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Sojourner

Conversion Stories

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Sojourner
OK, I know we've done this thread in other places (maybe we can get that moved into this forum at some point?) but it's worth starting again. I'll dig up my story and post it later today, but anyone else who wants to tell their story -- this is the place!!

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homeschoolmom
This is from the check in on open mic. I'll fill in some details, too.

"Let's see... OH!!! We also have a Russian college student who lives with us. She was a high school student in 99-00 and came back to go to college. She came from a secular background and became a Christian while she was in high school... then she met her boyfriend... A SERIOUSLY DEVOUT CATHOLIC!!!!! After a year of this: :duel: , she decided to convert... so, of course dh and I had to research how to "win her back" and... well... ahem... as I said, we are now in RCIA.... [now received]

that's my story and I'm sticking to it..."



More later... typing with one hand's a drag...

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FaustinaVianney
Here's my story again... I added when I started my devotion to the Blessed Mother!

First of all, my mother died when I was 3 and she was only 21 and my father was 20. Because of this I became an incredibly independent person. After my mother died I usually spent the weekends with one of my grandmothers. Well when I was five my Gramma Helen (my maternal grandmother) took me to her non-denominational church one Sunday. I fell in love with Jesus that day. I always wanted to go back. Well, in most Protestant churches they have an 'adult' service and a 'children's' service. Well, one Sunday I refused to go to the children's service for some unknown reason deep inside, but after attending the adult service I figured out why. I seen someone being baptized. I asked what it was and believed it to be something very important and wanted it done to me. However, I was told I was too young to understand what it was. At this same moment I felt a call to Rel Life. I had no idea what that was! I did not even know a single Catholic and was taught to hate Catholics. Well, after that my father got remarried and I moved to the neighboring town at which time my stepmother forbade me to visit with my maternal family. I ended up finding a Baptist church, which I completely loved. My parents were not the church going type, so I would ride the church bus each and every sunday morning, which meant I had to be my own alarm clock and get ready all on my own. Well, a few years later I had had enough and had to be baptized. When I was 12 I couldn’t take it any longer and had to be baptized! My pastor came to talk to my parents about this leap of faith I was wishing to take and my stepmother said no. If I was to be baptized it would be in a Wesleyan church like she was. I tired her church, but it was ALL wrong, so I got angry with God and walked away from praying and from Him. When I was in high school all my friend were in youth groups at there churches and I was so jealous of them, but I thought God rejected me. I also wanted to learn about Catholicism, but I still did not know a Catholic and I felt a call to Rel Life. (Yeah, Rel Life and I was not Catholic, but I said NO I am having sex and a family). I went to Indiana University where I wrote a letter to my maternal grandmother telling her I was at school and would love to see her and the rest of the fam. My aunt ended up calling me and we have became great friends. I had some partying those first two years. IU is not one of the party schools for nothing! The second semester of my sophomore year my aunt called me up and told she was entering the Catholic Church. My first thought was 'WOW! Finally I am gonna meet my first Catholic and go to a Mass. Wait a second where did that come from!?' Well, it was a few months before I was able to go to Mass, but I had decided to take a semester off of school because I wanted to transfer out of the IU 'hell' I was at, but did not know where. I went to Mass in September and fell in love, but that same day my father who was 37 had a heart attack. So I thought well maybe the Catholic Church is not for me.. But, the moment my father told me he was on his way to the hospital because of a heart attack I literally dropped to my knees and prayed. To our astonishment my father had no other damage and was gonna be fine after giving up smoking all that greasy food. I started to go to Mass on Sundays when I was not working and asking my aunt and her bpyfriend all these questions and they started to become pretty deep theology and they could not answer them, so they started to talk to Fr Tony. They told me he wanted to chat with me about the Church, but there was no way on God's green earth that I was about to do that! (Of course now, I email him everyday! He is like an adopted father to me because my own father rejects me and I used to be quite close to him) Somehow, I am still not sure how, but I ended up at the Christmas midnight Mass. After that Mass I had to meet with Father. Well, I met with him and the next day I arrived on the campus of XU and inquired about the RCIA program. (I must also add that somewhere along the line I picked up a little book that told the mysteries of the Rosary and for some reason I thought I should pray it. I didn’t know what I was doing nor did I have a Rosary, but I was praying it using my God-given fingers. This is where my devotion to Mary started. She has helped me oh-so much! The day I entered the Church I became a member of the Legion of Mary.) The RCIA program sucked and I did not learn anything about how to be a Catholic, but that summer I read a book or two a week on apologetics because I knew I had to defend my faith to the people in my hometown who knew nothing about Catholicism. (ya know they think Catholics worship Mary and bread, that your works save you, etc. There are no Catholic Churches in my hometown to tell them what is right, so who can blame them?) Well, the end of the summer (after I had already gone back to XU) I emailed Father asking if I had to wait until the Easter Vigil to enter and he said no, but we would talk about in October when I would be home for fall break. September I struggled because the RCIA director on campus told me I could enter the Church outside the Vigil since I was an adult and she got the Pastor of her Church and a few others to go against me. I truly did not know what to do I did not want to go against the Church in any way. All this grief made me say 'I do not know if I ever want to enter.' I went home for fall break and told Father I had no desire to chat with him. He said, 'I will always be here for you whether you enter the Church or not.' Those were powerful words and the first time in my life that I felt that I was going to be loved no matter what my decision was. I spent a good five hours or so in front of Jesus exposed on the altar that weekend and found that He fought so hard for my little soul and He wanted me in HIS CHURCH, so I told Father and we set a date. So, November 29, 2002 I entered the Church upon receiving all three initiation Sacraments. It was the happiest day of my life! My parents who refuse to see me as a Catholic were there even though my maternal fam was there as well. My parents reject me in more ways than one, but the Catholic issue is very sensitive because they see it as me rejecting the very basis of who they are, but I always pray for them, so I know God is working on them.
I had mentioned earlier that I felt a call to Rel Life since I was five, but was still denying it in every way. The summer before entering I had a friend ask me if I was studying to become a nun because of all the Catholic books I was reading. I screamed No to him, but that question kept repeating itself to me. In August I decided to defeat this idea and write to communities and say look at their life it is not for me. But, the more I learned about them the more I fell in love. Jesus was slowly sweeping me off my feet and I did not even know it! I told Fr Tony and he was not surprised in the least! I was shocked! Actually, no one I know was shocked, but more like 'well it is about time you realized it.' So, in Jan after entering the church I started visiting communities and found my 'home' in April. Now, there are rules that you must be Catholic for 2 years after entering the Church before entering Rel Life, which are good rules, but at the same time totally smell of elderberries! I am over the half way mark, but I was hoping to enter right after graduating college, which is in May, but I must wait until the fall before I can even apply. God willing I will become a Dominican Sister of St Cecilia Congregation (Nashville Dominicans) in Aug 2005.

Sorry it is so long, but there are many more things to say about how I was called to the Church it is hard to highlight just a couple (my real story is 20 pages long..), but ultimately I made it home...

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homeschoolmom
From the Open Mic

"Okay, my turn...

I was raised in a United Methodist home. We always went to church, but the minute we got home, that was it. My mom taught me to recite cute kid prayers before meals... not out of reverence.... but because it was cute and probably a good thing to do. My parents divorced when I was little.

In junior high, I was really into learning more about Christ and I wore a cross necklace all the time. I reallllllly wanted to know more about Christ. Thought I would learn more in confirmation-- I didn't... but I know all about the history of the Methodist Church and can name all the books of the bible in order really fast (course, I'd have to leave out the deuterocanonicals).... I always thought that Catholicism was pretty interesting. I knew that they were seriously into God.

So, then in high school, I was involved with an evangelical bible study and I learned a TON of stuff. I actually found out what was in all of those books that I could name! That's when I really started my Christian life... I was going to be serious about loving the Lord. And I was.

When I went to college I went to church every week with my friends (a secular university, no less). I met my future husband and we got married in that Baptist church we went to together. We were very happy.... and we continued to learn about Christ and love and serve Him....

... skip ahead to 1999. We have two children and decide to open our home to a high school student from Russia. We love other cultures and Russia was expecially interesting. So, she comes.... she's from an Orthodox background and pretty secular. However she is interested in church and goes with us. She learns about Christ and becomes a Christian then. Since our relationship is really good and she wants to go to college in the US, we agree to let her stay with us. Everything is hunky dory... we are all loving Christ and going to church etc...

...until 2002. She meets her very traditional Catholic boyfriend. We didn't think too much about that... after all, we didn't realize that he was actually a religious Catholic... We thought that if we simply explained the error of his ways, he'd come around. Well, that didn't work. After about six months of discussions, she decided to convert. Needless to say, my husband and I were CRUSHED!!! I was pregnant at that time and upset all the time. So, we read everything we could to argue with her and win her back. My husband went with the more scholarly works (church fathers, and actual true bible scholars). I went with the more propaganda items and websites (which is how I ended up here, ironically).

Well, God was working on both of us... last summer we started asking each other what we thought, but didn't want to confess to each other that we were interested in Catholicism. Remember, we were very happy in our church and we were learning a lot, had lots of friends, envolved in all kinds of ministries, small groups etc. We had two children in Sunday School, a baby in nursery etc. We had been active in that church for 12 years and had all kinds of conections there.

We really weren't CONVINCED until January of this year ("Oh my word... this stuff is so biblical! Where do those Catholics come off using the bible???") .... We decided that we couldn't deny it anymore... that the New Testament seemed more Catholic to us. We joined RCIA in February. We'll be received at Easter Vigil.

Our friends are stunned. They had no idea we were studying this or even thinking this way. That was a big mistake, not letting them see it coming. They still love us and we are able to joke about it... But they don't understand us. My mom thinks I went from being too religious to too religious and supersticious. My dad doesn't know and won't care. My in-laws don't know yet. They won't be happy. Both of us come from Protestant backgrounds with NO Catholics anywhere... except my dad's mistress/second wife... but that doesn't really count, does it?

So, that's my story...
BTW, I am eternally grateful for the Evangelical background that I have. I have learn a lot from them. Believe it or not, our understanding of MOST of the Scriptures is NOT that different. "

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kdewolf2
I was a Baptist for a while, but I got pretty sick of it after a while because the theology just seemed so lame and shallow, the people were a bunch of hot-headed fanatics (plus being hyper-Puritanical), and whenever I was in church I just felt this nausea and emptiness inside. I know that sounds harsh, but that was my experience. I explored different spiritualities for a while, but later I discovered St. Thomas Aquinas, and I began reading Etienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, and G.K. Chesterton. I also had a lot of interest in St. Augustine. I took a crash course in Catholic beliefs by browsing extensively through Catholic websites, especially [url="http://www.catholic.com/"]Catholic Answers[/url] and [url="http://ic.net/~erasmus/erasmus.htm"]Biblical Evidence for Catholicism[/url], which is an awesome website. And pretty soon I decided to become a Catholic. I was received into the Church last year at April.

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Sojourner
We had a thread on [url="http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=9457&st=45"]conversion stories[/url] in Open Mic. There are some great ones one there that add to this list here. :D

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justfran
I love [url="http://phorum.phatmass.com/index.php?showtopic=9457&hl=conversion+stories"]Dojo's story[/url]. I don't want to dishonour my mum and dad by entering the Church when they don't let me. So I'm just going to pray, wait and watch God at work. Edited by justfran

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Chris Zewe
[color=red]Edited for: not constructive to the purpose of this board. Please post senseless babble in the "Open Mic" board. Thank you.

peace...[/color] Edited by homeschoolmom

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theculturewarrior
I hope I'm not boring you with my story. It seems like I keep telling it to you.

I wasn't raised in any religion whatsoever. I fell on hard times, unbeknownst to myself I was struggling with mental illness. After a brief period of homelessness, I started reading a gideon's NT and began my conversion process. My life improved considerably. I began working at the grocery store in whose parking lot I used to live. I began my search for absolute Truth.

The story of how I made my way to the Catholic Church is a convoluted bore. It was basically the realization that at some point, I was going to need to attend a church, and my experiences at the Methodist Student Union, while pleasant (and such good food) didn't leave me any more enlightened. So here I am. I actually chose to become Catholic before I realized what that meant, but now I have no doubts. :)

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Sanvean
I was born to two non-practicing Ukrainian Catholic parents. My father converted when he married my mother to satisfy her family. Both of them had a lot of bitterness towards the Church and God. So it was that they decided that I would be raised outside of any particular faith, and left to decide things for myself. I remember being very young and, for no particular reason, asking why I had never been baptized. My mother would always ask me if I wanted to be. I would always say yes, and she would always tell me I couldn't possibly really mean that.

When my father was younger, he experimented with a lot of occultic and new age practices, and immersed me in that from a pretty young age growing up. My grandmother taught me how to read tarot cards, and I bought in to all of this wholeheartedly.

As I got older, I started asking questions, as we are all apt to do. I eventually became a Slavic Reconstructionist, thinking this was a way to honour my families heritage and the gods I believed in. I remember wandering for hours on end in the bush behind my house by myself, so in love with what I perceived to be divinity, praying.

So it was until I was about 16. My life got bad. Fast. Things had always been rough as a child... my mother drank too much, and life at home wasn't always pretty, but at this point in my life, everything I knew just fell apart. I fell into a deep depression, and began a battle with self-injury. It was also at this point in my life that I really began questioning what I believed. It wasn't so much a matter of being bitter towards evil in the world... like my father, I was always a moral relativist in a big way. Ultimately, it came to a point that I realized that what I had believed was wrong, and so I walked away.

... Into an immature and desparate form of atheism. I just kept searching and searching for truth, but I'm not so sure, in hindsight, that I wanted to find it, if I could. When I was 18, and had just been accepted to university, I tried to kill myself. I remember feeling such utter terror as I started to lose consciousness... and crawling to try to get help. I couldn't make it, and ended up curled up in a little ball, praying desparately for the first time in years, to a God I didn't know, to live.

The next morning I woke up. Everything I know about biology and human physiology indicates that I shouldn't have, but I did. Still, it took me another year before I could seriously consider the existance of God. After studying philosophy in my first year of university, and dialoguing with some amazing and patient people, my heart started to soften considerably. In June of this year, I accepted Christ, along the lines of the Sinner's Prayer.

It was also in June of this year that I made it to Mass(in fact, a church service of any sort) for the first time in my life. My parents had long since divorced, and both are living with someone new. My father goes to Mass occasionally with his girlfriend, and I went with them one week. I couldn't understand why they mocked it so much... I felt like I had finally come home, but had no clue how to go about becoming Catholic. I just knew that I needed to be.

I had been in some difficulties finding housing for the second year of my degree, and ended up living with two girls who were strangers to me at the time. After I had moved in with them, I learned that they were both very strong Catholics. All year, we went to Mass together weekly(and later, came to the Easter Vigil). I got involved with the RCIA in September, and it has been one long, incredibly journey filled with so many graces. I was almost in tears the first time I prayed the rosary.... and could barely contain my awe at the power of the Eucharist.

Mind you... I am typically lacking in spiritual consolations, but that really doesn't mean anything. It's all been so incredibly worth it.

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1337 k4th0l1x0r
I'll post mine up sometime soon. I'll at least get the version up that doesn't have all the gruesome details about my life.

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MParedon
Hi guys!

I am starting a new webpage where I can put a collection of Conversion Stories together. It's still under construction, and I would LOVE if you guys contributed to it. It's sectioned off into: Convert,
Revert,
Invert,
Cradle (Conversion Experiances),
and Still in Process of Converting stories
(due to family, theological problems or still in RCIA).

If you want to contribute just PM me or email me at MParedon1@yahoo.com with your story. I'll post it up on the site, if you like you can add your own web blog or site and I'll post it up with your story.

Here's my page
[url="http://www.geocities.com/mparedon1/index.html"]http://www.geocities.com/mparedon1/index.html[/url]

There is nothing on it yet, lol, but I really hope there will be soon.
I would love for the stories on this thread to be added, but I want to wait for the posters permission. :) Edited by MParedon

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Guest T-Bone
I was raised agnostic. During highschool, I fell in with a group of Christians. (I LOVE that saying..."fell in with a group of Christians.)

I attended several protestant churches, but was unable to find "God" in them. My then girlfriend was a CofC'er. I did not treat her well, and she started seeing other people while I was in college. :unsure:

I was usually on the verge of dropping out of college. During the summer after the last year I fooled myself, I was invovled in a head on collision. I was uninjured, but that was a miracle. My truck was mangled beyond recognition, and the MagLite ® flashlight I had mounted behind my seat flew within a quarter inch of my head, and imbedded itself in the windsheild.

After that, I worked the winter in a dead-end job (the same job I had during school). Then I got transfered to another dead-end job. Somewhere in that time, I got the call to convert.

I did not ignore this call. I converted.

Later on, 9/11 went down. I knew I was truely Catholic when I skipped my next stop (I had yet another dead-end job by this time.) and went to the nearest Catholic Church to pray.

My life as not been better since I converted, although I did not expect it to. I had lost jobs, gone through sucidal depression, and a bunch of other stuff. I remain faithfull to my faith, and try to pray to God everyday.

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