Teen convert losing steam?


#1

First, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place. Y'all seem to have good advice, so just move it if it is in the wrong place.

I converted in April. I'm a teen. I'm so scared because I was so on fire for God but the rules are becoming too much. The church I go to is extremely orthodox and I'm the only one in the family who is Catholic. We're a nominally christian family. I still believe in everything about the church, but mass is no longer a joy, but a chore. I know that's not an excuse but I have no one to talk to. I am afraid of being rejected. Advice?

I feel drawn back in to maybe just a non-denominational church? Oh, I'm such a sinner. Help!


#2

what rules are you struggling with?


#3

Which are the "rules" you struggle with? The best thing to do is to study the Catechism, study why these "rules" exist. If you understand why something is sinful, then it is easier. For example, I always knew that pre-marital sex was sinful but I never really understood why it was. So because I didn't really understand it I didn't take it as seriously as I should have and fell easily into the sin. Understanding exactly why it is sinful was key to my repentance and desire not to keep sinning.

Another thing I found helpful was studying the pattern of the mass and learning the history, purpose and meaning of everything. It really helped me to appreciate the mass more and I think it's a huge reason why I never fell into finding mass a chore. And of course read about the Blessed Sacrament and the Real Presence.


#4

First, welcome to the Family! I can empathize with you - I'm a longtime Catholic and I was going through some doldrums earlier this year. A friend recommended a book by Albert Boudreau called "The Born-Again Catholic". It has an imprimatur by a Catholic bishop, totally in line with the Church and it's really excellent. If you don't know how to find a copy, PM me and I'll mail you mine so long as you promise to share it with someone else, too.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]
I converted in April. I'm a teen. I'm so scared because I was so on fire for God but the rules are becoming too much.

[/quote]

It's not just the rules - it's part of the post-conversion. It's like falling in love - everything's intense and wonderful and then you start getting used to the reality of this relationship. With a person, it's their faults and shortcomings (and your own). With Christ, it's either that you find being a Christian is serious work, or you encounter points where you struggle with things. For you, most specifically, it may be some kind of rule. If you post some big stones for you here, maybe we can help with them, either explaining the whys of it, or helping you to think through ways to include them in your relationship with Christ without their getting in the way.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]

The church I go to is extremely orthodox and I'm the only one in the family who is Catholic. We're a nominally christian family. I still believe in everything about the church, but mass is no longer a joy, but a chore.

[/quote]

Is there a University nearby? Go to their Newman Chapel. It's going to be attended by converts like you and young people like you. Even if the Mass isn't exciting, you'll at least have others to talk with. More often, though, you'll find a more alive Mass, more emotional music, and more opportunity to get involved.

We go to a parish that is not ideal but it's what we need. The Mass is the Mass, and it is Holy and Sacred always. At our old parish, it was also extremely longwinded. The associate pastor would deliver 20 to 30 minute homilies in a monotone. His one on pornography had people leaving. He would take 10 minutes to conclude the Eucharist, which gets more than tough when you have small children. So we go to a parish where the priest gets to the point (5 minute homily) and Mass takes 32 minutes, almost without fail. As our children get older, we'll start attending Mass that's more involving, but for now we come to worship as best our kids allow us, and make extra time for God in our daily lives.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]

I feel drawn back in to maybe just a non-denominational church? Oh, I'm such a sinner. Help!

[/quote]

What appeals to you about the non-denom? The looser liturgy, or the more stirring music? Or is it a lessening of the discipline of a Christian life? Be honest and we'll listen.


#5

I think the best advice to give you is to maybe become active and a reader. At my old church, I used to read and was a part of the youth choir. This made mass a lot easier to pay attention during because I had a job there.
Another thing is that the mass isn't supposed to give us anything. We are meant to praise God, not to receive a spiritual recharge. Don't base the mass on your emotions. If you become attached to the emotional high that can be present in the newness of it all, you will experience things like this. Your emotions will flow up and down. If you feel good during mass, thats great. If you feel nothing, so what its not about the feeling. And please do not judge the truth based on how it feels. It might feel great to eat tons of chocolate but in the end, your feelings are wrong. Chocolate is not a good thing to eat in large quantities. So, the truth of which church is true is not based on your fealings.


#6

Ours is a faith of reason not just mushy gushy emotions.


#7

Yes, the rules can be hard sometimes. I've struggled with them sometimes myself - not with believing them, but with following them.

What I have found works for me is this: learn why the rules exist. Once you are convinced of the truth of a particular rule, and that the reasons are good, then you will want to follow it. This doesn't remove the difficulty involved with following the rule, though.

Then you need to practice. Each time you come to a decision, you need to do your best to follow the rules. Sometimes you'll fail, but sometimes you won't. Don't expect a massive outpouring of feeling, it doesn't always happen (and for some, like me, it never happens). Just keep reminding yourself that you are not doing this for pleasure in this life, but in the next. Everything you do is for the greater glory of God and to get yourself to Heaven, and drag as many people with you as possible. This world is called the Valley of Tears, for good reason. It's hard.

Mass is not always fun - I spend most of my Mass telling my kids to be quiet and missing out on all of it. I know, though, that it is the most beneficial thing I can do, because even though I don't feel any different, I know that I am sharing in the passion of Christ and He is allowing me to receive the living Jesus into myself, to strengthen and support me, and to make me more like Him. It gives me something that is worthy of offering to God. What an amazing gift!

God gives us consolation when He knows we need it, but our suffering and struggles are needed to save souls and to make us stronger soldiers for Christ.

Pray, pray, pray and take baby steps. Offer every hardship to Jesus for the salvation of souls. Oh, and learn as much as you can. Listen to EWTN - it's great for keeping me inspired.


#8

It is never a chore to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. Remember, He told us to do that in memory of Him… because if we don’t we have no life in us. John 6.

I pray that your fire and desire to worship our Lord in His Church will be rekindled.


#9

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]
First, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place. Y'all seem to have good advice, so just move it if it is in the wrong place.

I converted in April. I'm a teen. I'm so scared because I was so on fire for God but the rules are becoming too much. The church I go to is extremely orthodox and I'm the only one in the family who is Catholic. We're a nominally christian family. I still believe in everything about the church, but mass is no longer a joy, but a chore. I know that's not an excuse but I have no one to talk to. I am afraid of being rejected. Advice?

I feel drawn back in to maybe just a non-denominational church? Oh, I'm such a sinner. Help!

[/quote]

To be motivated to do what you out to because you get an emotional reward or high is an immature and selfish form of religiousity. As we grow in our spiritual development, we gain less of these rewards. At times this means for many going through a period called the Dark Night of the Soul. This can be for very long periods of time and it purifies our hearts.


#10

Thanks for the support and just to warn you, this post will be all over the place.

Thanks for the suggestions. I know it is selfish and awful for me to only be happy when I feel "good". I guess it's mostly going to mass every Sunday. It's odd because I don't have a problem with going to church each Sunday...it's hard coming from a not really religious background. If you miss mass, you have committed a mortal sin and will go to hell. I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't imagine it, but I would go to hell for missing mass.

The modesty is a lot different. Sometimes I feel like everyone at church can be very judgmental. The church is filled with large, homeschooling families who are wonderful but it's a different world. Most are very sheltered and I go to a public school which every 5 minutes you'll hear some kind of sexual joke or saying. I guess I feel like I'm not holy enough. I'm constantly worried that my shorts are too short (they are an inch or two above my knees). I have a real problem with being overscrupulous and it's starting to wear down on me. I am worried that I'll be in a state of mortal sin and not know it.
Also, a side note; i have an anxiety disorder that's pretty severe, so that might be part of it.
Are you supposed to feel guilty and scared all the time?
It's like my eyes have been opened and at every corner there is a chance to sin. I mean movies, books, music, that I enjoyed before aren't enjoyable. I guess I'm just scared of messing up because I really want to be a good Catholic and please God and do what is right.


#11

It's funny also, because when I was 16, I initially went out to find God. I asked myself "Do you believe in God?" And I said, yes I do. Then I wanted to find the best way to serve Christ. Which sect of Christianity was the right one?
I attended a Baptist church when I was 16, as I was in a new town, and they were incredibly friendly. Previously, I went to a non-denominational church for years. My family went to a Lutheran church for a while. I've been all over the place.
And I was attracted to the Catholic church, because I believe it holds the truth. The Catholic church is not hypocritical, for example they are pro life in terms of all life.
To amend my previous statement, I went searching for the truth and I found it in the Catholic church.

I don't know what my problem is now. Culture shock? Am I just too immature? I don't know, I really don't.


#12

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]
. I still believe in everything about the church, but mass is no longer a joy, but a chore. !

[/quote]

welcome to mature Christianity
Paul tells us after the first fervor of conversion we will relapse to this stage, which indicates we are being weaned off the baby food of good feelings and warm fuzzies, and onto the adult food of taking up our crosses daily, serving for love even when there is no apparent reward.

Meditate on the passion of Christ, before the Blessed Sacrament if you are able, or before a crucifix and think about what he did for love of you, and what you can do for love of him.

read and meditate on the last section of the Catechism entitled "the battle of prayer." Do you think they would call it a battle if it was easy?


#13

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]
Thanks for the support and just to warn you, this post will be all over the place.

Thanks for the suggestions. I know it is selfish and awful for me to only be happy when I feel "good". I guess it's mostly going to mass every Sunday. It's odd because I don't have a problem with going to church each Sunday...it's hard coming from a not really religious background. If you miss mass, you have committed a mortal sin and will go to hell. I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't imagine it, but I would go to hell for missing mass.

The modesty is a lot different. Sometimes I feel like everyone at church can be very judgmental. The church is filled with large, homeschooling families who are wonderful but it's a different world. Most are very sheltered and I go to a public school which every 5 minutes you'll hear some kind of sexual joke or saying. I guess I feel like I'm not holy enough. I'm constantly worried that my shorts are too short (they are an inch or two above my knees). I have a real problem with being overscrupulous and it's starting to wear down on me. I am worried that I'll be in a state of mortal sin and not know it.
Also, a side note; i have an anxiety disorder that's pretty severe, so that might be part of it.
Are you supposed to feel guilty and scared all the time?
It's like my eyes have been opened and at every corner there is a chance to sin. I mean movies, books, music, that I enjoyed before aren't enjoyable. I guess I'm just scared of messing up because I really want to be a good Catholic and please God and do what is right.

[/quote]

I really doubt that a person could be in a state of mortal sin and not know it. I guess it could happen, but this sounds very much like scrupulosity to me. They talk about Catholic guilt a lot, but when you really get into it, you will hopefully find that there is less emphasis on feeling guilty and more on the freedom of forgiveness. Examining your conscience is helpful to make you a better person, not to make you dwell on your badness. If you go to confession, and make a good one, even if you've forgotten something it is still forgiven. No question. You're clean. So go to confession regularly.

On the "not holy enough" and unchastity thing, I have also felt like you. My church is a traditional Latin Mass congregation, and most of the women don't wear pants, and cover their heads. I wear pants because I don't do skirts or dresses, and I rarely cover my head. I still love the Mass there and I feel now like I belong there, but I still see that other people there are more holy than me. All I can do is my best and hope that God continues to make me better. Most (all?) of the saints didn't think they were holy enough either.


#14

[quote="helitmycandle, post:1, topic:252437"]
First, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place. Y'all seem to have good advice, so just move it if it is in the wrong place.

I converted in April. I'm a teen. I'm so scared because I was so on fire for God but the rules are becoming too much. The church I go to is extremely orthodox and I'm the only one in the family who is Catholic. We're a nominally christian family. I still believe in everything about the church, but mass is no longer a joy, but a chore. I know that's not an excuse but I have no one to talk to. I am afraid of being rejected. Advice?

I feel drawn back in to maybe just a non-denominational church? Oh, I'm such a sinner. Help!

[/quote]

I was in your shoes about six months ago. I'm 16 and reverted last October. I wanted to be a Catholic again and I liked going to Church on Sunday mornings. But what I didn't want were the rules - particularly on sexual issues. So for a time I made up excuses and tried to pretend that the rules didn't exist. Needless to say, this didn't work for very long.

When I discovered the reasons behind the rules and the teachings of the Church I had a change of heart. I still struggle with sin, but life is truly better understanding and living out the Catholic faith. Don't beat yourself up over every single sin you commit, just pray and persist. And please don't leave for Protestantism. You'll get some things there, but you'll never get the body and blood of Christ and never that feeling of relief and thanksgiving when the priest tells you "I absolve you of your sins" in the Confessional. You won't get the great intellectual history and foundation that back up the Catholic faith which Jesus himself founded.

I guess what you are experiencing that I never experienced is being bored with the Mass. Try at Mass to always focus on the action in the sanctuary. The most essential truth of the Mass is that Christ is being sacrificed. He is immolated on the altar for the redemption of mankind and when you receive Holy Communion, you join in the flesh with God. At Mass, offer up the sacrifice in union with the priest. You can even offer it up, as well as the graces you receive when you receive the Eucharist, for a particular purpose. Learning how to pray the Mass has very much helped me in the spiritual life. If I could drive, I'd go every day!

Pray. Pray that you may be able to live up to the promises of your baptism, when God in one strike (three actually if you think about it) forgave you all of your sins. You were born again of water and the Holy Ghost and justified by Christ's blood in his great mercy. Remember it and live it. May it be to your eternal benefit.


#15

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]
Thanks for the support and just to warn you, this post will be all over the place.

Thanks for the suggestions. I know it is selfish and awful for me to only be happy when I feel "good". I guess it's mostly going to mass every Sunday. It's odd because I don't have a problem with going to church each Sunday...it's hard coming from a not really religious background. If you miss mass, you have committed a mortal sin and will go to hell. I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't imagine it, but I would go to hell for missing mass.

The modesty is a lot different. Sometimes I feel like everyone at church can be very judgmental. The church is filled with large, homeschooling families who are wonderful but it's a different world. Most are very sheltered and I go to a public school which every 5 minutes you'll hear some kind of sexual joke or saying. I guess I feel like I'm not holy enough. I'm constantly worried that my shorts are too short (they are an inch or two above my knees). I have a real problem with being overscrupulous and it's starting to wear down on me. I am worried that I'll be in a state of mortal sin and not know it.
Also, a side note; i have an anxiety disorder that's pretty severe, so that might be part of it.
Are you supposed to feel guilty and scared all the time?
It's like my eyes have been opened and at every corner there is a chance to sin. I mean movies, books, music, that I enjoyed before aren't enjoyable. I guess I'm just scared of messing up because I really want to be a good Catholic and please God and do what is right.

[/quote]

We have more in common...I have anxiety too.

No, we're not supposed to feel guilty and scared all the time. As St. Irenaus said "the glory of God is a human being fully alive." Try not to be scrupulous and anxious. There are many threads on the Forum about that and they'll tell you more about it than I ever could. If you're confused on what is a grave sin, a venial sin, or not a sin, a list is here.

And just remember that holiness and fortitude take time to build. Just like someone becomes a great baseball or a great football player through practice, practicing your Catholic faith will help you become better. It's a journey.

Finally, I totally understand what it's like to come from a public school where everybody's gossiping and making a sex joke every five minutes. It's very, very hard to be above it all and the Lord knows I've had more than my fair share of failings. But if you pray every day, go to Mass (if it's the parish culture that bothers you, than perhaps you should move if you feel you have to), and build up your fortitude and holiness, I can't see how you could go wrong.


#16

In my opinion, you just have to hang in there. After all the warm feelings there is spiritual dryness. I remember one story that illustrates this point:

A young woman went to see her priest. "Father", she said, "I am no longer feeling any consolation when I'm praying". The priest understood that she had this same spiritual dryness. So, he took a cup of boiling water and told the young woman to drink it. The young woman replied that it was too hot to drink. The priest answered by stating, "It is when we no longer have those passions and consolations that God is most pleased with your prayers".

I suppose this means that just keep praying and going to Mass. It's in times like these that praying is more pleasing and may even be a form of sacrifice.

P.S. How serious is making dirty jokes... I (due to my classmates, grr....) seem to see double meanings everywhere.


#17

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]

The modesty is a lot different. Sometimes I feel like everyone at church can be very judgmental. The church is filled with large, homeschooling families who are wonderful but it's a different world. Most are very sheltered and I go to a public school which every 5 minutes you'll hear some kind of sexual joke or saying.

[/quote]

Having gone to public school from first grade through all three degrees, I can understand the difference. But just because you hear filth during the day doesn't mean you're somehow unclean to stand with homeschooled kids. I can understand there being some sense of intimidation, though.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]

I guess I feel like I'm not holy enough.

[/quote]

That's why we have Jesus to save us and the Spirit to guide us. Breathe easy. If anyone tells you you're a sinner because of your dress, say "I'm in the right place, then. The Church is for the sinners, Jesus came for the sick. Are you here for the same reason?"

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]

I have a real problem with being overscrupulous and it's starting to wear down on me. I am worried that I'll be in a state of mortal sin and not know it.

[/quote]

It's not possible to be in mortal sin without knowing it. You are reponsible for the revelation received, God does not judge you by capricious standards, and so guilt requires knowledge both of the act committed and that it is a sin. Having inappropriate shorts, oh well you're in a pew and people are supposed to be looking at the altar anyway. In St. Louis in the summertime even I cave and wear shorts to Mass. That we had 18 days above 100 degrees this summer softened expectations a little bit.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]

Also, a side note; i have an anxiety disorder that's pretty severe, so that might be part of it.
Are you supposed to feel guilty and scared all the time?

[/quote]

I'm glad you mentioned this because I didn't know how to ask gently. Yes, your anxiety is causing you to focus unduly on avoiding wrongs. Think of Catholic life as being a carrot and stick. The carrot is the Beatitudes - focusing on the things Jesus asks of us. The stick is the Commandments, the "thou shalt nots". Both are perspectives on the same way a disciple should live, one being negative, the other affirmative. When you feel anxious, work conscientiously towards the Beatitudes rather than only the Commandments.

As an example, the Commandment is "Thou shalt not lust", while the Beatitude is "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see their God." When you're worried about your dress (ie, that it is immodest or will cause another to lust for you), first observe your heart. Is your heart seeking God? Are you seeking a chaste life? If so, then how can your shorts (a little above your knee) condemn you? It's not like you're wearing daisy dukes or bikini shorts.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]
I guess I'm just scared of messing up because I really want to be a good Catholic and please God and do what is right.

[/quote]

On the one hand, it is good to be cognizant of possibilities for sin, especially those that we struggle with. On the other, you can be overscrupulous. Christ died to save sinners, not to have us keep an absolute accounting of potential for sin.

Being a good Catholic means opening yourself to Christ and submitting your life to Him. Let everything else follow from that. The rules are partly to resolve disputes and partly to help guide us toward holiness. For example, there remains much contention on divorce within Christian churches, with entire denominations having been started because someone was not granted remarriage after divorce. Thus we have many rules about it so that it is abundantly clear that divorce and remarriage is sinful and cannot be authorized by the Church except in stringent circumstances (ie if a valid marriage never existed).

Would it help to try a simple rule for avoiding sin? Sin is what makes you fall. So don't do the things that make you fall. If you watch this movie and you feel compelled to impure thoughts, don't watch the movie anymore. If the movie makes you laugh and relax and you're not led to impure thoughts afterwards, watch it when you need to laugh and relax.


#18

After writing my responses, I think it would help for you to talk with two kinds of people, and they may both be at your parish. It would help you to find a spiritual director (even if you have to call a Newman Chapel or an Order) to assist you in working towards confidence that Christ and His Church really do save you from sin, as well as living to be aware of sin without feeling overwhelmed by it. It would also help you to talk with a counselor who has some expertise with anxiety issues so that you're able to control the emotional impact of your anxiety disorder. I'll pray for you on both of these because you're walking so well with Christ but could use a little nudge to help you see that at times.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]
I know it is selfish and awful for me to only be happy when I feel "good".

[/quote]

I wouldn't call it selfish and awful. It's just not necessarily the focus. Think about a relationship you've had with someone - friend or love interest. You'll have days when you don't get along with them or that person doesn't make you feel good. I'm not talking anything like abuse, just that you have your difficult moments with them. That doesn't render the relationship not good, it just means you learn to develop a mature love (friendship is a kind of love) that is based on giving of yourself to this person rather than pursuing the feeling. This is something that becomes easier as you grow. Well, maybe not easier, but you see the purpose behind it and it's thus more doable.So if you're in Mass and you think "I'm not getting anything out of this", take a moment and try to find Christ there. Yes, He's everywhere in a very real sense, but where do YOU sense Him at this moment? Is it in the face of the parishoner next to you who is giving her heart to the Lord? Is it in the family who is facing a difficulty and putting their trust in God to see them through? Is it in the face of the one who struggles with their faith? Is it in the smile of the mother with a child she never thought she'd be able to have, and whose heart is only filled with gratitude? Find how He's touching lives, and you'll find how you can serve Him.

[quote="helitmycandle, post:10, topic:252437"]
If you miss mass, you have committed a mortal sin and will go to hell. I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't imagine it, but I would go to hell for missing mass.

[/quote]

It is serious - breaking of the Commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. Remember we are judged by God, not by men. Remember also the forgiveness that is present in Christ Jesus. If you miss Mass for a non-legitimate reason, go to Confession and be assured that Christ forgives you. If you have a legitimate reason it's not a sin - if you've got the flu, please stay home. If you can think ahead of time to have a visit from a eucharistic minister, do so, but if you get sick Saturday evening and wake up Sunday morning with a fever of 102 degrees, yeah stay home. Not a sin there - you're not able to get out.


#19

RaphaelJ, thanks for your story.

[quote="RaphaelJ, post:16, topic:252437"]

I suppose this means that just keep praying and going to Mass. It's in times like these that praying is more pleasing and may even be a form of sacrifice.

[/quote]

To quote Whitman, "You can surrender without a prayer, but never pray without surrender." The Mass is prayer and sacrifice, but I repeat myself.

[quote="RaphaelJ, post:16, topic:252437"]

P.S. How serious is making dirty jokes... I (due to my classmates, grr....) seem to see double meanings everywhere.

[/quote]

As I write "it can't be good" I also think "man, I've told some doozies in my life." They're not good when they bring us towards a mindset that is demeaning to others, ourselves, our sexuality or just lead our minds towards a filthy thought. Would you go to Hell for a dirty joke? All sin merits death, obviously, but through Christ we have forgiveness. It may be a venial sin or a mortal sin, but either way I'd avoid it.


#20

[quote="helitmycandle, post:11, topic:252437"]
I don't know what my problem is now. Culture shock? Am I just too immature? I don't know, I really don't.

[/quote]

Probably a little culture shock. Catholic parishes, for many reasons, are not often as friendly as nearby Protestant churches. Maybe it's that the Mass is very introspective and little emphasis is placed on fellowship. This isn't universally true - when my wife and I attended the Catholic Student Center at Washington University (St. Louis, Mo), we would have fellowship after Mass that could go on for two hours. There were also Happy Hours once a month (no one got drunk or even tipsy - Fr. Gary came down pretty hard on anyone who did) and we organized a lot of Bible Studies, discussion groups, had guest speakers during the week and would make group trips to plays and such. It was a really cool parish, but it was also mostly 20-somethings.

So you, having come from what you describe as a really friendly Baptist church, to a quiet and introspective Catholic parish, that doesn't help your anxiety disorder at all. You probably feel really out of place despite finding this theological truth. If fellowship doesn't take place at Mass, find where it does take place. Are there get-togethers of some kind? If you volunteer to help with some ministry - say fish fry prep or pancake dinners or visiting the sick or youth ministry - that's a great way to meet people.

You probably also feel a little out of place with all these families when your family doesn't attend with you. That's understandable. Our current parish is mostly older, like between our parents' age and our grandparents' age. They sent a welcome person to our house (which was really nice) and she was sweet but I don't think we'll be close friends. At the same time, there are some trying to start a young adult ministry and we're looking forward to that.

Two other thoughts that might help assuage your feeling of not fitting in. One is find a local parish that has a Life Teen Mass. This is not only young people like you but a contemporary worship style that you may find very similar to what you enjoyed as a Protestant. Another is to find out if a local parish has teen or young adult events. In St. Louis, Saint Monica's parish is known for having young adult coffeehouse nights where teens and young adults gather to share faith, sing worship songs but also share talents like poetry and music.

Hang in there and do some looking. My heart really goes out to you because you've shared so much here. Please PM me if you need to talk or just want to share some prayers together.

In Christ,
JT


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.