Did you go through emotional hardships when converting to Catholicism?

I have just married a Catholic man, and am in the process of converting from Southern Baptist to Catholicism…just so we can worship in the same church. I eagerly and willingly volunteered to do this before we were married. I have read about the common misconceptions of Catholicism, and no, I do not believe that Catholics worship Mary or the saints instead of Jesus. I also have read and now believe in the authority of the Church and the Pope. However, I am having emotional hardships while converting. I am not pleased of this, but I don’t know how to change my feelings without discussing them. I have become sad–sad of leaving the Baptist culture and tradition and sad that I feel like I have to leave to be a good Catholic mother and wife. I also have to admit that I find not being able to be involved in all the Church does (i.e. Eucharist) disheartening. Every time the church my husband and I attend does the Eucharist, I feel like my heart is ripping in two. I feel sad because I can’t worship with him, in that way. (He can take the Eucharist because he is Catholic.) I also am sad because for all my life, I never had my Baptist faith questioned. I have read many books and articles on conversion, but none of them touch on the sadness and other negative feelings that go along with converting. Does anyone have similar experiences. How did you handle it?

I do not have any personal experience to share with you, but I do know of a ministry founded by Marcus Grodi, frequently seen on EWTN. It’s called the “Coming Home Network” and their mission is:

“The purpose of The Coming Home Network International (CHNetwork) is to provide fellowship, encouragement and support for pastors and laymen of other traditions (Protestant, Orthodox, etc…) who are somewhere along the journey or have already converted to the Catholic Church. The CHNetwork is committed to assisting and standing beside all inquirers, serving as a friend and an advocate.”

I know that there are many conversion stories on the site; perhaps you can take heart in reading them. God bless you & your husband.

chnetwork.org

Welcome Home!

Hello,
I was very sad when I realized - after reading several apologetic books and praying about 1,000 times, that God was calling me to the Catholic Church.

I was a born again Christian. I had always attended very Evangelical type churches. I was very active in AWANA’s, Bible Study Fellowship, MOPS, Vacation Bible School, and I had about a gazillion Christian friends. My husband was a Promise Keeper and my children attended a Christian School.

I just could not believe that God wanted me to give all of that up - basically my ENTIRE life to become Catholic - of all things. I thought maybe being Lutheran would be good enough? I went there for awhile… God said nope… not good enough. I think I cried about 1,000 tears. So on my first day of RCIA I announced, “I am an Evangelical Fundamentalist Born Again Christian… and just so you know… I’m only here to check things out !” And I hoped & hoped that I’d find some great big ugly reason that would keep me from converting.

Didn’t happen. So here I am… Catholic Convert class of 2005. Now this is the part you are just NOT going to believe. If someone would’ve told me this, I wouldn’t have believed them…

I LOVE being Catholic. Love it love it love it. Not because of the awesome programs I’m involved with (there really aren’t many) and not because I’ve made a slew of Catholic friends (I think I have maybe four women who’s names I know) and not because of the entertaining classes for my kids (Religious Ed = boring, according to my kids)

I love being Catholic because my faith has so more more depth… I just LOVE knowing that I’m going to the same Church Jesus Christ established. I just LOVE knowing that I have a literal army of Saints who are willing to pray for me. I just LOVE the reverence & the holiness of the mass. I LOVE the prayers… I LOVE our Priests… and the Eucharist… WOW… it’s Jesus like you’ve never known.

Now when I look back at my spiritual life before… and everything I thought was so important… it’s as if I were clutching a hundred dollars… not wanting to give it up… as if it were my life’s savings… and then when I finally said, "OK God… I trust YOU… here’s my
hundred dollars… (thinking I’d be penniless)… and God says, “Thanks… now here’s a MILLION DOLLARS”

Hang in there… it will be OK. Better than OK… I promise you.
A year or two from now… YOU will be the one who reads a post that says, “Is anyone sad to become Catholic??” And YOU will post YOUR story… which will sound an awful lot like mine.

Bless you,
CM

army1000
Hang in there !!

"involved in all the Church does (i.e. Eucharist) disheartening."
Yep, I know the feeling; my wife and I are attending RCIA now and we know that on Easter we will celebrate.
Of course we miss our friends, our kids friends, and the faith we grew up with, but we look to the future which is raising our family together - Catholic.

army1000 -
I know the feeling of not being able to partake in the eucharist. I converted 2 years ago this coming Easter and I still remember my conversion very clearly. My now fiance helped me a great deal throughout the RCIA process and I talked often about the want and desire to take the eucharist. I liked to think of it as God calling me to him. I knew (still know) how special it is and what a gift from God it is to partake in this wonderful sacriment. I guess the only advice I can give is to remember how you feel. 5, 10, 20 years down the road, don’t forget how much you yearned for this. It is always hard to change, but the end result is oooooh so sweet. This may sound a little cliche, but I remember an old saying: “What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.” There will be those that will question. They simply do not understand. One thing I know that Baptists do very well is evangelize. Use this to your advantage when questioned in the future. You are learning the truth, use what was given to you by our Baptist brethren and preach the truth about the Church. Congratulations and good luck with your continued conversion! Welcome home.

as a former Baptist I was only saddened when my first run with RCIA was severely interrupted by outside circumstances, I literally cried for the next year as I had to wait until RCIA started up again in 2004.

then the joyful anxiousness of knowing I would be able to recieve CHRIST at communion on Easter truly began. I dedicated my whole being to this end despite more severe problems (i.e. my boss died, lost my job,couldn’t find work,car & house started falling apart.–in that order)

I do miss some of my friends from the Baptist church, & I miss playing my instruments (w/ the pianist) for the service. If I could encourage you in any way I would have to say “Stay Strong & Persevere”, for the end is worth every ounce of suffering that I have endured

may GOD bless you in your efforts:blessyou:

As most who have replied have said, I also know what its like to be waiting (hungering!) to receive the Eucharist. I joined the Church this past Easter. I would talk to my mom about the classes and such quite frequently. I would mention how it was so hard to have to wait to receive communion. She was so understanding. And wow, once I finally did receive it it was the most awesome thing that has ever happened to me!! It was well worth the wait!!!

I can’t really say much about the struggle of leaving your previous religion since I came to the Catholic Church from having no religion at all. I will definitely pray for you as I’m sure its got to be so very hard on you. Just please know that there are so many people out there who know exactly what you’re going through. You’re definitely not alone and this is the best decision you will ever make!!

P.S. - carol marie, I absolutely loved what you said in your post - I feel the exact same way. Thank you for putting it into words I could never possibly find.

Hello everyone,

I am not wabrams even thougth the screen will say this. He is actually at RCIA classes as I write this. I am his fiance and a cradle catholic. I just walked out of mass tonight before it even started because I am having real issues with the churches process. I am elated that he has chosen to go througth the classes and become a member of the Catholic Church but I need some clarification on the process. At this particular church the RCIA candidates are escorted out of the church right before the creed and than they attend class until about 9pm. Mass start time is 5:30pm. During the mass they set in the front in a reserved area. I am having great issues because I feel I am not apart of his faith journey. He does not want to talk about what was discussed in class and I do not get to even sit with him. He just started the classes and we be in them until Easter. So I am at a lost. When I see marraige or especially the preparation for the Sacrament I see a faith journey by two people together, which is not happening. I feel that we are supposed to be getting stronger in our relationship, God as the center, as the months get closer to March but I feel the total opposite.

Some of you I am sure have been through this. Could anybody help me to understand this or give me advice. Thank you for listening.

Kathleen of SC

[quote=wabrams]Hello everyone,

I am not wabrams even thougth the screen will say this. He is actually at RCIA classes as I write this. I am his fiance and a cradle catholic. I just walked out of mass tonight before it even started because I am having real issues with the churches process. I am elated that he has chosen to go througth the classes and become a member of the Catholic Church but I need some clarification on the process. At this particular church the RCIA candidates are escorted out of the church right before the creed and than they attend class until about 9pm. Mass start time is 5:30pm. During the mass they set in the front in a reserved area. I am having great issues because I feel I am not apart of his faith journey. He does not want to talk about what was discussed in class and I do not get to even sit with him. He just started the classes and we be in them until Easter. So I am at a lost. When I see marraige or especially the preparation for the Sacrament I see a faith journey by two people together, which is not happening. I feel that we are supposed to be getting stronger in our relationship, God as the center, as the months get closer to March but I feel the total opposite.

Some of you I am sure have been through this. Could anybody help me to understand this or give me advice. Thank you for listening.

Kathleen of SC
[/quote]

Kathleen–I hesitate to respond to this because it is not really the topic of the thread. But I think your issues need to be addressed. As another cradle Catholic and a woman, I am concerned that you walked out of Mass before it even started because you have these questions. I very much hope this doesn’t mean you missed your Sunday obligation. Please speak to your parish priest to get these issues answered. Or submit this post to the “Ask an Apologist” forum. Please do not let your questions distance you from the Catholic Church. Blessings.

Hi Kathleen,

Our RCIA was the same way… we sat together in the front with our sponsors & left before the Consecration. I actually liked it that way because the Priest always said a special prayer that the entire congregation joined in… it’s as if we were sent out with everyone’s blessings. I also never really experienced that feeling of being “left out” when everyone else went up for communion - which, as the original poster said can be very painful.

Although I can appriecate that you may be feeling left out of your fiance’s conversion process - try to focus on the positives… He is converting (Praise God!) - and that spiritual journey really should be something very personal to him - rather than something he’s doing just for you. Be happy for him. Support him in any way that you can. Don’t walk out of mass… that will send such a mixed message to him. I believe that Satan hates it when people convert - I know from my own experience that it seemed like a very stressful time - lots of the unexpected came my way… I had to deal with all of that - and your fiance probably will also. I just think it’s unfair to have him worrying about you as well. Because this really isn’t about you - or even the two of you together. It’s about HIM making the decision to become Catholic - which is a wonderful journey… but one we all must make alone - with Christ by our side of course.

Look on the bright side… after he’s received into the Church - YOU will get the benefit of sitting next to him for the rest of your lives. You WILL have a marrage with God at the center. How blessed you will be! Be thankful & patient… even if it’s hard & a bit lonely. I hope the time goes by quickly for you both. :slight_smile:
God Bless,
CM

[quote=carol marie]Hello,
I was very sad when I realized - after reading several apologetic books and praying about 1,000 times, that God was calling me to the Catholic Church.

I was a born again Christian. I had always attended very Evangelical type churches. I was very active in AWANA’s, Bible Study Fellowship, MOPS, Vacation Bible School, and I had about a gazillion Christian friends. My husband was a Promise Keeper and my children attended a Christian School.

I just could not believe that God wanted me to give all of that up - basically my ENTIRE life to become Catholic - of all things. I thought maybe being Lutheran would be good enough? I went there for awhile… God said nope… not good enough. I think I cried about 1,000 tears. So on my first day of RCIA I announced, “I am an Evangelical Fundamentalist Born Again Christian… and just so you know… I’m only here to check things out !” And I hoped & hoped that I’d find some great big ugly reason that would keep me from converting.

Didn’t happen. So here I am… Catholic Convert class of 2005. Now this is the part you are just NOT going to believe. If someone would’ve told me this, I wouldn’t have believed them…

I LOVE being Catholic. Love it love it love it. Not because of the awesome programs I’m involved with (there really aren’t many) and not because I’ve made a slew of Catholic friends (I think I have maybe four women who’s names I know) and not because of the entertaining classes for my kids (Religious Ed = boring, according to my kids)

I love being Catholic because my faith has so more more depth… I just LOVE knowing that I’m going to the same Church Jesus Christ established. I just LOVE knowing that I have a literal army of Saints who are willing to pray for me. I just LOVE the reverence & the holiness of the mass. I LOVE the prayers… I LOVE our Priests… and the Eucharist… WOW… it’s Jesus like you’ve never known.

Now when I look back at my spiritual life before… and everything I thought was so important… it’s as if I were clutching a hundred dollars… not wanting to give it up… as if it were my life’s savings… and then when I finally said, "OK God… I trust YOU… here’s my
hundred dollars… (thinking I’d be penniless)… and God says, “Thanks… now here’s a MILLION DOLLARS”

Hang in there… it will be OK. Better than OK… I promise you.
A year or two from now… YOU will be the one who reads a post that says, “Is anyone sad to become Catholic??” And YOU will post YOUR story… which will sound an awful lot like mine.

Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

What an amazing story, I loved it.
As a craddle Catholic from a country 75% Catholic, I find this story incredibly humbling. I wonder how many Catholics don´t realize what they have. I wonder if I´m not one of them :frowning:
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story.
:blessyou:

[quote=army1000]I have just married a Catholic man, and am in the process of converting from Southern Baptist to Catholicism…just so we can worship in the same church. I eagerly and willingly volunteered to do this before we were married. I have read about the common misconceptions of Catholicism, and no, I do not believe that Catholics worship Mary or the saints instead of Jesus. I also have read and now believe in the authority of the Church and the Pope. However, I am having emotional hardships while converting. I am not pleased of this, but I don’t know how to change my feelings without discussing them…
[/quote]

Hi Army1000,
I was a convert from the Baptist religion too. I had many adjustments to make as in any major change in ones life, especially embracing a new religion. My family practically disowned me, but I knew where I had to be, in The Catholic Church! I was called even before I met my husband and I was too busy trying to figure out all they whys and wherefores to question my decision. In those days we didn’t have RCIA, we had to go to the rectory and the priest taught me. And you are right to discuss these feeling, putting things out on the table, especially here at CAF is a very wise thing to do as you already have been given some very good advice. I hope this helps:)

[quote=wabrams]Hello everyone,

I am not wabrams even thougth the screen will say this. He is actually at RCIA classes as I write this. I am his fiance and a cradle catholic. I just walked out of mass tonight before it even started because I am having real issues with the churches process. I am elated that he has chosen to go througth the classes and become a member of the Catholic Church but I need some clarification on the process. At this particular church the RCIA candidates are escorted out of the church right before the creed and than they attend class until about 9pm. Mass start time is 5:30pm. During the mass they set in the front in a reserved area. I am having great issues because I feel I am not apart of his faith journey. He does not want to talk about what was discussed in class and I do not get to even sit with him. He just started the classes and we be in them until Easter. So I am at a lost. When I see marraige or especially the preparation for the Sacrament I see a faith journey by two people together, which is not happening. I feel that we are supposed to be getting stronger in our relationship, God as the center, as the months get closer to March but I feel the total opposite.

Some of you I am sure have been through this. Could anybody help me to understand this or give me advice. Thank you for listening.

Kathleen of SC
[/quote]

Welcome, Kathleen! (And by the way…why not register on the forums in your own name? We won’t bite…:slight_smile: )

Here’s a link to another thread from a while back where the early dismissal was discussed:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=15151&highlight=RCIA

It may not give you any clear -cut answers, but I hope it helps by showing you that some parishes do it differently, with no ill-intent.
May I offer some feedback to what you posted?

I can understand wanting to share your faith together, and I think anyone on this board who is married & Catholic will tell you how important that is. But there are several things occuring here: your fiance’s full reception into the church (so that could involve one or all four of the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, 1st Eucharist and Confirmation), his faith journey, your faith journey, and now, your preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, and soon, your faith journey as a couple, as one. So there’s alot going on all at once! (Plus that fun Wedding Planning Stress…:eek: )

Hopefully, Mass is not the only time the two of you feel comfortable praying together, or sharing your faith. If it is, what a great opportunity to start incorporating new devotions, like taking Rosary walks together, etc…)

For whatever reason, your fiance apparently wants some privacy re: what goes on in his RCIA classes. I don’t know him (of course) but could it be that perhaps he is a) very moved by the process, and finds it difficult to put that emotion into words? or b) is troubled by something in the class & doesn’t want to burden you? I am posing these possibilities only as a way of trying to help you (I hope) consider reasons for his privacy other than keeping you in the dark. That’s gotta feel frustrating. But a good example of why his reception in to the church is separate from *your *preparation for the Sacrament of marriage together, since you both will actually be administering the Sacrament to each other!

Anyway, that’s my 2 or 3 cents for you. God bless you both!

[quote=carol marie]Hello,

I love being Catholic because my faith has so more more depth… I just LOVE knowing that I’m going to the same Church Jesus Christ established. I just LOVE knowing that I have a literal army of Saints who are willing to pray for me. I just LOVE the reverence & the holiness of the mass. I LOVE the prayers… I LOVE our Priests… and the Eucharist… WOW… it’s Jesus like you’ve never known.

Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

Carol Marie, what a beautiful, beautiful post! I just read it outloud to my husband, with a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes…I wish every member here–no, everyone in the world–could read it! Thank you for sharing so eloquently.

[quote=StephanieC]Carol Marie, what a beautiful, beautiful post! I just read it outloud to my husband, with a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes…I wish every member here–no, everyone in the world–could read it! Thank you for sharing so eloquently.
[/quote]

Oh stop! You’re making me blush!!! :wink:

[quote=carol marie]Hello,
I was very sad when I realized - after reading several apologetic books and praying about 1,000 times, that God was calling me to the Catholic Church.

I just could not believe that God wanted me to give all of that up - basically my ENTIRE life to become Catholic - of all things. I thought maybe being Lutheran would be good enough? I went there for awhile… God said nope… not good enough. I think I cried about 1,000 tears. So on my first day of RCIA I announced, “I am an Evangelical Fundamentalist Born Again Christian… and just so you know… I’m only here to check things out !” And I hoped & hoped that I’d find some great big ugly reason that would keep me from converting.

Didn’t happen. So here I am… Catholic Convert class of 2005. Now this is the part you are just NOT going to believe. If someone would’ve told me this, I wouldn’t have believed them…

I LOVE being Catholic. Love it love it love it. Not because of the awesome programs I’m involved with (there really aren’t many) and not because I’ve made a slew of Catholic friends (I think I have maybe four women who’s names I know) and not because of the entertaining classes for my kids (Religious Ed = boring, according to my kids)

I love being Catholic because my faith has so more more depth… I just LOVE knowing that I’m going to the same Church Jesus Christ established. I just LOVE knowing that I have a literal army of Saints who are willing to pray for me. I just LOVE the reverence & the holiness of the mass. I LOVE the prayers… I LOVE our Priests… and the Eucharist… WOW… it’s Jesus like you’ve never known.

Now when I look back at my spiritual life before… and everything I thought was so important… it’s as if I were clutching a hundred dollars… not wanting to give it up… as if it were my life’s savings… and then when I finally said, "OK God… I trust YOU… here’s my
hundred dollars… (thinking I’d be penniless)… and God says, “Thanks… now here’s a MILLION DOLLARS”

Hang in there… it will be OK. Better than OK… I promise you.
A year or two from now… YOU will be the one who reads a post that says, “Is anyone sad to become Catholic??” And YOU will post YOUR story… which will sound an awful lot like mine.

Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

Carol Marie,

A beautiful post! As a fellow “New Catholic, Class of 2005”, I share your tremendous enthusiasm and love of the Church.

I, too, have gone through a lot of unsettling feelings during the process of conversion: I fought it, tried to prove that I couldn’t accept core Catholic teachings (Eucharist, Marian devotion, moral theology and the like) and dealt with the feeling of “responsibility” that came along with being baptized and confirmed in the Church.

For me, becoming Catholic comes at a tremendous cost: my parents and my brother/sister-in-law/neices and nephews. All of them are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, and when they find out about my conversion, I fully expect to lose them completely (since they will likely disown me). The thought crept through my mind throughout RCIA: is this really all worth the cost? Isn’t there another way?

For me, the answer was (much to my chagrin): No…

This was my call. This is what God was asking me to do and to be. After all He’s done for me, how could I say no to Him??

I remember about 2 weeks before Easter Vigil I had a “freak out” day or two: I felt like I wasn’t ready, that I couldn’t actually go through with it. (Taking vows are scary!)…But, in the end, I was there, in my robe, carrying my candle and receiving the grace that accompanied the most powerful spritual experience of my life.

Like you, I see things in other denominations that I really like (I wish we had Catholic praise and worship music that is on par with some of the non-denom music that’s out there!), but there’s no place I’d rather be.

So, I’m part of a community now. I’m a tenor in our choir. My fiancee and I are teaching 8th grade religious ed (we’re going to do our best to make it as engaging and interesting as possible!)

Army…just hang in there and let it be a journey for you. If you’re being called to the Church, you’re in for an amazing ride. Don’t be surprised if some pretty incredible stuff happens!!

Many blessings,
JPA

While going through the RCIA, my husband left me pregnant, yet I still maintained it and finished. It was very difficult however I felt it brought me closer to God. I need all the prayers I could get hes asking for a divorce. He is also catholic, that is why this is all so difficult. I dont believe in divorce nor does the church. It was a very very trying time.

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