Methodist considering Catholicism

Hi everyone,

I am new here and just posted my hello over at Meet and Greet. I come to these forums because I am a Methodist and am considering converting to Catholicism. I was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist church when I was a child but my church has always seemed to be lacking. Often it feels like a social club or networking group that just happens to mention God or Jesus now and then.

A few weeks ago, my husband, daughter, and I attended Mass at a tiny Catholic church near our new home. When we walked in, a man was leading his children in reciting the Rosary before the Mass began. We joined in. As I prayed, a feeling of deep peace filled my soul.

Since then we have attended Mass every Sunday and I pray the Rosary before work each morning. I feel such a profound feeling of peace when I am at Mass or reciting the Rosary. I can’t describe it, but I feel like I am finally finding the answers I have been seeking throughout my life.

I am considering RCIA classes and have come here for answers and prayers. Has anyone here converted from a Protestant faith, particularly Methodism? I would love to hear from you. I welcome prayers as I make this choice, too. Thank you.

Welcome, Sariejack.

I’m a cradle Catholic so I can’t help on that front, but I’ve worked with RCIA for years. Please ask if you have any questions or concerns.

Blessings and prayers as you consider your next steps.

Hello, Sariejack. Welcome. I most lurk and read on this forum but I converted from Southern Baptist to Catholic 30 years ago (with stops in Methodism and Epsicopalianism). So, if I can help, let me know.

I converted last year from agnosticism. History: baptized presbyterian, attended episcopal church as a child, attended baptist church as an adult, then stopped going after we got married in 1999. Had an epiphany at my grandmother’s funeral mass in late 2012. Started attending mass ASAP and participated in many post-mass rosaries early on which made things extremely clear. Joined RCIA as soon as I could, “graduated” at Easter 2013. Kids baptized at ages 7 and 8 in July 2013, celebrated their first communions Easter season 2014, and we’re now waiting for my husband. I think we’ll be waiting a LONG time. :wink:

What are the big differences you need to work through to bridge the gap between Methodism and Catholicism?

Hi everyone, thanks for welcoming me.

I feel like this is such a big decision that I need to ponder it for some time. It seems like, at least in my branch of the Methodism, declaring your faith is really easy. If you want to change churches, just go up to the front and introduce yourself at the closing hymn. For this to be a profound change, a life-changing decision, I feel I need to consider it.

I don’t feel any personal boundaries to converting except I don’t want it to be too easy, if that makes sense, because I want it to have meaning.

My husband was an agnostic who has been slowly, over the course of our 20 years’ marriage, accepting God into his life more and more after becoming a Methodist. I am not sure how he personally feels about converting to Catholicism although I have asked him if he would be OK with it if I chose this for my life. He has said he would support me in it, but hasn’t said if he wants to convert.

If he chooses not to convert, will our marriage be recognized in the Church since we were both married as Protestants?

I will be yet again entering RCIA (for the fourth time) in the fall. I have been approaching Catholicism by fits and starts for nearly twenty years. My background is in the Wesleyan Holiness movement (I grew up, essentially, in a house church), but my parents are now Methodists, and my wife grew up Methodist (she’s now Episcopalian). So while I’ve never actually been UM, I’ve attended UM churches and have a fair bit of experience with the UMC. (In fact, over the past few months I’ve been “tempted” to turn aside from becoming Catholic largely because of the quality of the local UM congregation that my parents attend–the pastor is a godly man who preaches the Gospel and teaches the Bible with passion and scholarly rigor, and when Methodism is done right, like any Christian tradition when done right, it’s very appealing indeed).

Edwin

It’s good to give a lot of thought and prayer to a major decision.

For what it’s worth, starting RCIA is not making a commitment to becoming Catholic. It’s a commitment to pray and learn. So feel free to start even if you’re not sure you want to join the Church.

If he chooses not to convert, will our marriage be recognized in the Church since we were both married as Protestants?

You can become Catholic whether your husband does or not. Even if he has no interest now, who can say what will happen in the future. The Church recognizes marriages among non-Catholics, so assuming this is a first marriage for you both your marriage is valid and recognized by the Catholic Church. If you are both baptized, your marriage is a sacrament as well. If either of you has been married before, this would be something to discuss with your pastor.

This is the only marriage for us both, and we are both baptized Protestants. In fact, we’re the only people in our group of friends who haven’t been divorced, and we have been married since we were teenagers. Sad that saying that feels like an accomplishment, huh?:rolleyes:

Yes. If one of you were an ex-Catholic then the marriage would have to be “convalidated,” but not otherwise.

Edwin

Yes, your marriage will be recognized in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church only holds its own members to be married in the Catholic form. As long as two non-Catholics are free to marry, that is aren’t married to someone else in the eyes of God,( the law that there is no divorce comes from Jesus Himself, not the Church), not too young, not closely related etc. they are free to marry in any manner that is legal in the place where they live. Welcome to the Catholic Church! We here on the Forums will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Welcome to the forum, it is exciting to hear of someone wanting to learn more about our faith. I am a cradle Catholic who went all the way through school, including college, in Catholic schools. Over a two year period earlier in my life I attended church and Sunday school at a Methodist Church. I was part of a Methodist book group and circle group and I attended a two year Discipleship Bible study. I was seeking something but I never found it there and returned to my faith and have not looked back. The process of RCIA might clear some things up for you even if you choose not to take it further. There are some very basic doctrine differences and it would be helpful for you to see the differences early on. Praying for you and your family.

Thanks for sharing Sariejack. This seems an interesting way to become part of a new congregation. Welcome and best of wishes with your journey.

You can check this link…chnetwork.org/converts/

I think the stories can be sorted out…you can listen or watch it…and the show is on EWTN too for a live show if you want to watch it.

My wife just entered the Church this Easter. She was a very engaged Methodist, having studied at seminary and having begun the process of diaconal ordination in the UMC. She also worked as both a youth and children’s minister in the UMC. She loves being Catholic! Even thought it cost her her career and made somewhat futile her years of study. I can ask her a question for you. God bless.

^^^^^^This

Highly recommend. RCIA is a resource of learning about Catholicism. It not making a commitment to join. If anything, it’s a time of discernment to see if you are being called into Catholicism

God Bless, whereever your journey takes you. :slight_smile:

I came in from the Episcopal Church and I had so many questions, concerns that it wasn’t funny. The nice thing about RCIA is that you are not committing to covert. You are inquiring about the faith. Prayer, questions and study will lead you to the Holy Spirit.

One thing I tell anyone that starts RCIA is that you will be questioned on your decision once word gets out, and it will. Remember the seven most important words:

I don’t know but I’ll find out.

Keep in touch and let us know if we can help

I converted from the United Methodist Church! My husband attended RCIA the following year in order to “show those Catholics the many things wrong with their church.” He ended up converting to Catholicism! The following year, our youngest son converted! Our two older children remain devout Methodists but attend Mass with us when they visit. Now that my daughter and her husband have a child, they are seeking a deeper relationship with God, so really seem to enjoy Mass. They have switched to a more traditional UMC church but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in RCIA in the future. I currently teach an RCIA Inquirer’s Class and would encourage you to look into attending the RCIA in your parish. There is NO obligation to join! You will, however, be able to discern and ask all of your questions. You will be able to then decide the church in which you are able to best grow in your relationship with God. From my experience, the people in Inquirer’s that decide not to become Catholic, usually return to their former church as stronger Christians. Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk or have any questions. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

I remember when I was going thru RCIA, my pastor was telling me a story which illustrates your observation.

He was telling me about a woman (Methodist BTW) who was inquiring about Catholicism. In advising her during this, my pastor told her, well maybe God doesnt want you to be Catholic. Maybe He wants you to be a better and more faithful Methodist!

I love my pastor. :smiley:

And in the end, that is exactly what happened. She thanked him and felt God was calling her to be a better Methodist. :slight_smile:

And she left RCIA with very good outlook about her experience with Catholicism. :thumbsup:

That you’ve been so careful about your decision (fourth RCIA!) is fascinating. You seem to have a deep thirst for truth…

This is so true! I think it is a sign of spiritual maturity to understand this. It is why triumphalism is a less beautiful way of understanding God and religion.

If all the most loving, spiritual, insightful people left all the other faiths to become (Methodist, Baptist, Muslim, Buddhist, Baha’i, Catholic, Jewish, etc.) it would leave darkness behind in those other faiths as a spiritual “brain drain” sucked the life out of them.

God loves all of His children. God loves diversity in thought, practice, belief, culture and appearance.

The belief that everyone should think and believe the way I do, and that is the only acceptable belief before God - it’s simply not as beautiful as a universalist world where God appears before and within every soul and congregation who loves Him!

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