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Gathering Space > How did you come to Catholicism?

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message 1: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Petersen | 441 comments I started this folder so we could all have a place to chat about general information. All those participating need to keep in mind the group rules. Anything that does not conform to the rules will be removed.
That being said I think this is a good idea for us and will help us grow as a group. I'm also asking members to see if they have friends or relatives who may be interested in joining our group. Thank you all and God Bless.


message 2: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Petersen | 441 comments I will start off this topic by telling all a bit about myself. I was born into a Polish-Catholic family, and attended Catholic schools until I graduated from high school. I am what some may call a cradle Catholic but as I grew older and was exposed to other faiths I realized deep in my heart and soul that Catholicism was the answer. Even when I went away to college in Saskatchewan in western Canada where it's beyond bitterly cold in the winter I always walked to the Catholic Chapel on campus to observe Catholic beliefs and attend Mass. Was the best thing I ever did. I would love to hear how others came to Catholicism.


message 3: by Mike (new)

Mike I am a cradle Catholic; both grammar school and high school were Catholic. I also attended a Benedictine Catholic college and had my first encounter with the Benedictines, this was a truly wonderful experience. As life raced by near the end of my career I was able to begin attending weekend retreats at this latest Benedictine Abbey. This gave me an opportunity to get to know another Benedictine community.

After retiring my wife and I moved, I was no longer close to a sizeable Benedictine community. I missed being able to drop in on a completely spiritual way of life, their openness and honesty. The one saving factor was that the most recent community also runs a seminary and a school of Theology; for lay people they offer weekend master’s degree programs. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to be accepted and able to enroll. The weekends are extremely busy but I am able to extend each trip and have a couple of days to just be in the monastic environment. As a guy in my seventies I am not only enjoying the learning opportunities but also watching the young men and women develop themselves for roles within the church.


message 4: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Petersen | 441 comments Wow what a great story Mike! We all bring something special to our faith. My initial exposure was with Franciscans and that is what I hold dear to my heart.


message 5: by Michael (last edited Nov 27, 2015 01:16AM) (new)

Michael | 9 comments I am a cradle Catholic. I have always been interested in my faith, but my faith or lets say my Catholicity has deepened a lot the last years so now I am a conservative Catholic who strives to live his Catholic faith completely in faithfulness to the magesterium of the Catholic church which also has gotten me interested in apologetics and new evangelization, but also in the lives' of the Saints as they can teach us so much.

I am currently reading a very beautiful book on Salesian spirituality (Live Today Well which really makes want to practice Salesian spirituality as I do want to grow in holiness.

I would love finding new friends here to talk about our Catholic faith as it is a topic I love talking for hours.


message 6: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Petersen | 441 comments Michael wrote: "I am a cradle Catholic. I have always been interested in my faith, but my faith or lets say my Catholicity has deepened a lot the last years so now I am a conservative Catholic who strives to live ..."

What a wonderful story Michael! Just to let you know our group does not focus on apologetics but if you want to discuss them with me in a message I would be more than willing to listen. I am a cradle Catholic too and love it. I saw a clip on the news that when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia he kissed a baby with an inoperable brain tumor and the tumor has been shrinking. What a blessing for that family! Hope to talk soon. God Bless.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael | 9 comments Well Doreen

I have only said that aplogetics is one my interests and not that I intend to pratice it here.

I accept the forum rules and intend to stick to it. I have also added new evangelization to my interests, because I have realized that knowing how to defend Catholic faith is not enough when one cannot reach people's heart to help with convertion.



It


message 8: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Petersen | 441 comments My apologies Michael. I certainly did not mean to imply that you would not stick to group rules. Please forgive me? I would still like to talk about apologetics with you in private messages though.


message 9: by Nikita (last edited Apr 22, 2019 08:20PM) (new)

Nikita Unverzagt (abigaildarcy) | 45 comments Happy Easter to everyone in the group. I was looking through the Gather Space area to all the topics and saw this one. I know it has not been utilize since 2015, but thought it would be better to just not create a new topic when there is already one made.

As I posted in my Introduce Me post. I am a convert to the Catholic Faith. I grew up with members of my family who were Southern Baptist in name, but were more Gnostic or Atheist. I think I was raised to be more Gnostic than anything else. I could not question anything because they did not have the idea and we were told we could not talk about certain things "Religion, Politics, and Money".

One thing I remember very clearly in my childhood was my mother made it a point to take us kids to see the life-size nativity scene/story of Jesus' birth that was put up in front of an Insurance Building in Columbus, Ohio. As we see this we were not really told much of why we went just it was tradition. As we went back home we would always pass by this huge building, a huge church. I was always intrigued by this church and wanted to go in, but every time I thought about it I would think "I am not worthy to go into a place that was so holy". In future years during my conversion I learned that it was St. Joseph's Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church. As I write this I think how I was always drawn to Roman Catholic Churches.

In 2008 I met my Godmother who was a classmate of mine in the Community College I attended. We became fast friends and as we talked we discuss things. It came up that I did not really know was Catholicism was. All I knew was many of my family members were very much against "that Church". One day during the Easter Season of 2008 my Godmother asked me if I would join her to a daily Mass. Can I say I did not know that you could go to Church on a weekday? I truly did not know, I thought the Churches were only open on Sundays or certain Holidays.

I went to my first Mass at Saint Patrick's Church in Columbus, Ohio run by the Dominican Friars. We say in the back, I was nervous and scared that I would be looked at. As I witness the Mass, listened to the short homily made by the Dominican Friar about the Heart of Jesus and what the Eucharist is, it was during the lifting of the Host that began to cry, I felt the tug, the warmth, and so many other emotions.

I knew after that Mass I wanted to learn more. I started researching about the Catholic Church. Heck, I finally looked at the Bible and read passages. I knew of only one verse (Hebrew 11:1) and that was because my great-grandfather in every Bible in the house he would underline that verse.

In was later I think June 2008 when I made the finally decision to ask how I could be baptized and could be a part of the Catholic Church. Why? I witnessed the ordination of three priests and met Religious Sisters (Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist Ann Arbor, Michigan), who also knew my Godmother for were a part of their convent at one time.

I went through the RCIA program at St. Patrick's Church. Taught by the Friars, my Godmother, her family, parishioners of the parish, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. And so on April 11th, 2009 I was baptized as an adoptive daughter of God and received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Throughout my RCIA time I dealt with family members rejecting me and fighting with me because of decision I made. Some are still don't talk to me, try to get me to lose myself in anger, or give me dirty looks. I dealt with nightmares which lead me to draw closer to Jesus and particularly Saint Joseph.

I have no regrets and am happy to finally understand why those years ago I felt called to go into the Church.


Sorry for the long post.


Happy Easter,
Nikita


message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3894 comments Mod
Thank you so much for sharing Nikita. We are so honored to have you.

By the way, when Dante is asked what is faith in the Divine Comedy, he paraphrases that Heb 11:1.


message 11: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1425 comments Mod
Thank you for sharing, Nikita!

Conversions always have hardships with them. I converted from Lutheranism in 2010, and my mother still has a very hard time with it, and what's more, my only sister converted too indepedently of me. When I told her of my intentions she replied, "I've been wanting to do this for years." So my mother had both of her daughters "desert" her. What's really puzzling about this is that from the reactions one surmises it is "worse" to become a Catholic than join a cult. It's a real head-scratcher.


message 12: by Justine (new)

Justine Olawsky | 3 comments Wonderful stories, Kerstin and Nikita!

I converted from non-denominational Christianity in 2017 and my teenage daughter just came into the Church this Easter Vigil!

As with most things of significance in my life, my conversion was initiated through books—first GKC, then the Church Fathers, then the doctors and scholars of the Middle Ages.

Blessed to be here within this group on Goodreads. I found you through my long-time Goodreads buddy Casey.


message 13: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3894 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "What's really puzzling about this is that from the reactions one surmises it is "worse" to become a Catholic than join a cult. It's a real head-scratcher. ."

I think why that is so wide spread in the Protestant world is because Protestantism has to confirm their identity in counter distinction to Catholicism. Protestantism stands for protest, and what are they protesting? The Roman Catholic Church.

It has struck me odd how certain Protestant denominations can be theologically radically different from each other and yet they tolerate each other without animosity, but no matter how close they might be to Roman Catholicism they have that animosity. High Anglicans are just a stone's throw from Roman Catholicism, and yet Baptists, who are among the furthermost from Roman Catholicism will tolerate Anglicans (and vice versa) but despise Catholics. And then they also will have no problems with Quakers or Mennonites who are in a completely different world. The key is that they have to "protest" or the justification for their theology doesn't exist.


message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3894 comments Mod
Thank you all for sharing your conversion stories. Converts are a true blessing. They revitalize our faith.


message 15: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3894 comments Mod
Justine wrote: "Wonderful stories, Kerstin and Nikita!

I converted from non-denominational Christianity in 2017 and my teenage daughter just came into the Church this Easter Vigil!

As with most things of signi..."


Welcome Justine. I knew Casey from back when we participated on Ricochet, which is a political board, if that's the same Casey. I wish he'd participate here. :)


message 16: by Justine (new)

Justine Olawsky | 3 comments Manny wrote: Welcome Justine. I knew Casey from back when we participated on Ricochet, which is a political board, if that's the same Casey. I wish he'd participate here. :)

That's where I met him originally, too. :-D Small world!


message 17: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1425 comments Mod
Manny wrote: "I think why that is so wide spread in the Protestant world is because Protestantism has to confirm their identity in counter distinction to Catholicism. Protestantism stands for protest, and what are they protesting? The Roman Catholic Church."

To protest also implies to enter into conflict. There is a deliberate act to it which has the components of animosity and even hostility built into it. There is no easy living with this kind of tension.


message 18: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3894 comments Mod
That is an excellent point Kerstin. I never thought of that. Very insightful.


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