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Conversion Stories

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by garydench, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. FaeryChild

    FaeryChild Junior Member

    236
    +139
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    I am a convert to The Roman Catholic Church. I grew up Lutheran (Missouri Synod) and went to a Lutheran (MS) elementary school. They only offered K-8 so I ended up going to a Catholic high school. I went into the experience already having a significant amount of agreement, but at the time I still harbored some of the classic protests against Catholicism (i.e. so-called "Mary worship"). And yet the religious education I received at the Catholic school built upon the one I had received at the Lutheran one. By my senior year, I had reversed some of my earlier views (for example, I came to appreciate the beauty of the Rosary and the Hail Mary). Part of me felt called and compelled to join the Church but I was under intense pressure not to become Catholic and in the end, I resisted that pull. My beliefs had clearly been influenced by Catholicism but I was not yet ready to concede that one had to be Catholic (why not just incorporate some Catholic views and practices and leave it at that?).

    Then I went to college and found the need, with a new found burst of freedom, to indulge every sinful urge I had ever had but had been afraid to act on. I "discovered" liberal Christianity and become part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I even went to seminary and earned my MDiv with the intent of becoming an ELCA pastor. I thought what I needed was a more liberating, more humanizing form of Christianity - what I really needed was the Prayer of Manasseh.
    And then...I got sick...and almost died. I had to come face to face with my own mortality. In those days when I was convinced I was dying, I began to ponder what would happen after death and I also became rigorous in examining my life. I had to come face to face with the reality of my own sin, that it was real and was not going to just "go away" - and I'm really being serious here, it is a dreadful thing for a human to contemplate the prospect of dying in a state of grievous sin that has yet to be forgiven. I got panic attacks and found myself unwilling to release my mind into sleep at night for fear of not waking up. I became pragmatic in my attempts to find rest - but found that the only way to get sleep was by holding the Rosary, praying for help at the hour of my death. When confronted with my sin, my heart began to soften and I asked God to take away my sin - and He told me to confess my sins and join the Catholic Church.

    By this point, I had abandoned liberal Christianity and was making sincere efforts to reconnect with the Lutheranism I had had in grade school. I thought I was getting the wrong message or there must be some kind of confusion - after all, I had studied to get a MDiv with the intent of being a pastor in the ELCA. I came to believe that things were meant to work out so that I would be a conservative ELCA pastor (and not a liberal one). I thought that was the whole point of all that had happened. I struggled with God and I bargained with God.

    In my efforts to be become a conservative pastor in the ELCA, I went back and studied on my own. I re-read the Book of Concord and I studied Luther more closely. I also studied the entire Reformation era, the history of the Catholic Church and the writings of the earliest Christians. If I was going to "start over" and try again to be a Christian in the real sense of the word, I wanted to get it right and the result of this process was what many have found when they undergo this kind of process - the Reformation itself was a perversion and the seeds of modern day liberalism can be found in some of the off the wall comments that Luther himself made. The result of this academic struggle with God was that I had to concede that even though my conservative Lutheran education in grade school had given me a lot of good things for a faith foundation (and I'm grateful for that!) - there were elements that were missing... the rest of the Sacraments, all of the books of the Bible, Mary, etc.

    Meanwhile, I simply failed to find a Lutheran church in the area I live in now which could remind of the Lutheran church I had grown up at. The Lutheran churches where I live are not the confessional type... they tend to be both low church in style and also theologically liberal. Attending such a service on a weekly basis was not doing anything for my physical or spiritual health and I was not feeling anything in communion (and, of course, if asked, the people there would say it was just bread and wine, so why is that surprising?). Once again, I considered the idea of just not going to church, and then God, rather strongly and bluntly, suggested that I start going to the local Catholic church...

    ...and that time, I listened. I went to the Catholic Church and it automatically felt closer to the confessional Lutheran church of my childhood than the liberal Lutheran church I had been attending. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I began to find myself feeling more connected to the faith I had had as a child. I also began remembering things I had learned at the Catholic school but had forgotten. I met with the priest and we talked for over an hour. Then I went through the RCIA program and finally became obedient to what I had been being told off and on since my senior year - I confessed my sins, finally felt the weight of it being lifted and I joined the Catholic Church.

    I just don't know what I'm going to do with my MDiv degree...
     
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  2. Shane R

    Shane R Priest

    +405
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    I will not at this time relate my whole journey of faith, but my wife and I have agreed to take RCIA through a community of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. We had probed Eastern Catholicism (Byzantine) last year and walked away. She is an Anglican and I am Orthodox. If you have read my posts often you may realize I am fairly ecumenical. I am willing to study the Catholic faith in order to have a unified form of prayer in my family. That there are so many rites within the Church makes me think that we - and specifically me - can fit in.
     
  3. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

    +816
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    US-Libertarian
    I wish you and your wife well in that pursuit shane, I am sorry to hear that Byzantine Catholicism did not pan out for you. I am sure you will find a "fit" sooner or later though.
     
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Priest

    +405
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    I was open to Byzantine Catholicism, but she was not - the sung liturgy over-whelmed her. Also, the particular community that we sampled was not receptive of new blood.
     
  5. iansek

    iansek Newbie

    25
    +5
    Non-Denom
    Single
     
  6. iansek

    iansek Newbie

    25
    +5
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I have finally made up my mind to join the catholic church. It has been an 8 month journey. I am a revert. I enjoyed the mass today. Very good music and good priest talking about encountering Christ.

    I generally accept many of the teachings but i still believe in prima scriptura and eternal security
    of believers.
     
  7. paul becke

    paul becke Regular Member Supporter

    +706
    Catholic
    UK-Labour
    Very funny last sentence, if a bit schadenfreudian. And, yes, as a revert, you do put some things on the back-burner for a while and let the truth seep in naturally/supernaturally, when God sees fit; presumably, also, as a convert.

    Looking at it today, I'm not sure what I was referring, to concerning the schadenfreudian humour. Never mind. All come out in the wash. (A mad cockney saying, after any kind of earth-shattering cataclysm.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  8. FriendofFrancis

    FriendofFrancis New Member

    23
    +21
    Catholic
    Private
    I am a lapsed Catholic who rediscovered my faith in Christ later in life. I was confirmed 5 years ago at the cathedral and attend my local parish. I guess my awakening is due to the holy Father, Francis. I wish I could be in New York and Philadelphia to see Francis; I would consider it the most important day of my life.
     
  9. dhornace

    dhornace Member

    92
    +58
    Catholic
    Married
    Hi everyone!

    I was raised Catholic and baptized and was very active with my church until the age of 12, then I was in the mode of questioning everything and becoming a very rebellious guy. (Nutshell version) I became pagan at 13 and followed it ever since. I have had a few times in the past where I could feel God tugging on me to come back to the church, but for one reason or another it never stuck.
    Over the last few months I have been putting my faith back in God and have had an overwhelming sense of peace. I just came out of the "Catholic Closet" with my wife of 3 years and she is over joyed. My best friend and his wife have been helping along the way along with being on here. I haven't yet talked to a Father of the church in my town but that is my next step. I am very excited to take the next steps and go back home.
     
  10. Senod2

    Senod2 Member

    122
    +31
    Catholic
    Single
    Well i am technically not a catholic yet. But i have plans on learning and choosing that path, still learning about the Catechism. But i believe it to be the one true church. And that is mostly due to the aramaic arguments for the original gospel maybe could be in aramaic even though we dont have manuscripts on it the arguments for the use of Cephas in epistles which is the greek form of the aramaic name for Peter, which seems to have had an important role for it to have been written like that in the greek manuscripts and that Petros and Petra would be used, becase 1: Petros is a moving rock, having that as a foundation wouldnt work, and Petra is feminine so that wouldnt work to use on Peter. And since the manuscript from 120 AD has you are Xephas and upon this Xephas... Basically that convinced me that the traditions of the first pope is most likely that can be tracked back to Peter.

    I am originally protestant "Evangelical Lutheran" Church of Norway to be exact. It took me awhile to understand but the more i studied the more the practices the catholics do with what is in the bible makes sense. So i was more curious to know more. Although Christianity was something i came to an conclusion to with some years of theological studies, although i still have some doubts, i still see in abrahamic views of Jesus as the most sensical belief you could choose in that sense, its just the mythological view about it which i have been following Richard Carrier on. And although he brings some interesting arguments, one has to be really sceptical to accept it. But other than that, this path is more or less the correct one i feel because Jesus was god himself, pure from all sins which is why his life is an admired way of living in a way and can help people who try to understand it.


    But thats sorta long and sorta short than i could've done story on why i chose the path to catholicism.. Well... still going but technically. I am either way thankful for taking part in it :)
     
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  11. Knocking On Heavens Door

    Knocking On Heavens Door Looking towards the east! Supporter

    +5,778
    Norway
    Catholic
    Single
    @Kobbern
    Do you live in Oslo, if so where do you attend classes (RCIA)?
    Im Norwegian and a convert from Church of Norway (DNK) myself and I would absolutely love to talk with you some more about this faith journey of yours if you dont mind.


    So please feel free to send me a personal message whenever you like:)
     
  12. Senod2

    Senod2 Member

    122
    +31
    Catholic
    Single
    Actually i live in Kristiansund. So no i dont live in the capital. But you can message me i you like.
     
  13. WarriorAngel

    WarriorAngel I close my eyes and see you smile Supporter

    +7,369
    Catholic
    Private
     
  14. ManyWeaknesses

    ManyWeaknesses Protestant considering converting to Catholicism

    57
    +9
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I want to convert to the Catholicism, but many of my loved ones stand opposed. Some even feel it's impulsive. I was urged by a local priest and several protestants including my own family members to put my pursuit and investigation of catholicism on hold in order to deal with some pressing issues I'm facing in my life. So for now, it is on hold for up to a year.

    I was thinking of attending RCIA classes this year, but I've since decided to delay it until next year in order to give it more time. I don't want anyone to accuse my decision to convert(if I do) of being impulsive and ill-thought out.
     
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  15. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

    +8,144
    Catholic
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    do you mind me asking, what issues are you addressing first?
     
  16. Guadalupana

    Guadalupana J†M†J

    14
    +13
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    I am a convert to the RCC. I was brought up Southern Baptist. We went through a few churches and several pastors when I was growing up. It confused and frustrated me that even within the denomination different pastors would say a bit of Scripture meant different things. This got me to thinking about where the Bible came from, it's initial origin and all. Well, when you start going into early history everything is Catholic! After many years of personal study and sporadically attending Mass when I could I entered RCIA after college when I moved out of my parent's home. I became a Catholic on Easter 2005.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  17. Virgil the Roman

    Virgil the Roman Young Fogey & Monarchist-Distributist . . .

    +1,188
    United States
    Traditional. Cath.
    Private
    US-American-Solidarity
    Glory to Jesus Christ, Guadalupana! :)
     
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  18. Knocking On Heavens Door

    Knocking On Heavens Door Looking towards the east! Supporter

    +5,778
    Norway
    Catholic
    Single
    You know that it's a time-consuming process right?
    One cannot convert only by heart one must also attend catechesis for a year or more and then make a general confession followed by receiving the sacrament of confirmation.

    Have you done all that?
    If not you cannot go to communion as we're very strict regarding our closed communion.
     
  19. rturner76

    rturner76 Senior Veteran Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

    +1,361
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    US-Democrat
    Congratulations AppleBloom! Conversion does start in the heart and that is also where God lives. Once you go through your course and come into the fullness of the Church and take the Eucharist, you will know oneness with your creator on a whole new level. A very humbling and enlightening experience. I am so exited for you! *prayers of thanksgiving* :ebil:
     
  20. Knocking On Heavens Door

    Knocking On Heavens Door Looking towards the east! Supporter

    +5,778
    Norway
    Catholic
    Single
    Then may you walk with G-d.
    Ive noticed you're norwegian aswell, if you don't mind me asking, where do you live?
     
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