Telling my protestant minister I want to be Catholic


#1

Hello everyone,

I was raised Baptist, and I have attended and become a member of a non-denominational church for the past 4 years. Since the Popes visit last year, I have become extremely interested in the Catholic Faith. So much so that I have order books, CDs, spoken with co-workers that are Catholic about their faith, watching EWTN TV, listening to Catholic radio, attended Mass and have begun regularly praying the Rosary. I just feel a longing to known more about the Catholic faith. I’m currently in the RCIA process. How and when do I tell my protestant minister that I have been lead, I believe by the holy spirit, to the catholic faith?


#2

It really depends on the relationship you have with this pastor.

If he's somebody you see only on Sundays and he doesn't know you by name, I'd say a letter would be adequate. If he's somebody who knows you on sight, knows your name and you've had plenty of personal contact with, then it needs to be more personal.

It could be a really great conversation, or it could be totally brutal. I've known baptists who think all catholics worship the Whore of Babylon. Such a person will be aghast at the prospect of you "utterly betraying the Lord" by becoming catholic.

Whichever type he is, pray lots and hard beforehand. A hefty helping of Holy Spirit will come in mighty handy.


#3

Maybe I don't fully understand the relationship, but why do you have to tell him at all?:confused: And if you did, could you just say "I am becoming Catholic" rather than saying, "I want to"? I want to seems like it leaves wiggle room and from what you've said it sounds like your mind is made up.


#4

Sorry let me clarify some. I have a very good relationship with my protestant minister. He knows me by name. He and his family have brought my family dinner while my wife was pregnant. We have had dinner at my home together. He blessed my son. I’ve prayed for him and I know he’s prayed for me and my family. My wife has asked me when I’m going to tell our pastor. To that I didn’t have an answer. I don’t know. I believe I owe him more then a letter or a phone call. But I don’t know how or when? I don’t want to feel like I’m hiding a dirty little secret either. There is no wiggle room for my decision to become Catholic. I truly believe this is the Holy Sprit (God) that has revealed to me the truth. I can’t ignore it. How do I, a weak sinner, tell GOD, no. I can’t and won’t! I believe, and please forgive me if this comes across arrogant, but if every protestant gave the Catholic faith a chance, they would want to be Catholic too.

Matthew 16:16-20 says 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18"I also say to you that you are (kepha Aramaic), and upon this kepha I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

I have a lot of unknowns. I don’t know what I’m walking into when I tell him. I don’t know how he feelings on the Catholic faith/Church.

My wife isn’t making the convergence with me, so she still would like to attend our non-denominational church. After my confirmation to the Catholic Church I would still like to attend church with her. And I would like for her to come to Mass with me.

So I would like to keep our friendship if at all possible.


#5

One would hope that if he truly cares about you and your spiritual journey that he would understand your following what you feel God is calling you to do. I would approach it from that direction. Even if he disagrees on your couice, he should understand your following a call from God as he would if called.


#6

God bless you my brother, and welcome to the journey of a lifetime! It is so fulfilling to see any Protestant, many of whom know and love Our Lord so well, to come to the fullness of the faith, His One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church. And you are quite right, the Holy Spirit has led you to this point, where the scriptures have been opened to you, and you are blessed with the gift of being able to see that the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. Welcome!

Like a previous poster said above, make sure you pray before you speak to your pastor. I would call and arrange a short meeting. You do not have to explain to him beforehand your reason, just say you would like to see him. When you talk to him, make sure you are clear that your decision is based in scripture and prayer, that you love your Christian background but that you are SURE that you have found the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church. Be very kind and thankful, after all this man has apparently been very helpful to you in your journey with Christ.

The key is to be very loving and thankful to him, but also very firm that you KNOW this is the truth. If you water down your feelings, he may feel that you are unsure about your decision and try to convince you otherwise.

I am so happy to hear this story. I will most certainly pray for you in your meeting with you pastor and your faith journey. You have many blessings in store, my friend. And make sure you do not worry. "Pray, hope and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and hears our prayers." -St. Padre Pio

God is with you in this beautiful decision, trust Him :) Also, feel free to message me if you would ever like to talk, ask questions, etc. about the faith.

Peace and blessings,
Frank


#7

BlackJack774,

Welcome home! I am a clergy convert to Catholicism (to read my story, go to triptbishop.blogspot.com/2009/04/god-draws-straight-with-crooked-lines.html).

As a former clergy, I can tell you that he will both be surprised and not surprised. He will also be curious, and possibly defensive (or questioning himself), depending on whether he has been reared in an anti-Catholic milieu.

Go to chnetwork.org and get some advice there from the various conversions stories. Reading their experiences will help you with your task.

Saint Ambrose, ora pro nobis!

In Christ & Mother Mary–Randy


#8

I told my pastor once the date was set for my confirmation, so that it sounded final. There were some issues to be worked out, and I didn’t want to go to him sounding like it might or might not happen because I wasn’t interested in him trying to persuade me back.

He told me that he knew I was a reader and a thinker and he trusted that I would think my way right back out of the Church. He was married to a former Catholic who was “saved out of the Church” by Campus Crusade, so he had a pretty strong bias. And he didn’t think I would lose my salvation by becoming Catholic, thanks for the reassurance :/. He did want to know if I had consulted any protestants about the decision, and I told him that whenever I brought up the topic, they shut me down really fast, without any thoughtful discussion, so I stopped bothering. He seemed to think that was unfair and one-sided of me.

It was really not pretty, and I cried after I left.

I think the main thing to remember, besides praying first, is that you cannot control his response. Not one bit. You know him well, but you may not know about some good or bad experience he had with the Church years ago to color his thoughts. It may be a really hard or a really edifying one, but it won’t really be about you so much as it will be about him, yk?


#9

As a former baptist myself I can tell you that this can be tough. I was told I would burn in hell.


#10

Evelyn,

Your last paragraph shows what a consolation of wisdom you are being given by the Holy Spirit, and I can only confirm it. YES, this IS about him, and not you.

You will grieve and mourn this loss, but remember these words of Saint Edmund Campion to his eventual executor, Queen Eliabeth I:

If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good, shall be rewarded with rigour, I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us his grace, and see us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.

I am praying for you and will lift up a Rosary for this trial.

In Christ & Mary–Randy


#11

Thanks you all so much for your help. I think I will tell him when my confirmation is set. I pray that when that day comes I can as St. Peter says, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet 3:15)
I do get the feeling, I don’t know if this is the Holy Spirit warning me, that he won’t be happy with where the spirit is leading.

It is so amazing to me. I see my new found faith like a fullness of Christ and his teachings. Don’t get me wrong as a Baptist I learned to love and trust the Lord Jesus and his holy word, the Bible. Apologist like Tim Staples, Scott Hahn, and Alex Jones biblically give me the foundation of the church teaching. Every false understanding I thought I had of the Catholic faith has been rolled away. Like scabs falling from my eyes.
Thanks again,
BJ774


#12

Blackjack, I agree with Randy here, go to: www.chnetwork.org (the Coming Home Network with Marcus Grodi).


#13

BlackJack - May the Lord fill you with wisdom and peace during your journey and in all your discussions with those who don’t fully understand your choices. May the Lord fill those who don’t fully understand your choices with peace and grace as well.

God bless you! :slight_smile:


#14

Blackjack - what strikes me about the posts above is not so much your minister, but how your wife will react. When you say “bye” to your minister, you probably won’t run into him again. No so your wife! Several folks mentioned other resources and conversion stories. If your wife could read some of those stories (e.g. Scott and Kimberly Hahn - don’t remember the name of their book), or “No Price too High” by Alex Jones and his wife, it might help her to eventually join you.

Good luck and may God bless you on your journey!


#15

By your reading list and your past, I think you would like Steven Ray, have you read anything by him? If not, read “Crossing the Tiber”. That is the book that led Alex Jones to his conversion :slight_smile:

God bless you on your journey! What a wonderful thing to hear.

Peace and blessings,
Frank


#16

The implications of what it means for you to convert are the reason for the problem. Essentially what you are saying to your pastor, who you surely respect and like as a person, is that I am becoming Catholic, because I believe the claims of the Catohlic Church, that the Catholic Church’s doctrines are true. What is implied there is that there are beliefs in your pastor’s religion that are false. Your conversion is a statement that your pastor is wrong about what is most important in his life, his religion.

This could be taken as an insult, but it could also cause him to ask questions that might someday help him.

What is very important, more important than the words you use, will be your attitude. While the bottom line is that you are saying your new path is right and his is wrong, you can still show care, respect, friendship, but most importantly Christian love, the genuine sentiments of your soul. If you do this then no matter how things turn out you will have handled a difficult situation with grace and dignity.

All difficulties are opportunities.


#17

Oh, I agree so much with Grandfather here. How many times have my wife and I experienced this, where we were following what we believed that God wanted us to do, and to only have other people take it personally an assume that we were only being critical of them and their ways and beliefs. So, as Grandfather said, we always must put “respect, friendship and love” always first. Best to you. J.


#18

Here’s what I emailed to my protestant minister today. The names have been removed for privacy reasons.

Dear Pastor N****,

First let me thank you for all your prayers and help you and G**** B**** Fellowship has provided to me and my family, but it is with great joy and happiness that I must tell you that I am Catholic. For me this has been a two year journey of prayer and discernment, but at every turn and moment the Holy Spirit has lead me to Christ’s Church. I don’t quit understand all this, but that’s okay. Proverb 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” So I trust and believe!

I will still be an irregular visitor at G**** B**** because my wife is remaining a protestant and isn’t making this journey with me, but Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We all love God!

Thanks again and God Bless you,
Kevin *

Please continue to keep me in your prayers! God bless you all,
BJ774


#19

Let us know what the response is.

You might want to get him a copy of "Common Ground" from www.catholicprotestant.com or a copy of Steve Ray's "Crossing the Tiber".


#20

As a fellow Baptist, I think that the time is now. Know that a conversion to Catholicism is considered worse than a turn to atheism by some Baptists. The attitude toward the RC church is one of the things that I dislike about the Baptist Church. But, you need to follow your conscience, based upon what YOU believe will best comfort your soul, and your honest discernment of Truth. Blessings, Rob :slight_smile:


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