in my parish occured in 8th grade), I really started to fall away. The fact that I was going to a public school in 9th grade (for High School) instead of a parochial school (which I had been in up through 8th grade) didn’t help either. By the time I was a senior in high school I had stopped believing in God all together. This is where frail and I diverge: S/he at least maintained a faith in God, I fell into complete apostasy.
I then went to college and got into all kinds of trouble, picked up a nasty smoking habit, or really addiction (which I still have today), drank myself into stupor nearly every day and took many “trips”, if you know what I mean. I was out there maaan. And I threw in a few pre-marital pregancy scares just for kicks! To summarize I broke all 10 Commandments except the Fifth.
Soon after graduation (which took 6 years to accomplish due to my lackluster performance) I began to hate all relgion with a passion, and, when I was forced to move back in with my parents shortly after graduation (because I had racked up a tremendous credit card debt, a debt I have since paid off, but at the time prevented me from living on my own), I discovered the Internet. This was in 1994. I soon fell into chat rooms, where I committed myself to “disproving God” and “showing all these stupid theists how they are wrong”. To make this long story short, I met a lady in the chats who, through patience and gentleness, led me to believe in God again.
She wasn’t a Catholic though, so then, (in 1999, yes it took that long), I was left with “finding my own way to the Lord”, the typical non-denominational Christian approach. Well, to make that long story short, I was led, through much prayer and research, BACK to the Church I left as a teenager. I attended my first Mass in about 15 years, Ash Wednesday of 2004, and haven’t missed one since.
I converted from being a Southern Baptist. In 1981 I married a good Catholic lady who was strong in her faith. At first the Catholic religion was foreign to me, I made some concessions required of me and a lot of ingrained bigotry and falsehoods about the Catholic Church had to be overcome. Through my loving wife’s example and patience, I came to know and love the Catholic faith. We moved to Sicily just outside Catania while I was still in the U.S. Navy. My most impressionable moments came while attending Mass in a stone grotto flanked by vineyards and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. During the summer, it was very hot outside but the grotto was cool, inviting, and provided shelter. It was unremarkable, the alter was carved out of stone and there were a few stone benches. The Priest from the near by navy base would come out a say Mass every Sunday. Being there in its simplicity and the history of the Mediterranean area spoke volumes. It was at these Masses that I had made my mind up to convert. Since then, I have tried to educate myself on the teachings of the Church and to dispel any of the bigotry and falsehoods that I had been taught.
NancieLew, CM is one of the few posters in this forum that I enjoy reading. I enjoy reading CM’s work because s/he is a formidable apologist. CM seems to have the appropiate answers to questions, responding with charity. But when someone of a less than charitable posting fashion bashes the Church and its teaching, CM fights back, and fights well. I can understand why someone would get banned after trying to face off with CM and others. Frustration leads to irrational and uncharitable behavior and then, poof, they’re gone, “banned.” But, to back CM even more, those people get themselves “banned;” it’s not CMs fault.
(My other possible choice was the Plymouth Brethren - it seemed to me that either they or the Catholic Church was the True Church of Christ - but anything in between is just a human compromise.)
After doing RCIA twice, looking at history, doing battle with Mary, the Saints and the Angels for literally a decade, and wrangling a bit on the Internet, I became convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church, got an appointment with a priest, did RCIA for the third time - and here I am!!
Not much of a story - just a mom who was not at all religious and felt strongly that I needed to “find my own way”, and a Catholic dad who wasn’t there much when I was a child (they divorced when I was 10). My paternal grandpa took me to mass every Sunday when I stayed with them in the summer, so that was my exposure to the Faith. And he was always praying the rosary and would talk to me about mass. When I reached my 30’s I decided I finally had to get serious about my faith practices and get myself back to Church, and once I was there I was hungry for more, most importantly the Eucharist. So I went through RCIA and was baptized and received into the Church at Easter morning mass in 1995.
Now? - Life is fantastic!!! Still growing in my Faith, and wondering if I’ll ever be worthy of it, and worthy of Christ’s sacrafice, but then I have my DH who tells me that I am. And he is the most amazing example of what it means to be a Faithful Catholic - I do love him so. :o
You won’t find me uncharitable or disrespectful, but I don’t suffer propaganda and rhetoric that has no basis in fact or misrepresents Catholic teaching. I came home the hard way and having been Southern Baptist and Assembly of God while outside the Catholic faith, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to doctrines.
And I’ve heard it all. :rolleyes:
I have no control whatsoever over what others post on here and I really don’t care what they believe so long as they are respectful and charitable in their discussion. I go out of my way to post within the Forum Rules and Banned Topics Policy and I try to set an example of charity.
If you have an issue with the Catholic faith open a thread on it and PM me a link and I’ll come see what I can offer, but if you offer anti-Catholic propaganda or make any effort to proselytize my fellow Catholics away from our most holy faith you can rest assured that I will refute it without mercy. I don’t post on a-C boards because 1) Almost no one listens, and 2) all too often the moderation there is poor and penalizes a Catholic while allowing a-Cs to freely bash and insult my faith. As a result i figure that if someone wants to get the real facts from faithful and knowledgeable Catholics, they know where to find us. Here at CAF, Steve Ray’s DCF board, Catholic Central, CCF, and OBOB.
The mods here have displayed a willingness to allow all reasonable and charitable debate within the context of the rules and policies, and frankly I’ve seen as many misbehaving Catholics get popped as I have n-Cs, and the mods hand it out wherever it’s needed regardless of religion.:clapping:
Anyway, enough about all that stuff. :yawn:
This thread is all about finding out why people are here and maybe even how they got here and how we can share what we have learned.:kissme: :shamrock2:
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.