I'm stuck at a serious crossroad.


#1

For some time now, I've been fighting the call to the Catholic church and it has become quite tiresome; I am ready to throw in the towel against God. But I am filled with fear. I am called to Youth Ministry and would pursue this ministry even in the Catholic church (students and young adults are my passion). However, I'm married with kids and am apprehensive to even begin the process of becoming Catholic. Would I have to leave my ministerial position (and also the only income supporting my wife and two kids) before starting the process or can it be done while I still hold my post at the church to ensure security for my family? There are many questions and fears that are stirring up inside of me, and I know this is where I should be going, but I am flooded by the fears of future job security as a married man called to ministry with two kids to support.

Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.


#2

[quote="Ryan_Collins, post:1, topic:297122"]
I am a Youth Pastor in a charismatic evangelical Protestant church in Oregon right now, about to complete my MA in Theological Studies from George Fox University. For some time now, I've been fighting the call to the Catholic church and it has become quite tiresome; I am ready to throw in the towel against God. But I am filled with fear. I am called to Youth Ministry and would pursue this ministry even in the Catholic church (students and young adults are my passion). However, I'm married with kids and am apprehensive to even begin the process of becoming Catholic. Would I have to leave my ministerial position (and also the only income supporting my wife and two kids) before starting the process or can it be done while I still hold my post at the church to ensure security for my family? There are many questions and fears that are stirring up inside of me, and I know this is where I should be going, but I am flooded by the fears of future job security as a married man called to ministry with two kids to support.

Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.

[/quote]

Find your local parish and make an appointment with the Pastor. Until then: You go through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) usually once a week in the evening from September to Easter. Parishes vary of course. You are not obligated to come into the Church at Easter Vigil, but you need to get in here and start processing the change. At some point you will know that you must leave your job. God is calling you Home, I know what that's like, I resisted for years. But God also knows what He is doing and what you need. He will take care of all those material concerns.

You don't have to be afraid, God has you in the palm of His hand.


#3

God's calling you home, the Bible says " i feed the birds of the air, how much more will I take care of you" not an exact quote, but.. the point is God will provide, convert to the Truth, have some faith in God and everything will work out in the end, God bless you, and btw, I'm starting RCIA too :D


#4

By all means follow Gods calling,but don't forget to water your horse..


#5

Praying for you.


#6

People will argue who has the truest version of Christianity, but I think most can agree God is present in most Christian Churches. If your personal faith is pulling you toward Catholicism that doesn't mean you can't do God's work in your current church. Based on the faith requirements of your current job, I would follow where my heart is leading my personal faith at a pace that honors my obligation to provide for my family. In other words make the transition if you feel so called but you may be in limbo until you can change jobs if required.


#7

check Marcu Grodi and the Coming home network. he specifically works with protestant ministers. BTY, many youth ministers in the Catholic Church are not priests at all. You can be a Deacon as a married man. Likewise, many parishes employee pastoral assistants which are lay men and women that have been specifically trained so while you feel called to minister, there are plenty of opportunities for a married man in the Catholic church to ministry and use your gifts.


#8

What you said sounds remarkably similar to Scott Hahn's conversion story. He's a popular Catholic speaker, author, and teacher of the faith who used to be a Protestant minister. He's written many books, but I think the one called Rome Sweet Rome contains his conversion story. Praying for you -


#9

I agree with Robwar above...contact directly Marcus Grodi.

He has set up an organization to help people in your situation, employment opportunities, etc.


#10

The former youth director at my parish was in your shoes. She and her dh were campus ministers for a protestant organization and found themselves needing to leave. I believe that they gave notice once their Confirmation was scheduled. Until you get to that point, you don’t really know that you will convert, and I don’t think it’s necessary to burn your bridges until you know you won’t go back. Now, if you find yourself in situations where you can’t teach what you’ve been asked to teach, then that would call for re-evaluation for sure.


#11

Thank you all for your replies. I will contact who has been suggested and look further into RCIA while maintaining my post. Thank you all!


#12

I was saving up to go to seminary before I decided to become Catholic therefore I sympathize your dilemma. I think your best bet is to do the following.
[LIST]
*]Speak with the priest of the parish you will be looking to attend. Considering you have experience working with teenagers, his parish might be needing someone to work with the teens. You could also contact the youth section of your diocese. Knowing how desperate some dioceses are in terms of needing youth workers, you never know where an opening might arise. As you discern, attend all youth related activities because you never know who you will meet. Networking will get you quite far.
*]Surrender your plans to God and ask His guidance in the matter.
*]Speak with other people who have switched over. There are two great organizations that are very helpful to those who are considering to switch denominations for example Catholic Come Home, and Coming Home Network. I suggest you look at especially the second one because it also has mentors who can help you with this decision.
[/LIST]

I also suggest that you don't advertise your plans to become Catholic. Many people will question it and until a decision is made it isn't worth rocking the boat. RCIA isn't only for those who are considering to become Catholic, I know up here, it is also for those who want to learn more about the Catholic church.

Do your research and surrender your plans to God. Sometimes God brings others from other denominations to bring new life into the church.


#13

Please do get in touch with the "Coming Home Network" which is headed by Marcus Grodi! As a convert myself I will be praying for you! God bless you!


#14

Dear Ryan,

I was once a youth minister my self, and I was studying theology with hopes of being an ordained pastor. I did however quit my job and my studies before joining the Church, and I am very happy I did that! The first time I knew what to do I failed, but the second time I just did it, and once I just left everything I felt so happy! God provided for me in many ways that I could not expect, and I also got to learn the beauty of walking on water!

I am sure there are many wonderful things happening in your charismatic church, many beautiful people who go there etc., but what you need to ask your self is the following: Am I honest to the charismatic church if I work there, take their money and inside my heart know that this is not the Church that Christ entrusted to Peter? If I was a charismatic, I would not want to give my money to a closet Catholic who inside his heart wants to leave. Another question you must ask your self is whether you want to draw people and their souls to this denomination who hires you, where they are most likely preaching heresy and where you cannot enjoy the Sacraments.

God will not leave you starving, and even if He did, it would only be to purify you! Always seek His kingdom first and never give in to fear or look back! You know your Bible and you know what to do! Looking for ways of making the narrow road easy or safe is not one of them...

And finally: WELCOME! :)


#15

[quote="robwar, post:7, topic:297122"]
check Marcu Grodi and the Coming home network. he specifically works with protestant ministers. BTY, many youth ministers in the Catholic Church are not priests at all. You can be a Deacon as a married man. Likewise, many parishes employee pastoral assistants which are lay men and women that have been specifically trained so while you feel called to minister, there are plenty of opportunities for a married man in the Catholic church to ministry and use your gifts.

[/quote]

Not right away, though.

A faithful saying: if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher, Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity. But if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?

Not a neophyte: lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony of them who are without: lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Deacons in like manner chaste, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre: Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved: and so let them minister, having no crime.

1 Timothy 3:1-10.

Granted, the "not a neophyte" language is referring specifically to bishops rather than to deacons; but deacons are clergy, and the principle still applies.


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