Skip to comments.Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
Posted on 03/19/2008 5:30:41 PM PDT by annalex
Are you drawn to the Catholic Church (East or West)? Do you feel something is lacking as a non-Christian or a Protestant? Do you feel called to convert to Catholicism? Are you unsure about converting from your own denomination and want more guidance? Are you afraid of converting? Do you need information that is not sugar-coated or full of obvious anti-Catholic bias? If you are asking these or similar questions, then this Catholic conversion page is for you! Even if you are just seeking and looking for more information, we hope this page helps you understand more about the Catholic Church. Please check out our expanding roster of Catholic Conversion stories.
Just as a note, we are aware that the term "conversion" is inadequate to describe the process whereby a Protestant becomes Catholic, since most Protestants are already baptized and committed followers of Jesus when they decide to become Catholic. More accurately, a Protestant is "entering into the fullness of the Apostolic faith" when he becomes Catholic, or perhaps we can say he is "fully reconciled with Christ's Church." Also, he is "entering into full communion with the Church." However, "conversion" is the popular term to describe the change, and we retain it for this reason.
We are now expanding our roster of Catholic Conversion stories to include stories by folks from all over the Catholic blogosphere, including our stories posted on the Ancient and Future Catholics site!
NEW Thank God I Made It Home by Kathleen Laplante
This is an engaging story of a Catholic revert who once asked, "Who does the Catholic Church think they are, telling me I can't have an abortion if I want one?" However, after struggles with depression, suicide, and going through a divorce, she returned to the Catholic Church, and now has replaced past hopelessness with Christ's joy.
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church by David Bennett
David became Anglican in 2000 after being raised Evangelical Methodist. He converted to Catholicism in 2004. He is co-editor of this website.
My Journey to the Catholic Church by Jonathan Bennett
Jonathan joined the Anglican Communion in 2000 after being raised Methodist. He joined the Catholic Church in 2004. He is co-editor of this website
My Journey Back to the Catholic Church by Carmel Brizzi
Carmel was raised Catholic, but became a member of a non-denominational church. She reverted to the Catholic Church in 2004. She is an Ancient and Future Catholics contributor and blogger.
I: From Catholicism to Evangelicalism by Rosemarie
II: From Evangelicalism to Christian Feminism by Rosemarie
III: From Feminism to the Arms of Mary by Rosemarie
This is a fascinating and informative three part story of a cradle Catholic who explored evangelicalism, feminism, and then eventually returned to the Catholic Church as an educated, orthodox, Catholic.
My Return to the Faith of My Youth by Richard Evans
Richard Evans grew up Catholic, but "came out of the closet" in the early 1990s. He attended an evangelical Methodist church for a time, but returned to the Catholic Church in 2006. Richard regularly blogs at Richard's Ramblings.
My Personal Conversion Story by Russ Rentler
Russ was raised Catholic, but as a teen became involved in an anti-Catholic fundamentalist movement. He then landed in a charismatic church. Sadly, in the midst of his time in the charismatic movement, his wife passed away. This is a fascinating story about how Russ returned to the Catholic faith. He blogs at Crossed the Tiber and also has his own music site, Russ Rentler - Acoustic Minstrel.
Converting to the Catholic Faith is a pretty big deal. There is still a lot of prejudice against Catholics, even in the 21st century. Some Protestants still insist that Catholics are not Christian, and converting to Catholicism is akin to converting to a cult. Thus, becoming Catholic can be extremely counter cultural. Here are a few things to consider before becoming Catholic. Note that these questions are primarily geared toward baptized Christians who have already made a basic profession of faith in Jesus Christ at baptism before becoming Catholic:
Becoming Catholic means that you consent to all that the Church teaches. This means that if you have deep reservations about Church teachings or morality, you should probably wait. The Catholic Church is not set up as a pick-and-choose, buffet style, religion. While we are always glad to welcome new members into our Church, it is important to join the Church on her own terms, and not one's own terms. Does this mean that we aren't allowed to ever have private doubts and concerns about Church Teaching? No. Doubt is natural, and everyone has doubts. The key is to continue to have faith that God has preserved Truth through the Church even when we may be struggling personally.
While some Protestant denominations tend to emphasize mental assent to the exclusion of actions, the Catholic Church, like the early Church, requires both faith and action of her members. You are expected to avail yourself of the sacraments regularly, attend Mass every Sunday and on certain other days throughout the year (unless you are ill or have another just reason), confess your mortal sins before receiving communion, avoid artificial contraception, raise your children Catholic, and so on. While these things we have just mentioned actually draw many into the Church, because they reflect early Christian teaching and are truly radical and counter cultural, they may be too much for some people. We are not discouraging you from joining the Catholic Church, nor are we implying that our readers cannot handle the Church's requirements. We just want our readers to be aware of what is expected. We may not always live up to what God expects of us, but as Catholics we are expected to make an effort, and certainly we are not to dismiss the Church's morality and requirements as out-of-hand.
For Anglicans and others whose former denominations have a lot in common with Catholicism, becoming Catholic could entail a simple service of reception into the Church, followed by confirmation either that day or later. For others, the process may involve a four to seven month long program called RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. If you are unbaptized, or were baptized in a manner not recognized as valid by the Catholic Church, you may have to be baptized before joining. This means you must willingly accept Jesus as Lord and profess this before the Church and world at your baptism. The point is that becoming Catholic may require some time and effort on your part. As the saying goes, "the best things come to those who wait." It is well worth the wait, and in addition to (ideally) getting a solid grounding in the Catholic faith, you will develop friendships in RCIA that will last a lifetime. Don't feel too badly though, because in the early Church the catechesis process was three years long and very intense!
Unfortunately, some RCIA programs have a reputation for watering down, or even downright denying, basic Catholic Teaching and morality. This is probably done to make the faith less offensive, or because the teachers do not accept Catholic Teaching themselves. However, the result is that many converts become frustrated with RCIA, because they are joining the Church because they believe that Catholic Teaching, even the controversial parts, are true and worth following. While being involved in this type of RCIA setting is frustrating, there are ways to make the situation more bearable. First, act as a charitable witness to true Catholic Teaching, offering an orthodox and factual perspective to counter incorrect teaching. Second, remember that no RCIA program is perfect, and be willing to recognize the positive aspects of your RCIA program, even if there are many negatives involved. Third, pray for your teachers, sponsors, and fellow candidates/catechumens. Fourth, if you feel the problem is particularly bad, discuss the issue with the parish clergy and explain your concerns.
Basic Catholic Beliefs and Practices
These are some of our introductory pages, explaining the Catholic Faith in a postmodern context (without changing the Faith), that takes into account the entire Catholic faith, East and West.
Catholic Practices, Duties, and Lists
You have asked for it, so we have delivered it: all the common Catholic lists and practices in one place. The Seven Deadly Sins, The Cardinal and Theological Virtues, The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Duties of a Catholic, and more! We are always saying, "now what is that 4th corporal work of mercy again?" or "I can't remember the last deadly sin!" Now you don't have to sweat it.
NEW Online Handbook of Denominations
We have collected information on various denominations and churches, reviewing them from a Catholic perspective. However, our intent was to be accurate and charitable, making this online handbook of denominations handy for all Christians. Currently we have information on the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican communion, and the Lutheran church.
Possible Objections to the Catholic Faith
We have compiled (and are compiling) common objections and concerns many people have with the Catholic Church. There are many myths about the Catholic Church, and we hope to set the record straight. We are trying to answer these objections by being truthful and explaining clearly what the Church actually teaches, as well as explaining why such practices and beliefs are true.
This is our group blog. Most of the contributors are individuals who have become Catholic after being raised in another Christian Tradition. Often material of interest to converts is posted.
We have created these pages to reacquaint Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans to their own Church Calendars (since many are still undereducated about this great reality), but also to introduce non-Catholics to the beauty of the Church Year.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
This site has photos and video of the Rites of Initiation into the Catholic Church. The process consists of education and regular meetings, but the rites themselves are the most important part of the RCIA process. This page will give you a look into what the rites consist of. Thanks to Jason Sims for the link.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
If you want to know what the Catholic Church believes about any issue of theology, morality, etc. this is the book to consult!
Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Author Patrick Madrid chronicles stories of people who have converted to the Catholic Church.
Handbook for Today's Catholic
Considered to be a "handbook" of the Catechism, this is the source for anyone wanting a concise primer on the Catholic Church. The low price makes it even more accessible.
The Orthodox Way
Kallistos Ware, an Orthodox Bishop, explains the Orthodox Church, and details the beauty of Eastern Christianity, as experienced in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches.
Ancient and Future Catholics
Last, but not least, we have to include our main page, which has evolved over the last year and a half to become a page for presenting the timeless Faith to a postmodern world. Run by Catholics, we also have many Orthodox contributors, and even some Christian contributors from other churches. As such, one major goal we have is to always include the Eastern perspective, of both the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Churches.
The Catholic and Eastern Churches can seem a little scary at times and unfortunately local parishes don't always put enough energy and thought into effectively reaching out to non-Catholics. If you have a question, please email us and we'll help you as best we can (or put you through to someone who can). We have a network of contributors are willing to guide you through the process of becoming Catholic. Only honest inquiries from please. No flaming or trolling.
Happy Holy Wednesday.
I converted already...from Catholicism to Protestantism. And I’m much happier for it.
Amen! (Standby for incoming.) ;-)
As they used to say during World War II, “was your trip really necessary?”
And the obvious and collective answer was YES! (then and now) ;-)
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.
Does your new ‘church’ allow or condone divorce? Gay ‘weddings’? Female preachers? Artificial contraception? Sodomy? Sex outside of wedlock?
What truths taught for 2,000 years got tossed out in your journey away from Rome?
This happens often, and is often temporary. Good luck.
What a great resource page.
Nevertheless, you are still a Catholic. You are welcome back at any time.
Are you saying that you also are Catholic?
Thanks for all the links.
I will be baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil this Saturday.
Welcome home. Thanks be to God.
Welcome to the fray. Glad to have you with us.
| "Since Your Majesty and Your Lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer.
Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason, and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
I cannot, and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other.
God help me."
Central points of Luther's inventions contradict the scripture, including this arrogant attributed to him statement.