On the Tiber’s Shore II

We had a long running post for those joining the Catholic Church or those considering, but it unfortunately closed after some time of not being updated. Tagging some participants from the previous topic: @OddBird, @TNMan, @HopkinsReb, @MiserereMei (sorry if I missed anyone). Here’s the link:

I wanted to provide an update on my journey. My wife, my oldest daughter, and I are continuing in RCIA and it’s going well. I had my first confession during this process (had one during a failed RCIA attempt 8-9 years ago). Confession was incredible. The priest was very gracious and I felt no shame during confession, only relief and freedom. I cannot wait to enter the Church and regularly and fully participate in the sacraments. God is good! I genuinely and greatly hope that everyone else’s journey is going well.

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Forgot to add, anyone else that is contemplating joining the Catholic Church or already in the process is encouraged to share their story here.

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Donald, care to share more about the trip to the shore? Many of us cradle Catholics love conversion stories.

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I was born into a Christian (Protestant) family, but not much of a practicing one. I was baptized in grade, not sure when, but otherwise didn’t really go to Church except for Christmas and Easter. At age 18, through a combination of circumstances, I became very interspersed in religion and started talking to a Christian friend. I eventually gave my life to Christ and got rebaptized because I thought the first was invalid as I didn’t fully understand the rite the first time. Got married at 19, 2 kids by age 21, both of went to college, got a Social Work degree, hated the field, both of us went to nursing school. Had 2 more children during that time. Been working as a nurse since (about 7 years). I’m 35 now, still married to my beautiful wife.

During my recommitted time, we’ve went to a few different Protestant churches. Each time it started off great, but always seemed to end in disaster. One church had a schism, the next nearly collapsed because the pastor had a nine-month affair, the next doesn’t exist anymore because the pastor was such a toxic person. I then became interested in Catholicism in 2011, tried the RCIA process in 2011 and 2012, running away both times because of extreme guilt over my personal sin and unwillingness to submit to the theology regarding birth control. This resulted in 6 years of spiritual darkness where, while I did attend what would be considered a really good Protestant church, I nearly became an atheist. After my father-in-law, a devout Christian himself, unexpectedly passed away this past summer, I started thinking about my life and I kept feeling this strong pull back to Catholicism.

After a lot of thought, I told my wife, who was ok with it (she was desperate for my faith to be rekindled). I started the RCIA process in September and now both my wife and oldest daughter are going through it with me. My second oldest is not happy about the change, but she’s only 12 so I have time to work on her. My two youngest will start confirmation next year and get baptized.

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Thanks for sharing. I will pray for you. I, like most, cradle Catholics have a deep respect for converts.

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Thanks for restarting this great thread. :slight_smile: Awesome you had that experience in the confessional.

It’s very ironic. I was not a big believer in the confessional – even through the RCIA process. But it ended up being a great experience for me, just like your’s. And now here I am, three years after confirmation, and it NEVER stops being an incredible experience. Something that is very spiritually tangible happens in there. Something I was not getting by confessing only/directly to God.

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I’ll just be in the background here, offering up prayers for all of you. Welcome home. :hugs:

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Thank you, @Donald_S :blush: It is good to see the thread revived, and to hear that you are doing so well, almost there !

In my neck of the woods things are stagnating a bit. I went through a near burnout period in my own ministry (I am still a Reformed pastor) and my granddad passed away just a week before Christmas. My husband and I also went through a major crisis where he threatened me with divorce if I persisted in wanting to become a Catholic. We are now doing better, and I think the worst of the crisis is over.

But we are still trying to find how to go on with all these changes I am experiencing, and my mass attendance has suffered from it, as I don’t want to push him too far right now.

I am also not helped by the fact that on his own parish territory (my husband is a pastor as well), the Catholic priest has been wreaking havoc in his parish, in my husband’s and in the diocese at large. He shouldn’t be there for long now, as there is a revocation procedure against him, but it has been difficult for my husband to understand why I am still saying “Yes, the Catholic Church is where I want to be” when we have been first-hand witnesses of a priest exhibiting such appalling behaviour.

Adoration is my lifeline. And I have a good and holy priest as SD. So I’m still there on the Tiber’s shore…

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Thanks for starting another thread and for continued prayers.

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Just gonna jump right into your thread here :smiley:. I’m currently in RCIA and tbh it’s a lonely road. It’s good to talk to other people who are on the same path. So “hi” fellow Tiber swimmers :wave:

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Thank you for sharing. My story is similar in many ways. I’ve shared it before. I’m 12 years in now and there is something new all the time it seems. Being 12 years from RCIA, I think my best advice is to be prepared for the ups and downs. There will be periods of spiritual dryness, but keep plugging away. The best evangelizing we can do is to live authentic Catholic lives. I don’t mean being perfect, we aren’t. Just get up when you fall, dust yourself off (reconciliation) and give it another go. A life lived this way is far more powerful than spouting scripture to people or knocking on doors. It is a visible light to our broken world. I know this because it is just this light that brought me to Catholicism.

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My wife and I started the 54 day Rosary novena today. We have an unbelieving friend who has gone through a lot in life with health issues in her and her children. She often wonders why it happens to her. She is in need of a kidney transplant. Our intention is that she would receive a transplant (or be told that she’s getting one, transplants aren’t necessarily quick) and through this miracle she, her husband, and children would come to the faith. It’s a tall order, but I trust in the Lord and our Mother Mary.

Our friend is open to faith, but she’s not sure which is correct. Because it’s a painful issue, we are avoiding any kind of preaching. Our goal right now is to witness with our lives, pray for her, and answer any questions she has. Fortunately the subject seems to naturally come up and she has asked questions as we have gone through the RCIA process. If you could add our friend to your prayer intentions, it would be appreciated.

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Many prayers for you - It is so hard when our spouse does not understand or accept our commitment to a catholic faith. I travel the same road and have come through a couple of such crises. Thankfully, the recent past has been calm.
I just pray, pray and pray again :slight_smile: and put it down to sharing a minute sliver of the cross of Christ.

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Anyone have good resources to recommend about canon law ? Not so much the code itself as its history.

I’m asking because canon law is a contentious issue here, both at home and outside in ecumenical relationships. The requirements for the reception of the Eucharist and the Sunday obligation in particular are huge sources of conflict, with some people (including my husband) fuming about a “legalistic” and “life-killing” approach of the faith. I never know how to react, particularly as I don’t feel I’m treading on solid ground when discussing canonical issues.

I don’t have anything specific to Canon law, but the 4th commandment really should be enough for any Christian to justify the Sunday obligation. God killed people for violating the Sabbath, so it seems like He takes it seriously. We also know that Jesus did not abolish the law and He told people to keep the commandments, so this isn’t comparable to no longer eating meat or where to bury your trash (in case they bring up the “not bound by the law” argument).

Can you clarify what you mean by requirements in regard to the Eucharist? I’m not aware of any requirement for Catholics to receive communion on a daily or weekly basis.

Thanks for your reply, Donald !

I don’t know if you have read the Geneva thread (that one), but it does put things a bit in context.

To sum up, where I live, there were, until 3 years ago or so, a few ecumenical practices which aren’t in line with canon law, notably Eucharistic hospitality for Catholics at Reformed celebrations, and for Protestants at Mass. I am not judging this, because it was green lighted by bishops who are far better canonists than me and it was the consequence of an extraordinary ecumenical impetus which did worlds of good for peace, understanding and mutual regard between the communities. (If you read the Geneva thread, you will see that these practices are still alive and well in other parts of Switzerland.)

Now, we have an episcopal vicar who is trying hard to make things fall back in line with a strict interpretation of canon law. When the week of prayer for Christian unity comes by, some Protestants have a hard time with this for two reasons :

  • they don’t understand why Catholic parishes now ask for ecumenical celebrations to take place at other times than Mass times, because they don’t see why sitting in a church and praying together couldn’t fulfill the Sunday obligation (and they consider the whole idea of an “obligation” legalistic anyway; some of my pastor colleagues – not my husband, thankfully ! – actually never go to church on Sundays if they are not celebrating) ;

  • they don’t understand why Eucharistic hospitality has disappeared, and why there should be guidelines for receiving communion they actually don’t fulfill when, in the Reformed church’s understanding, the Eucharist is a pure gift of God’s grace and nobody can ever be worthy to receive it, which makes requirements useless.

I hope I have clarified things a bit !

Don’t give up. It will all be worth it.

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Thank you, @CajunJoy65 ! :blush:

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Hello all. I am also in this year’s RCIA cohort. Leading up to the shore… I suppose I have always thought of myself as a Lutheran. My family was Lutheran when I was a child, although we later went to many different denominations after our beloved church split. Later I stopped attending church due to working on Sundays, and then a tragedy happened that shook my faith.

God called me back to attendance at a non-denominational church a couple years ago and I really started to examine my faith. I also had to figure out why I suddenly had a longing for communion after so many years. This eventually led me to study Real Presence. I had thought I would end up at a LCMS Lutheran church similar to the pre-ELCA congregation of my youth, but the Holy Spirit sent me instead to a lovely local Catholic parish, much to my surprise. After a lot of self-study, I inquired about RCIA, which seemed impossible at the time due to my work schedule, but it all fell into place. It’s been a wonderful experience.

But, I should also mention, my interior processing has not been quite so linear or neat. I have gone through periods of severe doubt about becoming Catholic. I have wrestled with all the typical Protestant reservations, but thankfully digging deeply into these things (and journaling my findings) has helped a lot. Sometimes I feel like the “kicking and screaming” convert, but this battle has also brought me some of the clarity and confidence I have been seeking.

Discovering the rosary has also been an amazing experience. I didn’t think I would have any sort of Marian devotion, but the rosary has been powerful and life changing in an indescribable way. Now Peter’s words resonate with me, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” No Protestant denomination understands these things, and to shun them or use the pre-Trent rosary feels like shutting the door on the full truth.

Sorry to go on and on. I just wanted to drop in and say hi to others on the shore. I’m hoping my journey will include Confirmation this spring. If not, I think it will still just be a matter of time. And things will probably still be messy for me. My family doesn’t know yet and they probably won’t understand. But that will work itself out in time as well. Life is messy. :smile:

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Hows it going for everyone? Is it a smooth road to the Easter Vigil for you guys? Any updates?Hope its all working out well in RCIA :slight_smile:

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