Converts becoming Catholic


#1

I’ve read a lot of post here of people coverting from other religions to become Catholics. I was wondering what was the deciding factor that made you make up your mind, besides saying it was the right thing to do.Thank you and God bless. George :slight_smile:


#2

My husband is a Catholic who has not been to church in years. I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but raised Protestant, though not a solid member of any one church. Was Baptist for a while, and tried other churches, but never, ever considered Catholicism. About 2 years ago, I began to feel guilty for not providing our daughter with any religious instruction. I also deeply sensed a need (recurring need) for God in my own life. So, I began trying out some non-denominational churches in our area. I remember feeling that my daughter and I felt odd and out of place–like something was missing. I also wanted my husband to go with us, but he wouldn’t. I had been listening to Protestant Christian radio for quite some time, and had learned a lot about the husband being the head of the household and wifely submission, serving your husband, etc. So, I decided that even though he was taking no steps toward our daughter’s religious education, I would still ask my husband’s guidance in this issue. I asked him if he could choose what religion that he wanted our daughter to be, what would it be. He said Catholic. Since my in-laws are Catholic, I figured that our daughter and I could at least go to a church where there was family that we knew, and we might feel more of a sense of belonging. I must confess that for many years prior to this, I would not have even considered the Catholic faith. But, I started reading everything that I could get my hands on, joined this forum, listening to Catholic radio, etc. Lo and behold, was I ever wrong about the faith. I still have a couple of issues to work out, but I have never before found a fullness like I find with the Catholic faith. I also feel that my Protestant background adds something to my faith, but I also know that I can never go back to being Protestant. I am on my way home.
Sorry this is so long–feeling kind of wordy today.
Sheri


#3

Sherilo,

Thanks be to God for your journey. ANyways, maybe you can share with us those “couple of issues” that you are still struglling with.

God bless,

Pio


#4

I had come to the conclusion that Catholics had the Holy Eucharist (for real) and not symbolic. I had come to the conclusion that Catholics were not idol worshippers.

See my posts #20 and #21 under Non-Catholic Religions / “Jack T. Chick: Anti Catholicism at it’s worst”.


#5

I was Catholic, then became a Protestant, then eventually returned to the Catholic faith.

  1. Catholics treat marriage and divorce more seriously
  2. Catholics treat abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war, racism and poverty more seriously
  3. Catholics don’t hold to sola fidei (faith alone) or sola scriptura (scripture alone)
  4. Catholics don’t believe in “once saved always saved”
  5. Catholics don’t embrace a watered down “Purpose Driven Seeker Sensitive” theology
  6. Catholics have a defined liturgy
  7. Apostolic authority
  8. Catholics are not forbidden to listen to rock music, dance, drink alcohol, gamble
  9. Catholics are not expected to tithe 10% of their income
  10. Catholics do not embrace Prosperity “Health/Wealth” Doctrine
  11. Catholics are not millenialists and do not believe in a rapture
  12. Catholics are not expected to take the Bible literally
  13. Catholics have legitimate sacraments

#6

I was Catholic, then became a Protestant, then eventually returned to the Catholic faith.

  1. Catholics treat marriage and divorce more seriously
  2. Catholics treat abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war, racism and poverty more seriously
  3. Catholics don’t hold to sola fidei (faith alone) or sola scriptura (scripture alone)
  4. Catholics don’t believe in “once saved always saved”
  5. Catholics don’t embrace a watered down “Purpose Driven Seeker Sensitive” theology
  6. Catholics have a defined liturgy
  7. Apostolic authority
  8. Catholics are not forbidden to listen to rock music, dance, drink alcohol, gamble
  9. Catholics are not expected to tithe 10% of their income
  10. Catholics do not embrace Prosperity “Health/Wealth” Doctrine
  11. Catholics are not millenialists and do not believe in a rapture
  12. Catholics are not expected to take the Bible literally
  13. Catholics have legitimate sacraments

#7

I was raised Southern Baptist. Over the last year or so I had felt like I was called to be a priest. Being a Baptist, that kind of confused me. I knew nothing about Catholicism, so I decided to contact a Catholic Church that was down the stree from me. Of all the priests in Houston, the one I contacted had been the diocesean vocational director for 12 years. I decided to go to Mass the next day. I was wondering if I was to become a priest, would I have to grow hair and shave my goatee. The priest that walked in was a young guy with a shaved head and a goatee. Those two events told me somebody wanted me to persue this further.

Once I began studying the history of Christianity, I discovered that what the Baptist teach has absolutely no resemblance to early Christianity. I also found that almost all of what the Catholic Church teaches was taught within the first few centuries. I had been told that many of the Catholic Churches doctrines were new creations. I found out that a lot of the protestant literature I read was full of half-truths and lies.

The final thing for me was to accept the authority of the Church. Strictly on logic, this was easy. If there is no authority, then there can be no absolute truth. If anyone can just read scripture and interpret it for themselves, how can they know they’re more correct than anyone else? They can’t. Once I accepted the authority of the Church, the indivitual doctrines didn’t matter, because the true Church teaches them, they must be correct.

I officially became Catholic over Memorial Day weekend. I’m also in the preliminary stages of looking into the priesthood. I have to be in the Church for two years before entering seminary, so I have some time.


#8

What did it for me was the question of authority.

Once I began trying to understand Catholicism by listening to Catholics rather than Protestants, I realized that Protestant theology is self-contradictory and Catholicism is not.


#9

I converted out of envy. My wife and children had a great relationship with each other and I did not have a good relationship with anyone. They were all Catholic and I was not. So, I converted…which only made matters worst because now I knew the Catholic Law. I soon discovered that being Catholic is a great thing but it requires a personal relationship and not just a weekly visit.


#10

I grew up in an anti-Catholic household (I called myself a supposed to be Luthern - by name, never baptizes or went to church but did have to go to Sunday School). I remember when I was yount being envious of those making the sign of the cross! I also remember being very nervous when I had to go to a Catholic church because there was just something different about it. During college I found my best friends were all Catholic (odd, since it was a public state school!). Intrigued me, but still thought it wasn’t for me. I then met my husband who came from a very Catholic oriented family. He would ask me if I wanted to go to church with him. Sometimes I would go. I found it much more enjoyable because I didn’t have to sit the entire time (stood, kneeled, etc - the problem was I never knew when it was going to happen!). I originally decided to convert because I couldn’t think of a reason not to - it wasn’t as if I was practicing anything and religion was important to my husband. During RCIA was really when I found out what Catholics believed, and I seemed to be in agreement with everything it said! Everyday it seems as if I learn more and love the Church more! I guess I was always in my heart a Catholic, just it took some time to lead me Home!


#11

[quote=hlgomez]Sherilo,

Thanks be to God for your journey. ANyways, maybe you can share with us those “couple of issues” that you are still struglling with.

God bless,

Pio
[/quote]

Thanks for the offer to share. I am a little hesitant since it is such a senstive issue-Mary. Please remember that I come from a Protestant background, but have discovered much to be true that I originally (as a Protestant) would not consider. For example, I now see the truth of her perpetual virginity and immaculate conception (the latter took a while). However, I still struggle with her assumption and the whole co-redemptrix thing. I have never read any early readings ( please point me to them) that talk about the type of devotion that is shown to her. To be perfectly honest, and I am not bashing here, I wonder why we need her so much. I am so comfortable with talking to God through Jesus, that I can’t imagine that He does not hear me. I know He hears me. He promises to hear me. It almost seems as though the early people over-elevated her status and is just took off. And while I do understand that people seek her so as to become closer to Jesus, she is only human, and it seems as though even though we are conscience of that fact, it might be a little easy to blur the lines. In any case, I do not take issue with Marian devotion wrt to those many faithful who enjoy it; it is just not something that I can do right now. Have since learned that though a very Catholic thing to do so, it is not required. That eases my conscience a lot. That issue, and not understanding how she and the saints in heaven can hear us anyway if we pray to them are about the only 2 issues that I struggle with right now.

Thanks for listening,
Sheri


#12

[quote=sherilo]Thanks for the offer to share. I am a little hesitant since it is such a senstive issue-Mary. Please remember that I come from a Protestant background, but have discovered much to be true that I originally (as a Protestant) would not consider. For example, I now see the truth of her perpetual virginity and immaculate conception (the latter took a while). However, I still struggle with her assumption and the whole co-redemptrix thing. I have never read any early readings ( please point me to them) that talk about the type of devotion that is shown to her. To be perfectly honest, and I am not bashing here, I wonder why we need her so much. I am so comfortable with talking to God through Jesus, that I can’t imagine that He does not hear me. I know He hears me. He promises to hear me. It almost seems as though the early people over-elevated her status and is just took off. And while I do understand that people seek her so as to become closer to Jesus, she is only human, and it seems as though even though we are conscience of that fact, it might be a little easy to blur the lines. In any case, I do not take issue with Marian devotion wrt to those many faithful who enjoy it; it is just not something that I can do right now. Have since learned that though a very Catholic thing to do so, it is not required. That eases my conscience a lot. That issue, and not understanding how she and the saints in heaven can hear us anyway if we pray to them are about the only 2 issues that I struggle with right now.

Thanks for listening,
Sheri
[/quote]

Hi Sheri, :slight_smile:
I can appreciate where you are coming from, to a point; it took me a while to grasp certain things, but with a bit of prayer, searching the net for articles on the subject etc, I soon found it easier to accept. I think the intercessory prayer side of things was cleared up for me when I read the story of Tobit; when the Archangel Raphael revealed who he really was and told Tobit that when he and his daughter-in-law Sarah were praying (same time, seperate places), it was he, Raphael, who brought their prayers into the presence of God.
The Assumption I accepted, yet there were times when I pondered the issue seriously; the thing that really made it easy for me to accept was the fact that Mary had been a big part of God’s plan, and if you look to the Bible, you see that Abraham, Elijah, Moses and others who were a part of the grand plan of God, were assumed into heaven; and since they were mere mortals like Mary, it seems only fair to assume she was given the same reverence; especially since the commandments tell us to Honour our Mother and Father…well to Jesus, God was His father, and Mary was His Mother, to think He treated her with less respect than the other followers doesn’t bear thinking about…BUT, of course, these are just my thoughts on the subject; you of course have to reconcile these issues yourself, in your own good time. I do hope this helped a little though.

God bless,
Shari

P.S. Will write concerning my own conversion story when I get more time. :smiley:


#13

One of the reasons I posted this thread was because I have a hard time accepting the Pope as the holy father and Mary. I don’t have any problem with Mary and what she did. My problem is when I walked into Notre Dame Basilica and seen the mosiac of Mary 100 feet high and a crucifix 2 feet high. Since retiring to the south and going to the church down the road I notice everything is Mary. Everything on the tables is Mary, before the sermon the priest says the Hail Mary. It’s like were worshiping Mary more than Jesus.I know what it says in Luke about everyone shall called me blessed, I don’t have a problem with that. The problem, I think is were putting Mary before Jesus. George :confused:


#14

[quote=George M]One of the reasons I posted this thread was because I have a hard time accepting the Pope as the holy father and Mary. I don’t have any problem with Mary and what she did. My problem is when I walked into Notre Dame Basilica and seen the mosiac of Mary 100 feet high and a crucifix 2 feet high. Since retiring to the south and going to the church down the road I notice everything is Mary. Everything on the tables is Mary, before the sermon the priest says the Hail Mary. It’s like were worshiping Mary more than Jesus.I know what it says in Luke about everyone shall called me blessed, I don’t have a problem with that. The problem, I think is were putting Mary before Jesus. George :confused:
[/quote]

George,
Regarding the Pope, I don’t know if you have read Kenneth Whitehead’s book, but it pretty much clinches the issue. It goes through all the bishops of Rome up until the year 550 (or something), and shows from their writings that they always understood themselves to be the successors of the Chief Apostle and the chief shepherds of the Church. The book is called One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

As regards Mary, the thing to do is read the catechism. There is no way you can read the catechism and come away thinking the Catholic Church puts Mary ahead of Jesus. Another thing that always brings me back to sobriety when I start thinking similar thoughts is that, generally speaking, it is those Catholics who honor Mary the most who worship and love Jesus the most. Another thing is that the official prayers of the Mass are all to the Father through the Son.

As to the initial question, the main reason I started to investigate Catholicism (and eventually converted) is the doctrinal chaos in Protestant circles.


#15

there is one overarching reason, and three subreasons that sum up (in short form) why i became catholic.

i was raised baptist, and i currently have a degree in baptist theology, and am a licensed baptist minister. almost 6 years ago, i was confirmed catholic, and am happier with that decision than i can put into words.

the overarching reason is this: as i sought God, and His will for my life, i felt that He led me by various means into the catholic church.

the three main ways He did this are through the eucharist (i grew to believe, as i studied scripture (esp. john 6) and prayed, that Jesus was truly present in the eucharist), confession (the Bible says that we should confess our sins to one another and pray for each other, that we might be healed. i have found SO MUCH healing and comfort in the sacrament of confession since becoming catholic!), and the authority of the church. after living for years in the tiring cycle of redefining the wheel every time i wanted to go for a drive :slight_smile: i found it very refreshing and reassuring to find an authority which i could trust for Bible interpretation, and to help guide my spiritual journey.

various means helped me along the way, including cs lewis and rich mullins (neither of whom were catholic), taize worship, reading the lives of saints, and taking classes on church history.

i can’t even begin to explain how deep, rich, beautiful, and spiritually nourishing the catholic church is, compared to the spiritual life i lived as a baptist. it’s like night and day.

may God bless you as you seek His will.

:slight_smile:


#16

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