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 Post subject: Hello!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:51 pm 
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I am a transplant from CAF. I've bounced around at other forums, but none have scratched the itch that CAF seemed to satisfy. I lurked around here without registering, contemplated posting from time to time, and now feel like I might as well register.

As a little background, I am a convert. I was raised a None. My father was fairly anti-religious. When I was in high school, a group of buddies were all strong Christians attending an Assembly of God in town (one is now a pastor there!), so I tagged along. Even then it wasn't quite my cup of tea, but I was with my friends. My father started loading me up with chores to try and keep me from going, but I would get them all done. He and I got into a very big fight when I was a senior about it, and he backed down. Joining my friends, I got baptized. Well, off to college my faith was pretty wishy-washy. I didn't put a lot of effort into it. But then in '02 I got slammed by the dot-com bust and was laid off and looking for work for over a year. In my despair, the Holy Spirit moved me to rekindle my relationship, and I started a deep, honest search.

Frankly, the Catholic church wasn't anywhere on my radar. Perhaps it was some of that evangelical outlook that rubbed off on me, but I really didn't even consider the Catholic church. My father mentioned to me at some point that I was baptized in an Episcopal Church when I was a baby. So I thought, "Why not? I'll check it out." Well, I fell in love with the liturgy. It was amazing. This particular church still had the chancel rail, we'd all kneel to receive "communion". The Book of Common Prayer is filled with beautifully written prayers. So I started down the path of confirmation (as they call it), and in the classes I was confronted with, well, nothing. Seriously. There were no teachings. I remember asking the instructor, "What does the Episcopal Church believe?" The answer was, "You have to figure out your own relationship with God. The Episcopal Church is defined only by how we worship, not by what we believe." Flabbergasted, I went to the rector, and she confirmed this.

Well, that was deeply unsatisfying. So I bought this book called _Handbook of Denominations in the United States_. I wanted to find churches that had the liturgy. I found the Lutherans, Orthodox, and Catholic church. Of course the Catholic church was right off the list, you know, the whole "Whore of Babylon" and all that. So I started reading a lot about the Lutheran and Orthodox churches. I even started going to the local LCMS. But as +Newman said, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." It started to dawn on me that the Catholic church isn't quite what I thought it was.

So, I joined the LCMS confirmation classes in parallel with RCIA at the local parish. The LCMS classes were going ok until we reached a point about discussion of the saints. I had read enough and asked the pastor (Yep! The pastor himself taught the class!) about if we'd pick a confirmation saint (as I had read about the Catholics doing). He replied that the saints were a nice piece of feel good imagery to remind and call us to holiness, but picking a saint's name wasn't necessary since they had no influence on us. This kicked off a discussion about prayers for the dead, asking the dead to pray for us, etc. None of the answers were satisfying, as I felt that certainly God would not cut us off from those that had come before us. This started me down the path of denying LCMS.

And in RCIA, I had an instructor that was pretty much exactly like the instructor at the Episcopal Church. When the issue of contraception came up--as it always does in RCIA--her answer was "That's between you and God." I spoke up saying, "That's true in a sense, but not what the Catechism says." She brushed me off we we continued. The next week I brought in photocopies of the Catechism specifically to that point, and she snatched them out of my hand saying, "When you have a masters degree in theology, you can teach the class!" Shocked, I sat silently through that class. Later I brought in some audio CD's I made with some talks from EWTN on a variety of topics, such as the sacraments, details on the Eucharist, praying for the dead, etc. She snatched these too saying, "ETWN is a far right, fringe group. They are not qualified to teach in the parish." After that, the priest started coming to the classes too, and it was clear it was to keep me in my place. I was done. I even called Catholic Answers and talked with Fr Pacwa, telling him these stories. He told me, "Keep your head down, get confirmed, get a degree in theology, and take her job."

Well, I ended up finishing RCIA at a different parish. And there too, I got the same kind of instruction. The old, retired priest said the same kind of things as the lady at my previous parish. But I kept my head down and got confirmed. I never got that degree in theology, but I have read quite a bit.

Anyway, I swam the Tiber in Easter '04, and think it has been the best decision I ever made in my entire life.

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-- "To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic." Alphonse de Lamartine


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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:12 pm 
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I commend you for your perseverance and am happy you found your way in to the Churcn. :cloud9: Welcome to the board.

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Please pray for Mr. Biden's conversion and health.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:40 pm 
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Welcome to the forum Suudy!

That was quite a journey you had to the Catholic Church; I enjoyed reading about it.

I thank the Lord you were not swayed by those RCIA instructors. I like what Father Pacwa said!

Peace,

Dorothy


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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:04 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Location: West of Pittsburgh, PA
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:wave Hi, Suudy!

Welcome to the board and to the Church. Thank you for sharing your story.

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"Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2


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