Where do I start?

Hello,

I am new to all of this. Right now, I’m searching for answers. I am not Catholic, but I am drawn to that faith. I would like to become Catholic… but honestly I have no idea what to do or where to start.

I have been praying the rosary for over a month. I have felt a strong affection for Mary for a long time.

Please tell me where I begin…

Thank you :slight_smile:

Welcome Home! The Holy Spirit is calling you into the Catholic Church. You have made a very good start by learning to pray the rosary. The next step would be to attend Mass at your local Catholic Church. Do you know someone who is Catholic? You could ask to go to Mass with them some Sunday and they could walk you through the liturgy. If you are not comfortable with going with someone, no problem; you are most welcome to attend on your own. Just find a church in your area, call the office to get the Mass times and go whenever you like. Mass is celebrated everyday of the week (in most places) and you could go then, it will be a shorter version and less people will be there. You can also start reading about the Church, “Catholicism for Dummies” is a good book for those who do not know much about the Catholic Church; it’s easy to read and you don’t have to already be Catholic to understand it. After you find a parish you like (feel free to try more than on;, parishes are like people, they all have their different personalities) you can call and make an appointment to speak with a priest about your questions and concerns. When you are ready, you can sign up for the RICA program at your parish. That involves a series of classes or meetings with others who are also interested in converting and lead by a team of volunteers from the parish to help you along with your faith journey (which will last for the rest of your life). Jesus is waiting for you in the Eucharist! :love:

Hello :slight_smile:

Thank you for answering me. I appreciate it more than you know!

I do not personally know anyone who is Catholic, to the best of my knowledge. The little town I live in is mostly Baptist. I think there is one Catholic church in town. I want to go there, but I must admit… I am extremely anxious about meeting new people. I get panic attacks easily. Also, I am in constant pain and dizzy from an autoimmune illness (which i am currently being tested to discover which one), so I worry about being in unknown places, alone. I hope to find the courage to overcome this, however.

I am glad to have found this forum, at least. It’s nice to be able to ask questions without being ridiculed. (Again, most everyone I know is Baptist and they do not have good views about Catholicism.

Look into the RCIA process at a Catholic church in your area. Speak to one of the priests at the church. He will give you the spiritual quidance and direction you need to fullfill your desire. Ask questions in the forums. God bless you.

Congratulations on this big step of looking into the faith! I’ll say a prayer that your conversion is smooth and loving! I second all the other posters said about contacting a priest and RCIA classes. I suggest, in the mean time, get your hands on a copy of the Catechism! :slight_smile: Good luck!!

  • SnowAngels

Wonderful! :):thumbsup::bounce::yup::clapping: Congratulations on your interest in the Catholic Church!

You don’t need to be Catholic to go to RCIA. It’s my understanding it’s for people who are exploring the Catholic faith and converts. So, even if one hasn’t yet decided, he can go.

I agree Catholic1954 that “Catholicism for Dummies” is an excellent book. Your local public library may even have a copy.

I hope you can work through the panic attacks and find treatment or counseling that might help minimize that.

Good luck! :wink:

Hi navaehniko,
We ALL come to the Lord HIS way, I joined the Catholic Church by crook,
I was a “Cafeteria” Christian, going to different Christian churches as I will.
I just happened to marry a catholic so HERE I AM! I will pray for you, that
you will find what you’re looking for in the Catholic Church
as I have found it to be, a Great blessing on my spiritual life!

I, too, welcome you. The advise given so far, is good. Do you know anything about the various Catholic Rites and Uses ? For example, there are 23 (I think that is correct) rites in communion with Rome. Two uses of the Roman (Latin rite) Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form. There is also Byzantine, and many others that are in communion with Rome.

My experience has been that if coming into the church with an interest in the Ordinary Form, then RCIA is pretty much the accepted manner. If you have an interest in the Extraordinary Form then you’ll will probably be taught with one on one instruction. At least by the Fraternity of St. Peter priests.

My preference is for the latter.

I have no knowledge of how the Byzantines handle their instructions.

Whatever interest you have I pray that you’ll pursue it. God is calling you.

Hi Okinheaven!
You might also try listening to Catholic radio. Even if you don’t have one in your location, you can listen online to learn more. I know there is a website where you can see Catholic radio stations listed by state.
Also, do know that you can join RCIA, even if you are not sure you want to become Catholic. I started RCIA 2 times, and quit both times. Then the 3rd time was the charm, and my husband also came home to the Church after not practicing his faith for 25 years.
Just keep searching for the truth, and be open to the Holy Spirit.
I will say a prayer for you! :slight_smile:

Lets just keep it simple, why don’t you ring the local priest, have a chat to make an appointment to see him, so when you arrive at least he knows to expect you plus he knows what it is you want to talk to him about. As a Convert myself I know how you feel, as I come from a Jewish back ground but if we Love the Lord and He is calling us to His Church, founded by Christ himself, all we can say to Him is “Yes Lord your servant is listening”

Catholicism is Christianity at its fullest expression.

Catholicism is pre denominational . we are the originals.

You can always Order Catholic books on line if you don’t have a Catholic Book shop near you, books to read, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholicism for Dummies, some books of the Church Fathers, I personally like Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who is one of the Church Fathers. The Lives of the Saints, go into your Library and see what they have on Catholicism,

Galatians 1: 8,9

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one
that we preached to you let that one be accursed.
As we have said before and now I say again if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed.

Would you get a panic attack if it was just one on one? I’m thinking you could call the Catholic Church, tell whoever answers exactly what you’ve told us here, and ask if there would be a woman from the parish who could come to your home and speak with you. If you would find that too difficult, perhaps you could write a letter explaining your situation and asking if someone could contact you.

Meantime, are you familiar with the Catholic TV station, EWTN. They also have a website - www.ewtn.com.
Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available online if you do not have access to a Catholic bookstore. vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

I’m glad you found the forum. Welcome.

:thumbsup: Check out these links that will give you good information.

Don’t sweat us Catholics. Generally we don’t bite though (at least here on CAF) we do growl a bit. :hug3:

[LIST]
*]How to Become a Catholic
*]How to Become Catholic Link to radio show by Dr. Edward Sri
*]Born Again - The Bible Way
[/LIST]

Hello :slight_smile:

Yes, I would still probably have a panic attack. I get them when the phone rings! I don’t know why I am like that. I think, though, that the best idea to overcome something is to just do it. I hope I can make myself do that soon.

Yes, I have started watching EWTN. I am actually watching the Mass at this very moment.

First off, Welcome Home!. Second, God understands, take as long as you need. Try attending some of the local Masses–there should be daily morning Masses. Arive a wee-bit late, sit in the back, and observe. Your seeing EWTN Masses mean you wont be all in the dark. Not an admonishment, but when the line forms for receiving the Eucharist, remember it is for those who have publicaly accepted the doctrine of the Real Presense of our Lord in this Sacrament. The more you learn about this teaching the more you will long for it! (See Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home). If you start to feel anxious, slip out a little early–our Lord understands baby step progress:)

Thank you, this is comforting. :slight_smile:

“The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1124) The prayer you undergo in the rosary is what binds you to the Church, which is “the goal of all things” (CCC 760). I say this to signify that you are one of us already, you have already started, apparently your heart has been changed you are invited to adhere to the Church’s faith - most exemplified in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

which could be read here

vatican.va/archive/ccc/index.htm

as exemplified your heart more and more will trust in the parish communion of God, which starts at the RCIA process

If you are starting with the Catechism, I recommend the Baltimore Catechism because it is in question and answer format which makes for easier reading and understanding. In addition, it is free for Kindle from Amazon (if you have a Kindle). If starting with the Catechism seems a little daunting, you can start with other reading, such as the Catholic Answer Magazine (which got my husband back to the Church) or many books by apologists as they tend to be easy reads that are entertaining while still being good teaching material. That way you can learn the faith and not be intimidated by the large amount of reading a typical Catechism will require.

As we’ve addressed in a previous thread, nevaehniko, we share a common interest here, truly if you manage to make it into a Church before I while overcoming your panic attacks then I will have no excuse to do the same!

I don’t want to steal the thread but there are some questions which I would ask that are very much related to this thread.

First off, I bought the Catechism book and also a rosary but I don’t understand how to use the rosary, I don’t understand how to pray for that matter.

Hello!

I have not made it there yet, but I did drive by it today with my husband. :slight_smile:

The Rosary was my first step on this journey. Somehow, I requested one online without really understanding what it was. I love the Rosary.

Here is the site I use to help me stay focused while doing the Rosary: fatima.org/essentials/requests/onlinerosary.asp . Click the picture to start. The music is so beautiful. Just click on the parts of the Rosary, starting at the cross and it will lead you step by step.

This page might also be helpful for you (it helps me): catholicity.com/prayer/rosary.html

:thumbsup:

nevaehniko,

You have receive good advice from those who have responded. Ponder what has been said, and have no fear. The Holy Spirit is working in you. I will pray for you.

God bless.

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