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fellow converts: your "aha!" moment

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by bpd_stl, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. bpd_stl

    bpd_stl Member

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    I earnestly invite the feedback of both Catholic & Orthodox converts!


    The short version of my conversion story: I am a convert from Anglicanism, who was previously an Evangelical. In my last semester at university, I converted to Catholicism. 4 years earlier, I entered university as an “on fire” Evangelical with aspirations for going to seminary afterward and entering into the ministry of my denomination. What Changed?


    I majored in Roman & early medieval history, with a minor in Philosophy, as well as taking courses in Latin & Greek.


    As I learned more about the ancient & undivided Church (including the origins of the Christian Bible, particularly the NT), the more my doubts grew about how my Bible-only Evangelical Protestant faith “jived” with the ancients…I became defensive and found myself becoming more bitterly anti-Catholic than I ever was before. I even started to distribute Jack Chick tracts!


    I found myself both fascinated by & attracted to Catholicism. However, I couldn’t bring myself to become a “Papist.” As a half-measure, I joined the Episcopal Church, so that I could experience liturgy & ritual while still being a Protestant (this is by no means meant as a slight or an insult to Anglicans here…I’m just relating my personal faith journey).


    Instead of only consulting what other mainline Protestants & Evangelicals said about what Catholicism is & what it teaches…I decided to start reading what the Catholic Church says about itself, which included the then newly-published Catechism of the Catholic Church (yes, I’m dating myself here).


    In 1996, I made the leap: I entered into the Catechumenate and was received into the Catholic Church.
     
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  2. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

    +3,297
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    Oriental Orthodox
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    In the late 90s I was a part time seminary student at Fuller Theological Seminary extension campus as a "nondenominational" Charismatic (who was raised conservative Lutheran). Every so often their were little problems that came to mind with Sola Scriptura in the back of my mind, but that didn't really go anywhere...


    I eventually had a problem with my church status because I was in the "Pastoral Care and Counseling" specialization in my Divinity program that had a supervision requirement that was quite similar to the ones in the psychology masters I was previously pursuing to become a licensed MFCC therapist in California. The basic problem was the two pastors who led the big church I was a member of were doing the Charismatic conference circuit much of the time, because they had big names, and doing that also was very lucrative and fun for them. Anyway, I knew the degree requirement would not work with that church, because they were gone so much so I left that church.


    So I was in limbo, church-wise for at least a year or so. But I met this EO girl (a coworker at a job I worked) who was actually the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest, and had a bit of a crush on her. And she like me too, but more as friend. But at the time I was interested in maybe seeing if there was something there romantically so, I decided to go to this EO church that was 10 minutes away from my parents house to "test drive it" (A kind of feasibility study for pursuing the young lady in question). This church was actually Ss. Peter and Paul Ben Lomond CA. the home of Conciliar Press, and the center of the "Becoming Orthodox" movement etc.


    My expectations were extremely low, having the typical notions of "religious bondage" etc. that folks often have coming from that back ground. But I really didn't have anything better to do since I was floundering in what to do church wise so I attended. But I was really blown away with the service, in spite of all my prejudices, fears etc. I was really drawn in with the beauty and the reverence, much like the famous emissaries of Vladimir the Great. Moreover I felt more of the Holy Spirit there than I did in all my previous Charismatic church experiences. So I immediately went to the church bookstore after the service and bought some materials especially their own book dealing with Sola Scriptura that answered some of my previous questions in the back of my mind. And that really was a huge turning point in my life. Kind of like a good version of Paul's experience on the road of Damascus only without the rebuke and being struck blind.... :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  3. bpd_stl

    bpd_stl Member

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    United States
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    As we Catholics would say: "tolle lege!" (St. Augustine of Hippo's "aha!" moment as he recorded it in his Confessions). Thank you! Very personal & very real. The Holy Spirit catches us in the least expected moments of our lives.
     
  4. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    I'm not sure I had an "aha" moment? My conversion was a long road that started probably as far back a 2006-07 but really didn't start taking shape until 2010 or so. I was evangelical, and I looked at Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism until finally I went to mass and it was a lock. I stopped messing around and dove into RCIA in 2015. 18 months later I became Catholic.

    The closest thing I might've had to an aha moment or moments is in 2006-07 when I started reading apologetics and studying theology, and ironically it was an evangelical pastor who made me comfortable with questioning things. So I started asking why my evangelical brand believed what it believes. The next aha moment was probably in 2012 or so when I had been checking out Orthodoxy for a while, and I was really taken aback by their bad attitude towards Catholics. Especially knowing that Catholics generally don't speak so poorly of them. So it ended up turning my attention towards Rome. The rest was history.
     
  5. bpd_stl

    bpd_stl Member

    43
    +45
    United States
    Catholic
    Celibate
    We converts rarely have a sudden, dramatic "aha!" moment like St. Paul did on the road to Damascus...but I wish I had one (would make a great story). It's more of the Holy Spirit interrupting our self-scripted lives. Mine came through academic research...which lead me to question my own beliefs . Tik,tok...Tik,tok. Then suddenly, I wandered into the local Catholic parish and asked to see the priest. The rest is history.
     
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