Okay I just joined this forum and first I’ll introduce myself a little bit. I’m Austin, 22 years old, and I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church. My whole family is Catholic, I went to Catholic grade and high school, was raised to be a good Catholic guy. However I have never really felt at home in the Catholic faith, and as I have gotten older I have noticed many of the inaccuracies between what the scripture teaches us and what the Catholic church teaches us. I stopped attending mass regularly when I was about 20 years old because it felt more like a chore and a requirement than something I wanted to do. The Catholic faith to me felt so hollow and empty, I didn’t feel I had a connection with God at all. I would leave every mass empty, I just didn’t get anything out of it, it was just saying some prayers from memory every Sunday. About 6 months ago I started looking at other religions and asking friends about their religions. Finally, I went to a non-denominational Christian church. I knew the minute the pastor started talking that I had found God and had been born again. I was energized with the surmon and left knowing I had truly experienced God’s presense and his love, and it was an incredible experience. I had a very personal experience with the pastor who helped me communicate with God to release me of my sins, it was the most powerful moment of my life, and I truly felt that I had been saved.
I have been back several times since then and it just keeps getting better. I now plan on joining and becoming and attending weekly. Unlike the Catholic mass, I not only do not consider it a chore to attend mass, but I want to attend it. There is no doubt that I have found my church and the people I want to share my faith with.
This leads though to the difficult part of the process. First of all, while my friends and most of my family will probably accept my decision, I know my mom and dad will have a very difficult time accepting my decision. I know they might even try to convince me not to do it (that’s why I’m waiting until after I have officially left) but I know what I am doing is right. I am looking for some advice from others who have left their faith for another, how did you break the news and how did you comfort them? What did you say to them? Also, I am unsure of how to officially leave the Catholic church. Do I have to write in somewhere denouncing the faith or do I have to talk with a priest? I know if I talk to a priest about it he will try to do the fear tactics that most Catholics do. Statements like “you are turning away from God’s church” and “you will live in hell for betraying God’s intention”. But back to the point, if anybody here knows the process I have to go through, I really want to start the process as soon as possible just to get the process over with and start my new life with God. I appreciate any help that anybody here can offer.