Converts to Catholicism what obsticles did you face?


#1

What obsticles did you face in your conversion. I am enrolled in RCIA for this fall. I had a few objections thrown at me out of the blue last night from a family member who has seemed supportive of my possible conversion up until now, and it threw me off

I have family members who don’t like catholics, who tell me that if I am not satisfied with evangelicialism, why don’t I try the methodist church if I like liturgical worship?

I am told that I am the only immediate member who would be Catholic.

I am told that I am wrong because the Bible says Mary had other children.

I am told the Catholic church is arrogant for believing that the CC is the only valid church, and that the CC believes that only Catholics go to heaven.

I am wrong because the Vatican has too much power, it is wrong that only the Vatican has the power to declair what a miracle is and what is not

I am told that conversion is not necessary, I could find another protestant church that is more fulfilling (I am jaded with my Pentecostalism that I have been apart of)

I am told that my father who passed away from cancer a year and half ago would be heart broken (he was Baptist, I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal later)

I am told not to make such a rash and extreme decision. Some of my friends are supportive, while others would tell me that I am doing the wrong thing.


#2

My hurdles were, for me - yours are for you.

Continue to be humble and patient with others. With God you need merely be open and attentive.

The Holy Spirit will inform you - the world will distract you. It is often difficult to discern truth because so many lies will spring up that are close, very close to the truth. Our consciences become confused or poisoned through misuse and ignoring them, but most often we can tell which way lies the true path. God’s truth has a certain ‘ring’ to it that resonates in a sincere heart.

Follow your heart. Jesus and His Mother will lead you home… to Rome.

:thumbsup:


#3

From what I can see is that they want you to join any denomination but Catholic. I see this a as fear of loosing you to the dark side, :wink: but just a fear out of not knowing or understanding what the Catholic faith is. You may want to your family to present you with a list of “fears” about the Catholic faith and address them one at a time with solid Scriptural references and Church teachings from Sacred Tradition. A good Catholic Bible, the Catechism of the CC, and the references here at Catholic Answers is a good starting point. There are also several books such as “Why do Catholics do that”, “Catholicism for Dummies”, and others can also help you. This can serve to do two things, one it will further your knowledge of the Catholic faith and help you to be more comfortable with it, and two it will easy the fears of your family if they are open minded. Bottom line is that you are not leaving the Christian faith, just practicing it in a richer form. I hope these suggestions help. As for me I am a Southern Baptist that converted over twenty years ago, I went through some different difficulties. These difficulties stemmed from much anti-Catholic “Misconceptions” that I had been taught early in life. As each one was disproved the more I moved towards becoming a Catholic. The last was the graven images thing. I had my wife, the priest, and RCIA folks try and explain it to me to no avail. It took a little while but the light went on as to just what the first commandment is really saying. Once I overcame that last hurdle, I was running to the Catholic faith and could not wait to become a Catholic. What was a real help is that my wife was a Catholic and strong in her faith. She set the example from day one, so it was easy to assume my new faith. Now I have three kids that are 22, 17, and 12, and are strong in their faith and are good kids who you can tell by their outward behavior and grounded decisions they make in their lives. They serve the Church as alter boys and cantors. I mention this because the best compliment came from my Southern Baptist stepmother (although we consider her a natural mother) when she stated that of the whole family (Southern Baptist, Pentecostals, Mormon, and others) we have raised a solid family, we have lived the faith, and represented it by example, and that we were to be commended for such a good job. There are a lot of others in our family who have let their kids and families suffer many maladies. Therefore, the point is that living by example a good Catholic Christian life will be and is noticed. Good luck my friend, Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you on the journey.


#4

You need a ready source to help you answer your loved ones questions/fears. I believe you would find this book: What Catholics Really Believe–Setting the Record Straight helpful to you. God bless! :slight_smile:


#5

I have this one too!


#6

Well, there’s no possible way that learning more about the CC can do any harm. The first several months of RCIA is just a learning experience. All of your questions can be answered, and you can learn what the Church teaches on all of the concerns that were voiced to you recently.

So go to RCIA and THEN make your decision. It’s a no pressure atmosphere and a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the CC. I think you don’t have to decide until Christmas time whether or not you want to move on towards becoming Catholic.

Best of luck to you! And friend, listen to God and not to your friends and family. Continue to develope your relationship with the Lord and continue to seek answers to your questions!


#7

#8

ooooh, boy. How long do you have? Just kidding. When I told my parents that I was taking a class, they freaked. They are long time Southern Baptist. (Though my dad’s cousin that he was close to converted to the CC, everyone else in our family is long time Protestant). In fact the evening I had told them, I thought they had taken it well, but in the morning , my mom confronted me and told me, a 40-something woman, that before I converted I had to discuss this with them and they’d be so disappointed… :confused: Yeah, Like I was 16 years old. :rolleyes:
After that reaction, I decided to not tell my family when I did finally go through RCIA, except my sister who is married to a very lapsed Catholic (his mom though is practicing).
My friends…, well, I only told a few. One of them is a former Catholic, now Episcopalian who is at times rather hostile about the CC, but was supportive about me becoming Catholic. :shrug: Basically, I’ve only told friends about my conversion that I knew were Catholic (reactions varied) and my sister.
As my parents are elderly and are experiencing health problems, I haven’t to this day. My other siblings, well, I pray for them to be open.


#9

I got a little pressure from friends. After it became public that I was in conversion to the Church, people started dropping little bomblets on me, such as in Bible study, someone would say, “I’ve got this on my heart and just wanted to share this Scripture verse…” obviously directed to me. A few people were interested in my reasons, but mostly people just started becoming a bit distant.

Almost all of my “obstacles” came from within me. I had a tremendous amount of fundamentalist indoctrination that had to be overcome, and this took a long, long time. My Protestant inclinations didn’t just disappear. In fact, I still struggle with this.

At that time I was 35, was married with two children. I had been married as a teenager, just before I went to Vietnam. This marriage of course fell apart quickly, and I’d virtually forgotten about it. Near the end of our instruction with the priest, I casually mentioned the childhood marriage. Father sat up straight and inquired, “You were married before?” Well, this opened up a bucket of worms. The old marriage needed an annulment. Plans to be rec’d into the Church were postponed until the outcome of that process, which took several months. This caused me a great deal of inner trouble. Plus, my close friends started saying, “See there? We Protestants wouldn’t require any such silly thing of you.” Well, I stuck it out, and have been very glad I did.


#10

Originally Posted by JohnnyReb
What obsticles did you face in your conversion. I am enrolled in RCIA for this fall. I had a few objections thrown at me out of the blue last night from a family member who has seemed supportive of my possible conversion up until now, and it threw me off

I have family members who don’t like catholics, who tell me that if I am not satisfied with evangelicialism, why don’t I try the methodist church if I like liturgical worship?

I am told that I am the only immediate member who would be Catholic.

I am told that I am wrong because the Bible says Mary had other children.

This is easily refuted. Even the Reformers believed what the Catholic Church does.

catholic.com/library/Mary_Ever_Virgin.asp

Today most Protestants are unaware of these early beliefs regarding Mary’s virginity and the proper interpretation of “the brethren of the Lord.” And yet, the Protestant Reformers themselves—Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli—honored the perpetual virginity of Mary and recognized it as the teaching of the Bible, as have other, more modern Protestants.

I am told the Catholic church is arrogant for believing that the CC is the only valid church, and that the CC believes that only Catholics go to heaven.

Are other Christians groups are united, though imperfectly, to the Catholic Church.

catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0405frs.asp

Study this issue more. It’s not what they make it out to be!

I am wrong because the Vatican has too much power, it is wrong that only the Vatican has the power to declair what a miracle is and what is not

Yes, Christ gave His authority to His Church. It better have a lot of power and authority. The church (not the Bible alone) is the pillar and bulwark of the truth. (1 Tim 3:15)

I am told that conversion is not necessary, I could find another protestant church that is more fulfilling (I am jaded with my Pentecostalism that I have been apart of)

If you are convinced that God is leading you to the Catholic Church, it might be a grave act of disobedience not to follow Him. I can understand why you might feel that way being part of that denomination.

I am told that my father who passed away from cancer a year and half ago would be heart broken (he was Baptist, I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal later)

If your father was saved (and it sounds like he was), then he knows the truth about your decision. It could very well be he’s praying for you to make this leap.

I am told not to make such a rash and extreme decision. Some of my friends are supportive, while others would tell me that I am doing the wrong thing.

It’s a difficult decision. Continue to research, ask a lot of question, and pray even more!

I would like to offer you a free book on my conversion from atheist, to Evangelical Protestantism, to Catholicsm. I think you would find it very encouraging. If you’re interested, please send me a private message.

Also, for great free Catholic resources go to:

www.biblechristiansociety.com
www.maryfoundation.com

There are very many converts here who have studied these things for years. We all believe that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
May God bless you! Contact me any time!

JB

Thank you for your post. It is very insightful. I never thought about the idea that my father might be praying for me. I have been praying for him, and I am confident that he will find,or already has found peace in heaven.


#11

I am glad that to hear that about RCIA. I’m investigating, and I am praying. I am confident that the Lord will lead me to the truth. I told my family that I have not made a decision written in stone, but if things don’t change, I will end up Catholic. Its funny that this has not hampered my desire to learn more about the church. My family is close and their imput is important, but I have learned that I am willing to accept that I might not have their support, and that is ok with me.


#12

I have read “Why do Catholics do that” and it was very helpful. I think you are right…If I said that I was going to end up Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian etc…they would be ok with it


#13

many a things, but i must give my full answer later (as i am heading out to work out… and i have not yet ‘fully converted’)


#14

Hi Johnny Reb,

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said “Few hate the Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think is the Catholic Church”

That being said, please know that no one participating in the RCIA is required to commit to joining the Catholic Church – you can take as long as you need to make a decision.

I’m a cradle Catholic but have been involved in the RCIA. I’ve seen the pain experienced by people preparing to join the Catholic Church, because of the judgments and even hatred heaped upon them by loved ones.

RCIA is more than instruction about what Catholics believe and how we worship together. It’s about how to live the Catholic way of life. It is a process of conversion of heart (which will hopefully continue for the rest of your life). I encourage you to love your family no matter what they think about Catholicism or how they feel about your journey faith – because this is what Jesus commands us to do. This may be the biggest challenge for you during your discernment to become Catholic – to love your family members as best as you can, and to be a light of our Lord’s love and peace toward them. Trust that the fruit of your efforts to love them will be the Spirit’s gifts of peace, joy and love!

Please remember that many of the mis-judgments of your family are based on ignorance. Remember what you and your fellow (Christian) family members have in common – that you are fellow believers – that you all love Jesus!

I encourage you to not wait until the RCIA begins – but ask for a Catholic “buddy” from the parish now, for moral support. Keep praying, reflect on the scriptures. Here’s an online bible link:

nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/

I hope you enjoy the instruction part of RCIA, and that you persevere the trials of faith with trust that God’s Spirit will lead you. Know that I and others are praying for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:8
Ephesians 6:10-17
2 Peter 1:5-8
Philippians 1:27-30
Colossians 2:1-3 and 3:12-17


#15

Johnny,

From your posts I can tell that you have a string understanding of the faith; and in spite of this you are still willing to join the true faith. This is one heck of an achievement considering your evangelical background; this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit! Why let your friends and family shake your resolve?

You said ” they tell me” this or that; why not say “the Church tells me” instead? Do these people have a better understanding of history, philosophy or theology than a Church that constitutes 2000 years of accumulated knowledge?

Matthew 10:34-39
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross 15 and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.


#16

The Trinity.

God the Father-God the Son-God the Holy Spirit…3-1

No matter how hard I thought about it, it still sounded like 3 different Gods to me. Finally, I just told myself that because I believed all other things about Christianity and Catholicism in particular, then I would just “believe” this doctrine on faith and trust that God would help me understand when He knew I could handle more info.

I was received into the Church Easter 2004 and it was not until YESTERDAY:eek: that I read a book that helped me understand the Trinity (as much as is humanly possible this side of heaven). “Theology for Beginners” is a wonderful book and is helping me with some questions and confusions that I have had crop up over the last couple of years.

I have a personal library at home with all sorts of prayer and apologetics books, but this is the First book on Theology for me.
Strange that the Eucharist and the 4 Dogma’s (praying for the 5th) on Mary was completely understandable to me given my background.

The more I question my Catholic Faith, the more God comes to my rescue and shows me that I am truly Home in HIS Church. I lovingly serve an Awesome God.:thumbsup:


#17

Maybe not as accepting as much as you think…denominational doctrinal differences eventually pop up in conversation and/or bible studies which can be heated and all lead to source of authority…and interpretation.


#18

I think some people are so prejudiced and set in their ways that they are not willing to listen to reason. In the American South, there is alot of misconceptions that people have about Catholics (they worship Mary etc…) I did try to explain that what they were saying was not true and why, and I think I had limited success.

What amazes me about the Catholic faith is how holistic its faith is. One cannot be Catholic and reduce the faith to a mere intellectual understanding of it, but at the same time the faith is very intellectualy in many of its aspects. It is a faith that must be lived out. I have done alot of reading and feel that my intellectual understanding of the faith is better than most evangelicals, but I have much to learn about living in the Catholic community and living out the faith.

I stay with it because I feel at home when I go to the Mass. It is fulfilling. I truly am able to yield my heart to God. Its not a feely good hour of emotionalism. Its not cranck up the amps and rock for Jesus, nor is it lets sing some sleepy hymns. The Church takes a stand on what it believes.

**I am truly excited about RCIA, and can’t wait for August 30 to get here. **


#19

I do think that deep down my mother wishes me to return to the Baptist tradition, but will not say so, despite the fact that I have asked her directly if that is how she feels. She does not understand theology, so it is hard to explain the many theological reasons I have for not being Baptist. When I do try to explain, I’m told I’m complicating religion, and we won’t know the answers til Jesus comes back.

But Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us to all truth. He said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against his church. Authority draws me to the CC., and in the Mass I feel such a peace and feel at Home.


#20

As someone from the American South, I can say from first hand experience that alot of misconceptions about our faith are taught from the pulpit and at home. We worship bread and Mary and Statues etc…when you try and correct their misunderstandings, there response is, “My friend USED to be a Catholic and that is what s/he said” :eek:


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