My husband and I converted five years ago.
We were “evangelicals of evangelicals,” richly involved in the life of our church. At least 5-6 days/evenings each week, we were either at church, or preparing for a ministry, or socializing with other people in our church.
We were kicked out of our church in February 2002. There was a tribunal, with pastors and other men that we had never even met and who didn’t know us. The charges were that we were undermining the leadership of the church and that we were refusing to submit to the pastors.
One of the men, someone that did not know me, and that I had never met before, told me that I was “unloveable and unteachable.” My husband lunged at him, he was so mad, but this just made the situation worse, because now there was “proof” that we were “dangerous.”
The primary accuser was the Children’s Pastor, a woman, who accused me in particular of leading the children in my choir astray and other heinous things. (Thankfully, there were always parents in the rehearsal with me, so her charges could be refuted. But the Tribunal did not bother to call in these parents, who for months, had no idea what had happened to their choir leader. They were told by the pastors that I had decided to leave the church.)
We were told by the tribunal to leave the church, and from then on, we were shunned.
Yes, it was as terrifying as it sounds. For a year, I had nightmares, grisly nightmares. Once I dreamed that they were cutting my husband legs off.
A year after our trial and ousting, the woman pastor was caught in a lie, and fired.
For a year before the ousting, we had been attending the Apologetics Class at the nearest Catholic church, just to be better informed about the Catholic faith. We had no intentions of converting, we just wanted to learn.
But thankfully, we HAD the Catholic Church after the ousting. We spent the next two years studying, and in 2004, we were received into the Church.
We have never told my father and brother. I think it would confuse them and cause them to cut off all contact with us. I just hope they die before I do, or it will be awkward for my husband to explain why I’m having a “Catholic” funeral.
My husband’s parents and siblings were shocked. My husband’s parents came to the Easter Vigil for our confirmation, but according to my daughter, he muttered all the way through it about “false church, whore of Babylon, etc.”
One of my husband’s siblings is completely accepting. The other sibling is wary and will not allow their children to be alone with us. That’s a blessing–their children are utter brats.
Our daughters were shocked at first, but they have trusted us since childhood. A few years after we converted, our older daughter converted, too.
And now, my husband’s parents are gradually getting more interested. A week ago, my father-in-law announced plans to attend our parish’s Fall Bible Study on the subject of Revelation. I just about fell through the floor!
I think that the reason they are getting more interested is a combination of our example, and the fact that their United Methodist Church is becoming more and more liberal socially and theologically. At Christmas time, their congregation was told that “God the Father CREATED Jesus.” A few weeks later, I challenged my FIL–he graduated from Bible College, and I asked him how he could sit there and listen to such drivel from a pastor (a woman pastor). He agreed that her theology is awful, but that they only attend the Church for the friendships.
I told him that in the Christmas Mass I attended, the priest’s homily was about the importance of accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord. I asked my FIL–“Which church here is preaching the Biblical Gospel?!”
I think that got him thinking. He has also been listening to Father Corapi on EWTN, who is an excellent preacher.
We’ll see what happens.
At any rate, you should do what is right and trust that God will make things right with your family.