Post your stories of conversion here. The seer Ivan says that conversion is a lifelong process.

Moderators: MedjAdmin, Management

#69987
Hello.
I'm a newbie here. I was raised a Catholic and walked away from the Church and into fundamentalism for almost twenty years. For a while I became a preacher and railed against the church. I have since returned to the Church and I wanted to share my story with other Catholics.
Since I do not know what the rules are for posting this, I will just provide a link to my blog.
http://thetrailhome.blogspot.com/
User avatar
By Hopper
#70007
Welcome Home, JustaServant!

I didn't read your entire account - because there's a lot of info there. I want to come back to it and read it more thoroughly. I did skim through it though and read in entirety the part where you come back home to your Catholic roots and now this time with understanding.

This is wonderful! Do you watch Marcus Grodi's program on EWTN called "The Journey Home" ? That's one of my favorite programs to watch every Monday night. Your story sounds like one of those stories of people on their journey's to the Catholic Church for the first time or are re-verts.

This is a topic of interest to me because my oldest brother left the Catholic Church and became a born-again Baptist. I was 13 at the time and am now 49.

In the beginning of his conversion it was a stressful time for our family (8 kids) because he was bringing home to us all the misconceptions of the Catholic Church that his new church was teaching him. Trying to convert us and get us to leave the Catholic church.

For years I tried to defend the Church against these attacks. I would write page after page against the false claims and writing out my frustrations was therapy to me.
Being a young kid at the time in my teens and twenties my defense though filled with passion was limited because of my age and not knowing where to look to get the Catholic answer to these charges that I knew were false.

One day however - I was walking into church and someone had left a paper in the back with a picture of Padre Pio on it. The eyes on Padre Pio were so captivating it stopped me there in the lobby. At the top of the page someone had written "Free" so I took it.

Low and behold in the back pages of this paper I found a very small paragraph on "Catholic Answers." It was Karl Keating just starting out in the world of Catholic Apolegetics and I subscribed to his newsletter. "Finally the Catholic answer!!!!" Thank you Padre Pio!

From there he wrote a book "Catholicism vs Fundamentalism." and I was relieved and so thankful to God. Got the book for other family members.

Well I could go on but I think I've said enough. So happy you've joined us here on this forum and look forward to hearing more from you.

God Bless, Hopper :D
User avatar
By starbright
#70010
Nice to meet you, Justaservant. I hope you make friends here like I have done and you're very welcome.God bless
By JustaServant
#70011
I used to be one of those guys. Perhaps with age reason will return, it did with me. One of the factors in my return to the Church was the complete absence of any kind of legacy in the fundamentalist/evangelical world. They have nothing to pass down to their children. As a result, their children rarely follow their parents footsteps. I wanted my child to have something to latch onto, something solid. That is the Catholic Church.
User avatar
By OHLisa
#70035
That's wonderful Justaservant! I did not yet get a chance to read your blog yet either.

I did get goosebumps reading about Hopper's experience with Padre Pio! How awesome!

There is such a fullness and richness in the Catholic Faith! Welcome HOME! :D
User avatar
By OnASpiritualJourney2
#70044
JustaServant,

Welcome to the forum! I think I know why you gave the link instead of retyping your conversion story. :D What a wonderful journey you've had! I think that all the experiences we have away from the Church enable us to appreciate all the Catholic faith has to offer even more. I also am lacking in knowledge of my faith due to the religious education of the 60's and 70's, and am trying to make up for that now. My daughter already knows more than I did just a few years ago!

I look forward to learning from your input on the forum. Welcome! :D

Hopper, that is absolutely beautiful about Padre Pio leading you to learn about your faith. Isn't that just like him! :D
User avatar
By Hopper
#70142
Yes it is just like Padre Pio. God sure does work powerfully through him, and yes it was the eyes just staring out of that paper like that - as if they were alive and saying "stop! the answer's here."

Padre Pio became one of my favorite saints after that - started reading a lot about him.

JustaServant,

It was very disconcerting to me when my brother invited one of my sister's and I to come to his church to hear this "Fantastic" preacher. By this time I was 17 and my sister 18...
Well I wasn't moved by that preaching style but my sister was and wanted to talk to him after the service. So she went off and I waited outside. She came out crying because he told her that our entire family (who he did not even know) was going to hell (because we were Catholic)except for my oldest brother because he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and was saved.
I could not believe that she believed this guy enough to make her cry. Even then, I thought this was illogical. She did not convert then, but some years later when she married and her husband was approached by "The Navigators."

All this however - taught the rest of us to study our Catholic faith and so the challenge was good in that sense.
I honestly can see the sincerity and goodness of my Protestant brothers and sisters out there who really think that Catholics are going to hell and they want to save us - or if they don't think we are going to hell they think we are terribly mis-led.

Sad really, but you know in all the denominations of Christianity - there are, you have your nominal adherants that only embrace it culturally and it hasn't yet touched their hearts yet.

Hopper
By JustaServant
#70159
Hopper wrote:Yes it is just like Padre Pio. God sure does work powerfully through him, and yes it was the eyes just staring out of that paper like that - as if they were alive and saying "stop! the answer's here."

Padre Pio became one of my favorite saints after that - started reading a lot about him.

JustaServant,

It was very disconcerting to me when my brother invited one of my sister's and I to come to his church to hear this "Fantastic" preacher. By this time I was 17 and my sister 18...
Well I wasn't moved by that preaching style but my sister was and wanted to talk to him after the service. So she went off and I waited outside. She came out crying because he told her that our entire family (who he did not even know) was going to hell (because we were Catholic)except for my oldest brother because he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and was saved.
I could not believe that she believed this guy enough to make her cry. Even then, I thought this was illogical. She did not convert then, but some years later when she married and her husband was approached by "The Navigators."

All this however - taught the rest of us to study our Catholic faith and so the challenge was good in that sense.
I honestly can see the sincerity and goodness of my Protestant brothers and sisters out there who really think that Catholics are going to hell and they want to save us - or if they don't think we are going to hell they think we are terribly mis-led.

Sad really, but you know in all the denominations of Christianity - there are, you have your nominal adherants that only embrace it culturally and it hasn't yet touched their hearts yet.

Hopper
What is a shame is that so many (myself included) are taken in by the smoke and mirrors of evangelicalism. But after a while, the toe tapping music and the 'tell it like it is' preaching grows very thin and one wants to grow up.
User avatar
By mamamary
#70729
welcome home, justaservant! :D
By kim52
#77233
II love my brother or sister in Christ what ever religious umbrella they are under. I am glad our catholic church has its door wide open for all to embrace and that we don't try to steal sheep from other denominations. I visit other friends churchs and they visit mine and we truely are spiritually good to each other.
By Steven
#77247
"When God touched my heart and the wall of anti-Catholicism was demolished, praying the Hail Mary was the first act I performed.
I remember it vividly. My whole world was shaken. In a moment of time God ‘mugged me from behind’ and the truth of the Catholic Church shown like a light in darkness. When I got home that night, I went into my bedroom alone and closed the door. That night I did something that I hadn’t done in two decades. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary.
The Lord’s Prayer was easy, that I had done many times before. I was scared to death to pray the Hail Mary. It was like kissing my wife for the first time. It was something I wanted to do and years of bigotry were overcome. After I was done, the Holy Spirit filled me with a joy I cannot describe.
A weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt at peace for the first time in many years."


This is beautiful, JustaServant. Welcome back to our Church.

"Turn then, Most Gracious Advocate, Thine Eyes of Mercy toward us, and
after this, our exile, show unto us, The Blessed Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.
Oh Clement, Oh Loving, Oh Sweet Virgin, Mary, pray for us, Oh Holy
Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ."

Steven
User avatar
By Roberto Phoenix
#79120
Welcome aboard the boat JustAServant. I too wandered through the fundamentalist/Protestant establishment for years. So wanted to be that super TV preacher who would lead the world to Christ But I always said I would follow God's truth only and then God and Our Lady of Medjugorje brought me kicking and screaming into the faith that is the Catholic Church. Never been happier and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I found the truth. if you have any questions baouth anything just PM me or post on the forum. Lots of good peoplehere.
By mat
#83746
delete
Last edited by mat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By JustaServant
#85063
mat wrote:
For the one who posted “A Fundamentalist Preacher returns to the Catholic Church”. I am so glad that you have found your faith in the Catholic Church, brother, but as a former pastor and a believer, your post and link to your website come off as being very smug. Don’t you feel bad for all of those who listened to your toe-tapping music and sermons?
I haven't been on this forum in a while, so sorry if I haven't responded.
I have no clue what you are talking about. If you are not a fundamentalist, why are you insulted? I was rather kind when it came to other Protestants. I am certainly not anti-Protestant.
You are obviously reacting to something else that you have encountered, not me. If that is 'smug', so be it.
A person who is bothered by a truth many times dismisses it with a simplistic word to make it less intellectually painful.
User avatar
By mamamary
#85330
hello mat!

i do appreciate our non-catholic members on the forum! ones who seek to understand and love all of us under the umbrella of Christ's church.

altho all in my close and immediate family are catholic, we do have many who have married into our family-- aunts, uncles and cousins --of all faiths. one aunt, who is of the methodist faith, is a marvel to me by her unselfish acts of giving and volunteering in her community.

having grown up catholic and being one all my life, i feel that i can use the familiar saying here when talking about anti-catholic sentiments expressed to me, that i've experienced personally....'walk a mile in my shoes'.

yes, thank God, the vast majority of protestant and christian churches live and love in the true harmony of christianity. however, this does not erase the fact that strong anti-catholic sentiments are worldwide, and are very real here in the US in some evangelical sects. if you ask a forum member from the UK, they will share with you the fact that catholics are not allowed to hold government positions. tony blair is an example of this prejudice as he waited until he left office--and his political life over-- to convert to his wife's faith of catholicism.

we can look into our own US history to the fear of the american people during JFK's presidential campaign. the ugly anti-catholic prejudices and rumors nearly cost this country one of its greatest presidents. there was concern and gross misunderstanding that kennedy would submit first to the pope any decision he made in his presidency.

this has gone on thru time. this fear of catholics permeated early america, as early american catholics were segregated from the rest of the new country and relegated to the state of Maryland, (mary's land as they called it!)

mainly this fear comes from misunderstanding the role of the pope. the fear does lead to outright hatred. martin luther, in his famed separation from the catholic church despised the pope so much that he refered to him in his writings as the anti-christ.

i have lived my life receiving propoganda from 'well meaning' friends in the evangelical faiths concerned that i am not 'saved' because of my catholic faith. this propoganda that they have passed onto me is shocking beyond words. briefly, they say that the church is demonic. we worship the pope, our eucharist is human sacrifice, there are evil intentions behind all of our sacrements, that we commit idolatry in our prayers to Jesus' mother mary, and our saints.

this fear and misunderstanding has spread like wildfire among the evangelical communities today via the internet. the propoganda even more shocking. there is a national organization called the catholic league which works hard defending the rights of catholics and bringing to light the TRUTH behind these bizzare accusations. their website is:
http://www.catholicleague.org/ if you read thru their site, and pose a question to them about the current issues they face in this battle, they can provide for you information about our struggles beyond what i know and have experienced.

most notably, as you are probably aware, was the rev. hagee comments during this presidential race. hagee's comments were sugar coated and brief about his church's anti-catholic views, but unearthed were video footage of his lectures about the catholic church being 'the great whore of babylon', his relentless efforts in his attempts to convince the jews of israel that catholicism was truly responsible for the holocaust.

hagee is one example, mat. there are many, many others. i have included here from wikipedia a very small sampling of what anti-catholicism is today and the history of this practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism there are noted evangelical authors who have made their living by writing of the evils of catholicism as noted in the wikipedia section Modern Anti-Catholic polemics.

the wikipedia article continues to cite examples of this fear and predjudice that are very real in the US now:

Philip Jenkins, an Episcopalian historian, in The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 0-19-515480-0) maintains that some people who otherwise avoid offending members of racial, religious, ethnic or gender groups have no reservations about venting their hatred of Catholics. Earlier in the twentieth century, Harvard professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. characterized prejudice against Catholics as "the deepest bias in the history of the American people".

reflective of the actions of the president of the Catholic League, William Donohue, upon meeting Reverend Hagee, and he met him with an embrace of Christ's love, we catholics only seek not to be demonized but to share equivocally in the unity of Christian love and embraced fully by its brothers.

peace be with you, and i look forward to your input on our little forum!!

God Bless,

Mamamary
User avatar
By missy
#85682
Welcome Justaservant!!

Human nature is what it is!! We must strive for the Divine to see how all love Christ and leave judging to Jesus!! Saying prayers for those who feel hurt by either catholics or protestants!! God is truth!!!
User avatar
By respond2ourLady
#86190
JustAServant: Welcome Home!

I'm a revert to the Church.

Have you heard of the charism of Focolare?

God bless you!
Cyndi
Last edited by respond2ourLady on Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By paddy
#86481
Dear Mat,
thank you for your post. It is very enlightening to be able to see ourselves as others see us and a lesson for us all.
I hope that you haven't been put off visiting this forum.
God bless
Paddy
ps I love those hymns you mentioned and hadn't realised that they were Methodist!
your prayers are needed

Hi Irishm, Sorry to hear that. Ar dheis D&eacut[…]

"Dear children, The will and the love[…]