Lost and needing Guidance


#1

Hello everyone, I was hoping some of you could help me out with a problem I have. This may be a long post as I try to explain so please forgive me.
I grew up in a family that wasn’t very religious. I attended Sunday school from time to time as a child and that’s about it. I never felt comfortable in that free will Baptist church to be honest.
I strongly want to attend church and to get closer to the lord. But where to begin? I have never been to a catholic church before and I have no relatives who are catholic. I am lost on what I need to do and how to go about doing it.
Also I am married and have 2 children. How will the affect things? My wife doesn’t want to convert her religion, at least at this time. So what affects will this have?
I am truly lost about what to do. And I am really feeling confused, a little depressed, and even have some fear because for 34 years I have not lived with the lord. I know he has been with me but I have never appreciated it and I really want things to change.
Thanks for any advice and guidance you can send my way I truly appreciate it.


#2

Welcome to CAF! Glad to have you here! :wave:

What has attracted you to the Catholic Church? Did you read something about it or did someone talk to you about it or whatever? Knowing what drew you to look into the Catholic Church might help us understand where you’re coming from and how we can help you. :slight_smile:


#3

Welcome to the forum. You’re in an excellent place to begin your search for the truth, which is what the Catholic Church offers. Prior to deciding on the “Catholic” Church you need to research ALL of Christianity, find out which Church has been around, publically, since the beginning. There is an excellent book:
Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church
By H.W. Crocker III
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0209revw.asp
That’s a great place to start.
Remember you are in our prayers.


#4

Don’t be afraid to go to your local Catholic Church. Call the priest and tell him you are interested in exploring the Catholic faith. Ask him if he can introduce you to a Catholic man who might be willing to attend church with you and help you. Most parishes have a program call RCIA. It usually starts in the fall, and it is a no-pressure way to explore the Catholic faith.

You don’t have to wait until the fall to attend Mass though! So, call and make an appointment to talk to a priest.

And, no, your wife does not have to become a Catholic in order for you to do so.


#5

Thank you all for the advice. One of the things that draws me to the Catholic Church more than others is the fact that they do not try to change scripture. It seems there are so many churches out there now that they try to change the bible to fit their life and wants instead of changing their life to fit what God asks of us.

To me this is very important because the word of God has never changed. Many churches change things just to make people happy and keep attendance up. They put themselves before God by changing the meaning of verses or just completely ignoring them all together.

Many places seem to lip service it and thats about it. I am not saying this about all other churches but just some of the ones in my area where I know people and the way they live.

I have read things about how other churches believe and practice and I still keep being drawn back more to the Catholic Church. Maybe its the Lords gentle hand on my shoulder guiding me along. Somtimes I think he needs to give me a swift kick in the rear though to get me moving :smiley: .

But the more I research it, the more I am drawn to it and feel more at peace. Thanks again for all the help and guidance.


#6

Mass is held every day, and at times throughout the day. They will not turn you away; attend at the time of your choosing. Please do not accept the Eucharist at the Mass. No one will notice if you do not go into the receiving line, but if you feel uncomfortable or wish for the priest’s blessing, simply cross your arms over your chest and they will bless you.

The order of the Mass may be found in either the hymnal or missal in the pew; it helps to follow along until it becomes familiar to you.

When you’re comfortable, I recommend approaching a deacon or priest and let them know you’re inquiring into the Church. They will be more than happy to help.

Acceptance in the Church typically does not happen until Easter—you have plenty of time to weigh your options and do your homework. RCIA classes usually occur sometime in the fall, so you can wait till determine whether you’d like to convert at least through the summer.

Famed journalist Robert Novak attended Catholic Mass every Sunday for more than 20 years before converting. You will not be shunned or thought ill of to take your time.

Many Catholics on this board are in mixed religion families; I am sure that they will share their stories. Scott Hahn’s “Rome Sweet Home” is an excellent overview of Catholic conversion and its impact on marriage. Don’t lose heart—everyone you see here with a Tiber Swim Team tag in their signature is a convert, and any of us would be happy to help you and answer your questions.

You may find this online link to the Catechism useful—this is the best way to understand what the Church teaches, and to formulate questions you may have about her:

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

Above all, remember—the Church has survived for over 2,000 years. We will leave a light on you, whatever may come. :thumbsup:

May God bless and keep you and your family.


#7

I did not know Mass was held everyday. I live in a small area and there is only one Catholic Church that I know of and I do know its Roman Catholic. I just remember seeing a sign outside saying what time Mass was on Sundays. This church is also a Sts. Peter and Paul school grades k-8.
Not sure I understand anything at all about the other types of catholic churches and even if they follow Rome and the Pope. I hear about Latin, eastern, western,Russian and it all confuses me greatly.
I hope this doesn’t sound silly as I hear some people talking about parts being spoken in Latin. I don’t speak Latin and if the entire service is held in Latin I would not like not being able to understand the message being delivered.
Also I think I would like to talk to the priest or a Deacon before I just walk into Mass. I want to make sure my ignorance doesn’t cause any sort of disruption to others.

Here is one question for you. Some branches of catholics seem to let their preist be married. Does the RCC recognize these branches and do they follow the Pope? I always thought they could not be married.
Thanks for teh help.


#8

Brierpatch, I appreciate your open-minded approach to these issues. The vast majority of people simply accept the religion of their birth without ever seriously entertaining the need to reexamine the basics of their views and adopt the system that they actually believes is best supported by reason and evidence.

That said, I would encourage you to apply this same mindset to critically evaluate the claims of Catholicism just as you have with Baptism. Make sure you know the best arguments on the Protestant side – and the Catholic responses to them, and the Protestant replies, etc. – rather than adopting an uncritical approach to either side of this important debate. Too often I’ve seen people who get “turned off” to their own denomination after seeing it presented in a fairly simple form, and then spend lots of effort getting acquainted with the much more sophisticated strands of another denomination to which they become attracted. My only (unsolicited) advice is to make sure you’re applying equal effort to find the strongest arguments in favor of both sides. All I can say is that my own sincere efforts to do the same have not so far led me to Catholicism, although I strive – like you – to maintain a receptive mindset and always to be open to the truth.

God bless.

CThomas


#9

Have you ever watched *The Journey Home *EWTN, the Catholic Channel? It’s on Monday nights at 8pm. If you go to EWTN’s website, you probably can download episodes. Many of the guests on the show are in the same situation as you. As you watch a couple, you might find your answers. If you watch the show on Monday nights, you can call in questions, or e-mail them.


#10

So true! :thumbsup:

I would suggest you hear this excellent conversion story, how a baptist minister became a Catholic priest!

biblechristiansociety.com/download/mp3/baptist_minister_becomes_priest.mp3


#11

This list may help:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_Roman_Catholic_dioceses_of_the_United_States

Not sure I understand anything at all about the other types of catholic churches and even if they follow Rome and the Pope. I hear about Latin, eastern, western,Russian and it all confuses me greatly.

Some are in communion and some are not; if you check out the Catholic Answers library you should be able to determine which are and are not.

I hope this doesn’t sound silly as I hear some people talking about parts being spoken in Latin. I don’t speak Latin and if the entire service is held in Latin I would not like not being able to understand the message being delivered.

It’s far more common to hear the Mass in the local language, but even if it is in an unfamiliar language, the Missal will have the translation for you. Moreover, the liturgy is the same from Mass to Mass (the exception being Christmas, Easter, etc where it changes up a bit), but a Missal is typically provided so you know where it is going. After a couple of months, you’ll find you’ve memorized most of it.

If you want to feel comfortable from the get-go, a book like this is helpful:

amazon.com/How-Book-Mass-Everything-Taught/dp/1592762697/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213275543&sr=8-1

Also I think I would like to talk to the priest or a Deacon before I just walk into Mass. I want to make sure my ignorance doesn’t cause any sort of disruption to others.

A very prudent and charitable concern, but believe me, you have no worries. As other threads on this forum indicate, we’ve got considerable issues with even lifelong Catholics acting appropriately at Mass!

Here is one question for you. Some branches of catholics seem to let their preist be married. Does the RCC recognize these branches and do they follow the Pope? I always thought they could not be married.
Thanks for teh help.

Eastern Catholic priests are allowed to be married, I believe, and are in communion with Rome. Priests were allowed to be married in the early Church (St Peter himself may have been); over time this was found to be a less-beneficial practice for a variety of reasons. Given all that priests must do, it is hard to see how a Catholic priest could have time to support a wife and children. Deacons tend to be married, and I’m sure even they must juggle responsibilities to a degree you or I would find extraordinary.

Thank you for your excellent questions and I hope the responses you’re getting are helpful.


#12

When you do get an opportunity to go to RCIA, (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) it would be great if your wife attended with you, just so she can learn about the Faith you’re entering. She will be under absolutely NO obligation or pressure to convert but will give her some understanding about the Catholic Faith. Some people go through RCIA more than once while they discern what God wants them to do. The RCIA directors in my parish emphasized many times over the course of the program that it was the individual’s personal conviction to become Catholic, and they weren’t just becoming Catholic because someone they knew (spouse, boy/girlfriend) is Catholic.

The Catholic Answers Library has some excellent articles, as does the Catholic Bridge. Free MP3s can be downloaded at the Bible Christian Society.

:smiley:


#13

Reading Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic by Patrick Madrid may also help calm your fears of conversion and converting your family.

God bless you and keep asking questions.


#14

Priests say mass every day. But, there may or may not be a daily mass at any individual parish depending upon the situation.

For example, I live in a rural area and our priest serves 3 parishes. So, he says Mass daily, but it is at our parish only on Thursdays.

In a more urban setting, or a place with one or more dedicated priests, individual parishes are likely to have at least one daily mass and maybe even one in the morning and another in the evening.

These are liturgical rites. It has to do with the language spoken at the Mass, the particular prayers used, and other disciplinary things.

There is no difference in doctrine. Eastern Rite Catholics are 100% Catholic, and follow all the teachings of the Catholic Church. They maintain cultural differences that basically boil down to the time when the Church was split between east and west due to the Roman empire splitting and communication between churches being limited. The Eastern traditions developed their own Mass prayers in languages other than Latin-- for example Greek. When the churches regained contact, these churches were allowed to continue to say Mass in their traditional language whereas in the West the language was Latin.

Again, there is no difference in doctrine.

In those places where Mass is in Latin, worship aids are provided that have the words, and also typically a translation into English in parallel with the Latin text.

But, do not worry, unless your parish specifically states the Mass is in Latin then it will be in English.

You can certainly do that. But, don’t worry about being a “disruption”. You are always welcome at Mass. You can sit towards the back if you like. And, you are under no obligation to participate in the standing, kneeling, etc, but certainly can if you want to.

Celibacy is the requirement in the Latin Church. In the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches married men may become priests. A single man who is a priest may not marry after ordination in any rite of the Church.

Yes, Eastern Rite Catholics are 100% Catholic. Their disciplines (canon law) allows married men to be ordained. The Latin Church does not.

This is not a matter of doctrine, but of discipline and tradition.


#15

I’ve never attended a Traditional Latin Mass, isn’t it true that even with the Latin Mass the readings and the homily are in English (in the US)? So even if the OP’s nearby parish has the TLM, there will still be some English spoken, is that right?


#16

I’ve never attended a TLM but that is my understanding also.


#17

Thank you for the help everyone, I really appreciate it. Another question. Is Roman Catholic Church the same as Latin Church or is it differant?
Also The church in my area is very small and I noticed it gives the name of the pastor who leads it. Is pastor the same thing as a priest? Whats the differance if its not and what roll do they fill? Thanks again


#18

The Latin Rite of the Catholic Church is the largest single liturgical community within it. As the Catholic Church has several non-Latin rites which are in full communion, and since The Vatican is an independent state distinct from the city of Rome, it is not entirely accurate to refer to it as the Roman Catholic Church. The use of the term in most quarters is an historical tic, in others it serves an apologetics purpose due to their particular eschatolical view and interpretation of Revelation.

Priest and pastor are synonymous for the most part, although from a Catholic perspective Protestant pastors do not have valid Holy Orders as a rule (they are not in communion with the Pope).


#19

Sorry but this confused me even more. I am talking about a catholic church being led by a pastor instead of a priest. Or maybe I am wording what I am asking wrong. Here is a link to the churches web site and a list of their staff members.

stsppcatholic.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=84

What I am trying to figure out is if the pastor is the priest or if there is a differance between a priest and a catholic pastor. Sorry if this is confusing everyone. I am only familar with pastors in other religions and never heard the term used before from catholics.


#20

The “Fr” prefix stands for “Father”—this parish is led by a priest.

This parish is in communion with the Pope:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Wheeling-Charleston


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