Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sojourner

Conversion Stories

Recommended Posts

Fiat_Voluntas_Tua
If you find the Truth you must be in The Church. I found the Truth, and what do you know, I am in The Church. That is my Conversion Story.

Ave Maria,

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Adam S
Hello all

I was raised in a typically English, "We have our child baptised methodist because thats the local church, but dont go to church nor have any idea what a methodist is!" I dont mean that in a bad way to my parents, but they just arent religous in any way.

I was generally brought up in the typically hazy fazy C of E way "God loves you all, but dont worry about it." I experienced a year where i got in with my Christian group at high school (as you crazy Americans call it :rolleyes: ) but again, all fazy Church of England, and i quickly drifted off.

Soon after that i became an agnostic, with a fierce dislike of organised religion. I look back now and can generally see it was just ignorance, i didnt know the enormous proof that accompanies the bible, and also experiences with the Holy spirit. I just thought it was brain washing pure and simple. That went on for a good few years until the summer before last. I was 18 and working over summer. One day my mind drifted and i just started thinking about Jesus. Not God, not religion, just Jesus, and it really freaked me out. I look back now and am sure it was God calling in some way.

A month later i was at University and due to daily thinking about Christ from that day at work i joined my Christian Union. Rubbish - complete evangelical, C of E nonsense. I was disheartened. I went to church with them and the Union leaders (who were meant to be the holiest of us all - yes they were that arrogant) had their feet up on the pews, were laughing during the prayer of confession, everything. I never went again.

Now, opposite my main Uni cafe (im at the university of manchester btw) there is a very big Catholic church. My C of E background had taught me not to trust Catholics. One day as i was thinking this exact question "Why oh why cant i find people who want to worship Christ seriously with proper theology and reverence, instead of happy clappy god botherers", this strict looking man in a cassock walked into the church. I thought, "I bet he doesnt dance to hymns"

So i went in, and it went from there, i attended two classes every week for 8 months, as well as Mass at least 3 times a week and was confirmed on 31st May 2004. Happiest day of my life! It has completely changed my life and it is the most useful thing i have ever done with myself.

I could have gone into greater depth but the post is already pretty long. Thanks for reading :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TrinityAddiction
Myself, I'm a cradle Catholic- who loves conversion stores. And today- in mass during the sermon, that's what I got. ^_^

Apparently, in the one of the classes of people who were going to convert to Catholocism, Father Jerry (our pastor) asked the people to share their reasons for wanting to convert. One lady stood up and said "You'll probably think I'm crazy." Father encouraged her to tell ( :) ) so she told them. She had been in a terrible car-wreck, and she seriously thought she was going to die. as she was laying there, waiting for someone to come help, she said she saw this woman in the middle of the road (a woman of great beauty) The woman in the road told her "You're going to be alright. you aren't going to die." and the lady was reassured. No one else saw this "woman in the road", and she hasnt been seen since.

:rolling: :hearts:

Peace and Love,

Leslie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Craftygrl06
well here it is the post you've all been waiting for...MY LIFE STORY! Or part of it at least :)


I attended the same church all my life...seriously. All my life i went to church every Sunday at your typical Southern baptist church. In the beginning it wasn't so bad. I guess when i was younger i looked at church as somewhat of a social hour not a place for worship.

I remember very clearly the day i KNEW i did not want to be baptist...i didn't know what i wanted to be but i knew i didn't want to be there anymore. Most people at my church got baptisted bettween 8-10. I however wasn't interested. I didn't get baptisted until 14, anyway i was probably in like 6th grade and they were making a children's choir. The woman who was coordinating it had asked my mom if i wanted to join. I decided against it. So when the woman came to ask my mom what i had decided and she said "no," that lady looked right at me and asked if there was something wrong with me and if the congragation should be worried about my salvation....needless to say that kind of ruined it for me.

About my junior year in highschool I totally feel away from any sort of religion. I the girl who was called a goodie goodie broke out a little. Sowing my wild oats :( a time i think i could have done without. My dependence on alcohol was not apparent to me. Despite all this i was still looking for God. I think i went to every christian church in town, methodist, another baptist, non denominational, you name, i tried it, but it just didn't work, nothing seemed to be making sense for me.

Senior year i got together with my current boyfriend, toledo_Jesus :wub: who is a cradle Catholic. But he wasn't a very good one until he went to college. We went to different colleges, and he met some people from the catholic campus ministry ^_^ At the time i hated them...I had never met them but i hated them. They were exposing him to some truths that were heavily effecting my life and our relationship. It was not a happy time...

After my freshman year in college i decided i didn't like being away from home (and my boyfriend) so i transfered to the college he was at. That's when i finally met these people who had reintroduced him to his faith. They were sickeningly nice :) and so hard to dislike(both are now persuing vocations), though i tried my hardest...i resisted for quite a while but eventually i realized that this was what i had been looking for since that day when decided i didn't want to be baptist. That I needed God and I needed to be Catholic. I joined RCIA at my campus ministry and became Catholic last Easter. :D

Actually it wasn't that easy...there were many issues with the CCM. I am located in a liberal Diocease, but that is an entirely different post :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
toledo_jesus
Hey guys, since my girlfriend mentioned me I thought I'd talk about myself. I was a cradle Catholic, but I never really had much actual knowledge about stuff. I went to CCD, got my Sacraments, I was confirmed at 17 (they do it later in my diocese) and generally coasted through. My mother was and is virulently anti-authority and particularly enamored of the various movements outside of the Church pushing for ordination of women and relaxation of the teachings on contraception. I have argued with her for nigh on 7 years now. No sign of progress.
Anyway, needless to say regular Mass attendance was an abstract concept in my house. So, although I was Catholic, I was not informed about what I needed to do to be a good Catholic. In fact I believe that I was taught I could be a 'good' Catholic without going to Church at all. Kind of stupid, I know. It's a very liberal diocese.
So high school came and went without any watershed moments. It was blah. Then came freshman year of college. Boy did I enjoy my first semester away. I mostly spent it with Craftygrl, even though we went to school six hours away. So, at that point I started attending Mass every weekend for some reason. I hate to say it but I took Communion when I shouldn't have and never went to Confession. Second semester was where it all started. For the most part I continued my behavior, until one night...
I was eating hotwings in the caf, when this group of people just sat down around me. I had no idea who they were and it turns out they weren't important. There was one seat open to my left, and this thin, tall guy with a goatee and a strange demeanor sat next to me. We ate in silence for a while and then he just turned to me and started talking. Later he told me that he thought I was one of the group. Interesting how things like that work out.
Well, this guy Scott was way Catholic. We're talking Tridentine Catholic. He was very devout and never hesitated to discuss matters of faith. He was very strange. At times I really think he could read my thoughts, as off the wall as that sounds. He had a great insight into what I was going through at that time. He also had a group of friends who were very knowledgable and different. Joyous in their faith and a real example. They accepted me even though I wasn't on the same page as they were. What's more they seemed to actually like me. Well...they convinced me to really learn for myself about my faith. The more I learned the more I found that I needed to change.
So, with strength that has since left me, I set about rearranging my life. This had major effects on my relationship with Crafty...we almost broke up numerous times. At that point, I could have done it, but something wouldn't let me let her go. Anyway...drastic changes were made. Resolutions and promises to God. And I think for the first time in my life I experienced the real Presence in the Eucharist. I knew the joy of Confession and Penance. I viewed a baptism as a joyous occasion instead of a delay for the end of Mass. I discovered authentic Catholicism, and I view that much the same as a conversion.
In short, I owe much of the happiness I have today to the fact that God led me to meet some very special friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
argent_paladin
I said I would post my conversion story so here it is:

I was raised in a very religious (and slightly anti-Catholic) family, going to mostly Assemblies of God churches. Interestingly, my father (who is now an ordained Southern Baptist minister) was the first not to be baptized Catholic in the family (his four older brothers and sisters were) because my grandfather had left the Church in about 1949. In college I was involved with InterVarsity, Campus Crusade (now Harvest) and other Christian organizations. I even was the carpool guy for church on Sundays. I had a Catholic roommate and some Catholic friends but that was definitely not for me.
But then my car broke down, my friends went to the other side of campus and I just stopped going to church. After a few months, I had a crisis. I considered transferring to a bible college. I fasted and prayed for three days and I recieved a very strong answer to my prayers. I know it was real because it wasn't what I expected. I expected a yes or no answer but God told me, "I have a plan for you", which is something I still need to remind myself. I then decided that I was at that college for a reason and to make the most of it.
So, like many brilliant, overconfident 19-year-olds I decided to find the "one true faith". I quickly discounted Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. I did briefly consider Judaism, but my parents had raised a Christian and I wasn't going to change that.
I had been in Moscow twice in highschool and had been fascinated by the Russian Orthodox liturgy. So, I seriously investigated them and the Greek Orthodox, figuring that since they still spoke the language of the New Testament and seemed resistant to the fads of the day, they must be right.
But since I am not Russian, or Greek or Armenian or Romanian, I didn't feel that I fit in, or ever would. And at about the same time, someone invited me to mass, Easter Vigil.
I was in awe. The incense, the hymns and chants, the beauty. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. I sometimes tell people that I had been preevangelized because my favorite music in high school was Mozart's Requiem mass and my favorite book was Dante's Inferno. There was something attractive about the Catholic sensibility and aesthetic.
The very next day I bought a copy of the Catechism, that had just been published two years before. That summer I read it cover to cover. I am very intellectual and was very attracted to its organization, scholarship and logic. Everything just made sense. Still, I was confused because there seemed to be a disconnect between the beauty of the Truth in the catechism and the lukewarmness and lack of faith of the Catholics I knew. I didn't want to convert to something that sucked all the joy and enthusiasm out of people.
Later that summer, I taught English in Latvia and after that had a month free before I was to begin studies in Moscow. So, I went to this pilgrimage site, in Aglona, Latvia. While I listened to Biebl's Ave Maria, I started weeping at the beauty and emotion of the scene. Here's a pic:
[img]http://home.parks.lv/jefa/images/coutryside/aglona.jpg[/img]
I was overwhelmed at the beauty and the deep piety I saw. This was what I had been looking for! They had walked hundreds of miles to practice their faith. For only the second or third time in 50 years, they were once again allowed to do the pilgramage (the communists had banned it). And I got addicted to pilgramage. So I decided to go to Rome.
I traveled through Lithuania, Poland, Austria and Italy. In Poland, every church was packed and being renovated. Being Catholic was what everyone wanted to be and the joy was infectious. I wanted what they had! So, I got to Vatican City just in time for Sunday Vespers. And I got a ticket to see the Holy Father. After some hardship (I ran out of money and food and spent one night sleeping outside) I was in the front row and after his homily, the Pope rode right by me, only a few feet away. I wept again.
I went to Moscow and contacted one of the priests at my Newman center. I had amde an intellectual conversion at Stanford, an emotional conversion at Aglona, Latvia and a spiritual conversion at St. Peter's in Rome. It took me a couple of years to officially enter because I was not at home for Easter, but finally, April 12, 1998, I crossed the Tiber and came home to Rome.
Deus Providebit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PioFan
I'm entering Holy Week this year with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and a flood of emotions that I didn't quite expect. I can't tell you how many times over the past couple of months that I've gotten all choked-up at Mass!! Sometimes during the Readings, and even during the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist; but most of all during the singing of some of the hymns. I have to stop at times, because it's impossible to sing when you are about to weep with joy!

Having said all of that, I'd like to try and (briefly, I hope) tell my conversion story. Here goes:

I was baptized as an infant, in the Lutheran Church. My family was (and most still are) what I would call "devout" in their faith, and they raised me to be that way too. My upbringing was fairly normal, and our attendance at Church was very regular, since my Mom was an organist. We grew up singing in the choir, attending Sunday School and various (plentiful) social activities. All of this did me a whole lot of good, and probably saved me from myself later on in life.

Being the typical "know-it-all" High School graduate of the '70s, I promptly moved out of our home as soon as possible. I had experimented with alcohol in my Senior year, and had discovered quite a "fondness" for it, you might say. Well, as you could probably guess, that was the beginning of my spiraling descent into a life of grave sin. It is amazing, looking back on it, how easily it was for me to turn my back on God. I simply shut him out, feeling as though there was no good reason that having that much fun could be bad for anyone. Well, of course the fun did not last.

By the time I was thirty I had been married and divorced. About two years into our marriage (and after we became convinced that one of us must be incapable of having children) she became pregnant. Unfortunately, the baby died at birth due to a defect in her development. The doctor told us that it had nothing to do with us, or anything my wife could have done during the pregnancy. Her despair was unconsolable, and we (even more unfortunately) turned to the "bottle" for what little comfort we could find. We were both miserable, and after a couple more years I couldn't take it anymore, and filed for divorce.

I began to slowly build up what I thought was a happy life for myself. I got a decent job, and developed a one-man musical act which I performed in local clubs on week-ends for spare change. The underlying drinking problem stayed with me, however, and it soon became apparent to me that I was slowly killing myself. Though I tried to quit many times, the addiction was too strong, and I was embarrassed to seek help. I was quite probably doomed if I had stayed on that path......

That's when God stepped in, and took over my life. An acquaintance from my High School days showed up at one of my week-end gigs, and afterward we got together and shared our stories. She, too, had recently divorced, and we talked well into the night. She gave me her phone number and said if I was ever in her area I should look her up. About a year later, my job led me on an assignment in her town, and I called her. We had dinner together, and we discovered how much we had in common. Well, basically we fell in love.

She also had her own struggles with alcohol, and during a magical night of truth-telling, crying our eyes out, and facing reality, we made some very tough decisions. We talked about how we wanted to have children, have happy lives, grow old together..... and we both knew that we could not have any of those things if we didn't stop drinking- forever. Now, I know there are people that quit cold-turkey, but not many..... and certainly not without help from God. I stumbled once, a few weeks later, but He and my beautiful wife-to-be picked me up and cradled me in their arms, and I have been sober ever since. (12 years and counting )

Well, the rest of my story is very happy, as it has turned out. My wife is a "cradle Catholic," and we began going to Church again. We looked into the annulment process early on, because she was already hungering for the Holy Eucharist she could not have, but the Priest we spoke to back then made it sound so daunting, and the paperwork he gave us to fill out seemed so overwhelming, that we just kept putting it off.

The next thing you know, (1998) we are having twin daughters, after many, many prayer-filled nights, and years of trying. We experienced God's answer to our prayers in a very real way, and I remember it was the first time I thought, "hmmmm, you know there really is something to this FAITH business!" After a couple more years we moved to a smaller town, just a few miles away, where my wife works as a Kindergarten teacher. Consequently, we changed to a new Church, one which is much smaller and more "personalized," you might say.

We were frequent, if not "regular" Churchgoers, and when the girls got to be old enough, they began CCD classes. Over the course of those years, I began to feel quite "comfortable" with the Catholic Faith. About two years ago, my wife mentioned that I might try taking RCIA classes. To her pleasant surprise, I said "Yes."

The instructor was our Priest, Father Joe. He had given a homily once about coming to see him if anyone had any "issues" preventing them from getting to heaven. I'll never forget his analogy, he said "if something is wrong with your car, don't you take it to a mechanic? Well, if something is wrong, or out-of-tune with your 'soul' it needs fixing also. Just think of me as a 'soul mechanic' and I can help you sort out the problem, and get you back on the road to heaven."

Well, I remembered those words for a long time, and after my first RCIA class I met with him and told him our situation. He was SO kind, and helpful. He interviewed us and together we explored our pasts, and our first marriages. We uncovered evidence, things that neither one of us had ever known, that led us to a very special day. Due to facts that we discovered about our ex-partners, we were able to have our prior marriages officially declared null by our Bishop. Last year, on our 10th Anniversary, we heard the good news, and about a month and a half later our marriage was blessed in the Church.

That all took place as my second year of RCIA was beginning, so I've known for a while that this will be my year to be received into the Catholic Church. My dear friends, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be able to tell you all of this. Fifteen years ago I was a person who refused to look into my own soul, afraid of the things I knew were there. Sadly, believing that God also knew everything that was there and was very angry with me. I could not have been more wrong!!!

If not for His love, Love for even the lowly wretch that I was back then, I could not have come to this place. He has led me ALL THE WAY. Even when I did not know it, the events in my life were not being directed by me, or even by my wife, but by GOD!!! There are no words to describe the excrutiating Joy I feel today. I am aching for the Easter Vigil this Saturday, and hungering for Holy Communion in a way that only you, my friends, can understand. Is it any wonder that I cannot finish singing a hymn like "Were You There...." without the tears welling up, and my voice just catching... and leaving me.

I know this week will be difficult emotionally, especially trying to relive the suffering and death of our Savior, and really trying to fathom the sacrifice that he gave for all of us...... But knowing how the story ends, and how joyous it will be for me this year, I CAN NOT WAIT

I am forever grateful to God for showing me the way HOME, and I pray that all lost souls will hear his call and return to His Church. I thank all of you for reading what has turned out to be a small novel here, and may God Bless all of you.

Regards,
_________________
Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
avemaria40
My conversion story is a little strange but its pretty cool. I wasn't raised as any particular religion, but my mom, who was Protestant, told me about God, Jesus Christ and the Bible. Also, my mom's fam is really Christian so i grew up w/gaurdian angels and stuff like that. My dad's sis is Catholic so she was always giving me religious stories and she gave me a book of saints. i went to Catholic school for awhile when i was little b/c the public schools where i lived were not very sutible for education. My mom tried to raise me, my brother and my sister Catholic, was even going to convert to Catholicism but the priest said no. However, i still think God was calling me b/c i always believed in Him and always talked w/Hm. I went to protestant services w/my mom but I never thought really about converting to anything, at least, i thought i was going to wait till I got older. but when i was in 7th grade, seeds of faith must have been planted in my heart b/c I went to my aunt and uncle's Catholic wedding and i wanted to receive Holy Communion b/c I knew Jesus was there but i didn't b/c somehow i felt that it wouldn't be right, since i wasn't Catholic. I also went to a Lutheran service w/my best friend, since i slept over her house the night b4 and she was in a Christmas play. I really enjoyed the singing and i thought it was interesting. However, in my social studies class that year, we learned about St. Joan of Arc, since we were studying the Medieval times, and we saw the movie w/ Leelee Sobieski in it and as i learned about her life, i was blown away and i knew that she couldnt have been a witch or crazy so i knew that Jesus was guiding her. so that summer, i started praying b4 meals and b4 i went to bed. I also started going to Episcopal services w/my friend, who had converted from the Lutheran faith and i went tto youth group w/her as well, i was attracted to it, but at the same time, i wanted to become Catholic. My parents picked up on my growing faith and told me I could pick any religion i wanted to so I went to 4 churches, a Catholic church, a Congregational church, a baptist church and an Episcopal church. i decided i wantd to become Catholic so i started reading about it, learning the prayers and the sacraments and really getting into it. I started going to Mass that spring and went the whole summer. Then, i started taking RCIA and near the end of my freshman year of High school, i was baptised and confirmed into the Catholic church and every day i'm learning what it means to be Catholic. That's my story :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
homeschoolmom
[quote name='avemaria40' date='Jun 27 2005, 05:51 AM']My mom tried to raise me, my brother and my sister Catholic, was even going to convert to Catholicism but the priest said no.  [right][snapback]625108[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]


:huh: :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
avemaria40
oh, i forgot, after i became Catholic, my mom signed up for RCIA and became Catholic as well, and my bro was baptized and received First Communion, and my sis is in CCD so I guess God wasn't gonna give up on my fam:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
catholicxjw
Here is a website with a bunch of JW to Catholic Conversion Stories.

[url="http://www.catholicxjw.com/conversions.html"]http://www.catholicxjw.com/conversions.html[/url]

Enjoy!

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rick777
My story is short so here it goes...
Im a cradle catholic but in junior high I fell away, then I got sick...and in my sophmore year of hs I came back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jswranch
I joined the church on 20 November 2005.

Son of an Episcopal Priest, I grew up with all forms of protestant influence from pentacostal to high-anglican. My parents encouraged me to embrace all forms of Christianity that improved my own piety (JW and LDS aside). While most youth activities in the Episcopal churches were spiritually dead, I tended to go with the Evangelical/ Fundamentalist crowd. I read the entire bible, spoke in tounges, was slain in the spirit. Soon, I found their doctrines and theology a little off. I could not buy into the once saved always saved. The bible fell from the sky. Homosexuals were evil people. That which is not directly from the hands or mind of Christians, it was of pagan origen, and therefore from the devil. They taught creation was no older than 11,000 years. When I questioned how this could be enlight of geology and carbon dating, they resoponded that God made science that way so as to test our faith in him. Having dived into C.S. Lewis, I could not buy into 'once saved...' I saw Christianity as a life long journey of perseverence. I began to dive into theology and early church history. Being Episcopal, I sided with the High-Anglican theology. I believed in the apostolic succession and 7 sacrements.

Why are we not roman catholic, I asked? The answer was, the orthodox are not in communion with the pope, so neither should we. I was taught the branch theory of Roman, Orthodox, Anglican tiers of apostolic succession. (no one told me of the pope invalidating anglican orders). I bought into it and prayed the anglicans would one day be reconciled.

As I began to believe in the invalidation of the anglican orders, I was also learning of NFP. I beleived contraception was a bad idea. My wife and i tried not to practice it. I did not know the catholic standards of marital chastity. My wife (previous assembly of God, now RCIA) and I were taught 'no sex before marriage' but that anything goes after that. It damaged our relationship. One day, I listened to a Judith Miller talk on contraception and marital chastity. Once we learned and finally practiced marital chastity (NOT THE SAME THING), we were blown away.
This was the truth which comes from wisdom. I then felt irreconcilably called to the truth of catholicism. Once I worked through my tough issues of immaculate conception and assumption, I was good to go. As they say, if you can accept the immaculate conception and transubstantiation, you can believe in the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
photosynthesis
I think everyone on this board already knows my conversion story, or whatever the heck you call it, but here it is.

I grew up in a dysfunctional divorced family and my mom only had me christened and put me through CCD in order to please the grandparents. We went to Mass only semi-regularly and I always hated it because it was long, boring and seemingly pointless. Plus, the music was abhorrent and the priests talked about sports too much. I hate sports-themed homilies.

Anyway, I rebelled. I experimented with all kinds of heretical ideas and considered myself agnostic. I was a hardcore militant pro-choice gay rights activist and feminist, and fully left the Catholic Church for good when people at my youth group started making fun of me for being a pro-choice liberal.

Then after I realized I needed God, I "became a Christian" my sophomore year in college. I said the sinner's prayer, read my free Bible the people at InterVarsity Christian Felloship gave me, and started dabbling in Protestantism. I attended a different evangelical church each week, but none of them seemed perfect enough. There was always something lacking... the pastor talked about sports too much in his sermon, the music sucked, the people were too nice to me and gave me hugs.

I met Sr. Mary Bethany of the Nashville Dominicans back when we were in college together, and she helped me to see that Catholicism is the only Christian denomination that goes beyond petty stuff like music and football sermons and getting hugs from people who don't shower. I started going to confession and attending Mass every week and the rest is history.

Being a revert or invert or whatever is pretty lame though. I'd rather be a convert or a cradle Catholic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  


It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...