Why did you convert from Protestantism to Catholicism?

My story is a bit simplistic.

I always had a feeling in my gut that religion should be hard, that it should be something based not on feelings but in irrevocable truths, and that it should be an uphill struggle. I did not find that in my Baptist roots. I befriended a Catholic and then I basically was convinced that Protestantism was a lie based on, in my opinion, absolutely nothing. I found it so stupid that a religion can essentially base itself on not being another religion, while nevertheless selfishly professing some of its beliefs. Catholicism was intellectual paradise for me, while Protestantism was a self-blinding half-truth.

My conversion was first and foremost in my intellect, and I think that is a good thing. I tend to trust my mind more than my emotions. I am developing my more emotional side as regards my Catholic identity, but this must, for me, always be in pace with, and subject to, my intellectual assurance of my faith.

Disclaimer: I’m not Prot. bashing, I’m telling my story.

Share yours. :slight_smile:

I’ve been through this before. I had this sort of spiritual push towards becoming Catholic, but I was getting a bit fed up with the divisions in Protestantism. And there just seemed to be something missing, and “It’s all in the Bible” just didn’t cut it. The core thing that was missing, with hindsight, was the Eucharist, along with a few other things.

I also met a very spiritual Catholic psychiatrist when I was getting treatment for depression, and he had an influence.

It wasn’t purely intellectual - I didn’t go looking through the Church Fathers, or reading St. Thomas Aquinas, the CCC, or much at all to be honest. I’ve done a bit of reading since making the jump, but I can’t say my transition was mostly intellectual.

That said, the wisest and most accurately prophetic man I’ve ever met was my old Presbyterian (Methodist trained) pastor, one Rev. Robert Missenden. I had the same sort of spiritual push when I was getting frustrated as an atheist towards the local church just when he happened to have not long started as resident pastor.

But then … er … he told me he thought I’d become Catholic…

I actually grew up in an area where Catholicism was ‘hated’. It was never talked about favorably, they were ‘idolaters’ and didn’t believe in the Bible etc. I married a Catholic and I wanted her to become a Baptist. So I went to the church with my bible in hand, sat in the back and decided to point out every single thing they were doing wrong.

7 years later I was a Catholic. I found myself immersed in scripture. I couldn’t find anything that was wrong, just misunderstood (by me and many others.) I don’t find it hard, in fact I find Catholicism freeing. The sheer amount of grace available to Catholics for forgiveness, the ease of having a Catechism to go to when you have questions, the 2000 years of information on revelation to go to and read when you want to know the why’s. Yes, I find Catholicism to be sheer freedom!

Briefly, I wanted truth, Sunday, Christmas, and the incarnate God’s mom. :smiley:

Once a person takes of the protestant blinders and finally realizes for themselves the Truth of the Catholic faith then there is simply no denying it, and then they really have no choice but to become Catholic.

I come from a Methodist background, and while they have not accepted homosexual clergy, there is a growing number of women pastors. This was the first thing that I began to question, and as I saw more and more protestant denominations legitimizing homosexuality I felt that it would only be a matter of time before the Methodists fell into this group. To their credit, so far they have not. But what really began my journey into the Catholic faith was when I began to study the Church in a historical context. I am from the South, where the Catholic Church was rarely discussed, either positively or negatively, and so I had never really given it much consideration. As I began to realize that 500 years ago Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others had decided to change what had been 1500 years of Christianity, I really began to dig deeper into the historical Church.

I could go on, but what I want to say is that I have not regretted one day of being Catholic. Sure, I was dismayed to discover that there are divisions even among Catholics and obviously the scandals have been hard on us all. But I have a very supportive family and I have met many devout and wonderful people, both lay and clergy, I am proud to be a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Mine was first and foremost in my intellect, as well-although it’s moved down to the heart more over the years-or maybe it was always both to some extent come to think of it. But I came to the conclusion that there is no other Church than the RC and EO Church, that if they weren’t the Church of God than none existed-and the true gospel could not be known. One of the most important discoveries for me was to finally come to understand the fallacy of the sola scriptura doctrine, the “authority” that most of the reformation was based on. The other came about by studying history, to know and come to understand the importance of the Church’s historical connection to the beginnings of Christianity and also to better understand the history that ensued between that point and the present time. As Newman said, ‘To know history is to cease to be Protestant’, or something to that effect.

Malachi 1 and 1 Corinthians 13.

So that I could be forgiven of my sins.

I became Catholic because God’s grace pushed me there despite myself.

I was raised Protestant but, after coming to college, started privately considering myself an agnostic. This wasn’t so much out of any intellectual doubts (though I did try to force them on myself early on) as it was out of a stubborn desire to sin. After living like this fairly consistently for about three semesters, a neutral, off-hand comment from a professor about Catholicism sparked something within me - or rather, God used that opportunity to spark something within me. The following summer (2011) I couldn’t find any sort of job or internship and all my friends were out of town, so for about the first month I ended spending almost all of my time contemplating Catholicism. On a certain level this made no sense; like I said, I was stubbornly refusing to repent of my sin and trying to deny God to do that. However, I was slowly beginning to feel how empty my life was. By the end of June I was all but set on converting. In early July I attended a seminar in Washington, D.C. (sort of a consolation price for being turned down for one internship); the seminar was all-expenses-paid, and where else did we stay but the Catholic University campus. This meant, for one thing, that I was surrounded day and night by Catholic things - crucifixes, etc; even more, it meant that I went to Mass for the first time ever at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. One whiff of incense and I was hooked. :highprayer: By the Grace of God I was receive into full communion with the Church on Divine Mercy Sunday.

As others have mentioned, my conversion was very intellectual. On the one hand, I’m glad for this; I tend to trust me reason more than my emotion and, after all, who am I to question how God acts? On the other hand, it’s been something of a challenge. I grew up with the assumption that true conversion was necessarily an emotional, almost ecstatic experience, and I’d not really had anything like that (that I had not conjured up within myself), which led me into doubt and despair from time to time. Slowly, though, I’m learning to focus on action and will, rather than emotion and sentiment (cf. 1 John 3:19-20), particularly through St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life.

St Francis de Sales, pray for us!

[Edit] As far as specific reasons, I eventually came to see that the Catholic Church is more faithful to Scripture than the Sola Scriptura types: John 6, John 20, 1 Cor. 11:29, Romans 11:22, 1 Timothy 3:14-15, and many, many others.

I was a Methodist when I married my cradle Catholic wife. I went to Mass with her but really just sat there not taking in much. My wife prayed daily for 10 years for me to convert. One Saturday morning I sat bolt upright in bed and knew the Catholic Church was the true Church and that it had the fullness of truth. I told my wife what happened and I jumped in my car and went to a Catholic Church and asked about becoming a Catholic. This happened just a few days before the first ever RCIA class at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help (this was in Singapore when I worked there). I was the last person to get into the RCIA class and I became a Catholic the following Easter. That was 20 years ago and I have never regretted a moment. I am still friends with the priest who led that class. He’s now 75.

I started looking into where the canon of scripture came from. Don’t do that if you don’t want to be Catholic :wink:

Then I started looking at how much of my faith came from Catholicism-- the Trinity, that Jesus has 2 wills, etc. Doctrine that’s not easy to prove from scripture alone (which is why the Mormons and J Ws miss it)

Then I read the Church Fathers and said, “Hmm, this sure looks a lot like Catholicism.”

Then I tried to prove Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura to myself from the Bible.

Then I said, “Why am I Protestant, cuz my protests don’t seem to hold water.”

Then I struggled with the usual stuff: Mary, the Magesterium, indulgences, purgatory, etc.

Then I lived happily ever after, the end. :smiley:

My journey has also been somewhat lacking in emotion, and it has been a struggle for me too, especially since other people (who are more emotionally astute :p) have promised that I would feel things that I didn’t feel. I’m awed and thankful to be Catholic, but I haven’t had the “ecstatic” moments I always thought I was supposed to have. It can be hard to believe that the work and will are as real as, and probably more stable than, emotional experience.

I am a cradle catholic, but I enjoy reading all your posts. Great posts! Thank you all.

My soundbite answer is that Jesus invited me:)

Long story short- raised a Methodist, gave my life to Christ at 13 at an altar call at a Leighton Ford rally in the 70’s, backslid and put God on the back burner as a teen and young adult, married a fallen away Catholic man who thought he was agnostic at the time, had kids who we raised Methodist while living the busy life of a two career family and then my 18 year old was diagnosed with a chronic illness and was critically ill, recommitted my life back to Christ five years ago surrendered to His Grace, drug my reluctant husband to contemporary worship for four plus years and became active in a Methodist church, gave out communion with my husband who freaked out afterwards about it had to find out why leading to study of the Catholic Church, started soaking up Catholic media last Lent and accepted what the Eucharist was and there was NO RETURN!:slight_smile:

Came into the the Church Easter Vigil and brought my husband back in- the Lord waited a long time for us to wise up:) Now about those kids but that is why my confirmation name is Monica:)

Blessings,

Val

I didn’t have the emotional experience either, and the faith does not generate depths of emotion for me.

ICXC NIKA

Great short story. Thanks!

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