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Catholic Church prepares for tens of thousands of U.S. converts
CNA ^ | April 1, 2009

Posted on 04/01/2009 5:54:12 AM PDT by NYer

Washington D.C., Apr 1, 2009 / 04:09 am (CNA).- Tens of thousands of new Catholics are expected to join the Catholic Church in the U.S. in 2009, with many doing so at the Easter Vigil liturgies on April 11. Converts to Catholicism are known as catechumens if they have never been baptized and as candidates if they have received baptism in another Christian community and now seek full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta, where Catholics have traditionally been a minority, estimates that 513 catechumens and 2,195 candidates will enter the Catholic Church in 2009, about 1,800 doing so at Easter. The figures do not include infant baptisms.

Father Theodore Book, director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Atlanta Archdiocese, said the archdiocese has been “blessed with an authentic dynamism” during recent years. He cited the archdiocese’s annual Eucharistic Congress, saying it draws nearly 30,000 participants.

“One of the many blessings that we have received from the Lord is the large number of individuals entering the Church,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Seattle will reportedly welcome 736 catechumens and 506 candidates, while the Diocese of San Diego will baptize 305 and receive into communion 920 other baptized Christians.

The mostly rural Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama reportedly will have 445 new converts. The diocese’s Cathedral of St. Paul could not hold them and their families for the Rite of Election, which had to be held in three separate ceremonies.

At St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, California resident Heidi Sierras will represent North America at the Easter Vigil, where she will be baptized by Pope Benedict XVI.

The 2008 Official Catholic Directory listed 49,415 adult baptisms and 87,363 people received into full communion in 2007.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/01/2009 5:54:12 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.
Sola Scriptura.


2 posted on 04/01/2009 5:55:29 AM PDT by kindred (Conservatives have 4 years to start a new conservative party or lose more elections.)
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
For those still seeking ...

The well-known and very popular Catholic couple, Scott and Kimberly Hahn, have been constantly travelling and speaking all over North America for the last few years about their conversion to the Catholic Church. Now these two outstanding Catholic apologists tell in their own words about the incredible spiritual journey that led them to embrace Catholicism.

Scott Hahn was a Presbyterian minister, the top student in his seminary class, a brilliant Scripture scholar, and militantly anti-Catholic ... until he reluctantly began to discover that his "enemy" had all the right answers. Kimberly, also a top-notch theology student in the seminary, is the daughter of a well-known Protestant minister, and went through a tremendous "dark night of the soul" after Scott converted to Catholicism.

Their conversion story and love for the Church has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of lukewarm Catholics and brought them back into an active participation in the Church. They have also influenced countless conversions to Catholicism among their friends and others who have heard their powerful testimony.

Written with simplicity, charity, grace and wit, the Hahns' deep love and knowledge of Christ and of Scripture is evident and contagious throughout their story. Their love of truth and of neighbor is equally evident, and their theological focus on the great importance of the family, both biological and spiritual, will be a source of inspiration for all readers.

"One of the beautiful and bright-shining stars in the firmament of hope for our desperate days is this couple, the Hahns, and this story of their life and their conversion."
— Peter Kreeft, Author, Back to Virtue

"Dynamic, fresh, and devoted are terms which describe the approach that Scott and Kimberly Hahn take to assist in the renewal of the Church in the United States. Now, with their conversion, they are admirably suited to assist Catholics in re-discovering the treasure that has been entrusted to them. My hope is that many people will benefit from contact with Scott and Kimberly Hahn through their stories of conversion."
— Most Reverend John Myers, Bishop of Peoria


3 posted on 04/01/2009 5:56:12 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: kindred; All
An Overview of Basic Catholic Teachings
4 posted on 04/01/2009 5:58:53 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Baptism bump!


5 posted on 04/01/2009 6:06:54 AM PDT by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: NYer
Historically speaking, how do these numbers match up with past years?

I do hope the RC is being careful. Obviously, the U.S. has an awful lot of flaming anti-biblical believers. The last thing the church needs is more people working hard to subvert its biblical stances on moral issues.

6 posted on 04/01/2009 6:06:58 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: NYer
And the converts have proven historically to be better Catholics than the “cradle Catholics!”

One of the priests in my parish is a convert & former Protestant minister and he gives one of the best homilies I have ever heard!

7 posted on 04/01/2009 6:21:22 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kindred
Sola Scriptura... Let me know when you find it in the Bible.
8 posted on 04/01/2009 6:21:43 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
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To: NYer

30 or 40 from my parish alone.


9 posted on 04/01/2009 6:27:41 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: kindred
Yeah, I guess I can see how "Sola Scriptura" would "seem right unto a man" while the "end thereof" might be death.

Still, I think that errors undertaken out of a grace-filled, grace-stirred, grace-originating yearning and intention to follow Jesus and claim him as one's savior are easily forgiven while an insistence on "right doctrine" can be a cloak for a kind of "works righteousness".

As Aquinas argues in Art. 2, Q. 109, I-IIae of the Summa, man can neither will nor do any good thing without grace, so it seems to me we should be patient with those who mistakenly rely on "Sola Scriptura", which has led to so many disasters, for instance the Jehovah's Witnesses. God isn't done with any of us, and I think few will on that account -- or on account of any error made in hopes of pleasing God -- be damned.

10 posted on 04/01/2009 6:47:18 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: NYer
God bless the Church, and i say that as a Methodist. Any path to the true Christ is ok in my book.
11 posted on 04/01/2009 7:31:07 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Stupidity has an expiration date 1-20-2013 *(Thanks Nana))
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To: ejonesie22

As a papist, excuse me, I meen feelthy papist, I’m glad for the “converts” from other communions. But I completely agree with you about the wonder and joy at adult converts to Christ. The catechumens, those who will be baptized, just blow my mind! I love it.


12 posted on 04/01/2009 7:40:32 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: kindred
Umm, yes.

"Sola Scriptura" is indeed a way that seems right unto some men, and the end thereof is indeed death.

13 posted on 04/01/2009 7:42:52 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Where in “Sola Scriptura” does it say that the Bible is the sole source material? Just curious...


14 posted on 04/01/2009 7:48:29 AM PDT by ak267
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To: ak267
Where in "Scriptura" does it say what works constitute Scripture?

Just curious.

15 posted on 04/01/2009 7:53:45 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Wait! You mean the index in my Bobble isn't divinely inspired? Whoa! How 'bout the concordance? The pictures and maps?

Oy! Am I disappointed!

16 posted on 04/01/2009 8:10:56 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible is the only infallible or inerrant authority for Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

Soooo, where in the Bible does it say this? Any of the apostles? People’s head got chopped off for this? Oh wait, that’s the Middle East in another religion.

So much for man’s interpritation. Nevermind.


17 posted on 04/01/2009 9:16:42 AM PDT by ak267
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To: NYer
It doesn't seem that long, but thirteen years ago, my daughter and I swam the Tiber at Easter Vigil. Haven't regretted it a bit.

We were Lutherans. It still saddens me to see the ELCA plummeting ever downward. Glad I left when I did.

18 posted on 04/01/2009 9:19:28 AM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: Mad Dawg

There, in a nutshell, is why even though I have had various problems over the years with the Catholic Church, protestantism in any form was simply not an option.


19 posted on 04/01/2009 9:24:52 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

Are conversions to RCC by notable intellectuals (as Newt Gingerich and Laura Ingraham) an acknowledgment that the claimed Protestant “inspiration of the Holy Spirit” is a cover for subjectivity that, in the end, is simply intellectually untenable?


20 posted on 04/01/2009 9:43:54 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: ak267; ArrogantBustard
Soooo, where in the Bible does it say this?

Answer: Nowhere.

Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura

21 posted on 04/01/2009 9:54:35 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: jjotto
Not at all. It's an example of innerleckshual pride and arrogance and stuff like that.

/sarc.

22 posted on 04/01/2009 11:20:33 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg

25-30 from my parish. Not sure of the actual numbers of candidates and catechumens.


23 posted on 04/01/2009 11:28:59 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Yeah. So if you grant the inspiration of those who "closed the canon," then you end up with a "story" that has the Holy Ghost operating in the Church just long enough to get the Bible nailed down, and then sort of submerging (with occasional appearances among, say the Lollards or somesuch) until it resurfaced in the Reformation, and then sort of unreliably flitted hither and thither among reform and protestant churches.

And in related news you have "the Church and councils can err," EXCEPT in the matter of the canon. And so little by little we come down to God's being utterly unreliable.

Further, as was argued into the ground about a year ago, "Sola Scriptura" means "Scriptura PLUS the Holy Ghost in the elect reader." So that the question you raise is answered thus: Those who read the Scriptures with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost will find 'sola scriptura' there; the benighted will not.

What 'sola scriptura' gives is an evanescent appearance of some kind of scientific objectivity. What we offer is membership in the now tortured but soon triumphant body of Christ.

24 posted on 04/01/2009 11:32:08 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: sockmonkey

My wife and I are LCMS Lutheran and about to start catechumen classes in the Orthodox Church. I just could no longer defend the incongruity between the Lutheran Confessions, current political-theological reality, and actual LCMS practice.


25 posted on 04/01/2009 1:22:55 PM PDT by RedDogzRule (God bless America...because God knows we need it, especially now...!)
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To: NYer
One thing to keep in mind is that a reason the New Catholic Church is attracting many protestant converts is because it [The Church and Mass] has become so heavily protestantized since Vatican II. The transition is easy now. Other converts find themselves attracted by correct doctrine; I won't dispute that.
26 posted on 04/01/2009 1:30:59 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86

Easy annulments are probably a big part of that.


27 posted on 04/01/2009 1:37:10 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: RedDogzRule
My wife and I are LCMS Lutheran

I've been ELCA & LCMS. I liked the LCMS better, but I was kicked out because I didn't attend the mary/martha circle meetings. Several of us got the boot, the Church Secretary's daughter. Me, whose Dad was the President of the Congregation..ooh, it was quite the dust up in our little town.

28 posted on 04/01/2009 1:48:16 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: Mad Dawg
I'm pleased to see that our archdiocese is mentioned prominently.

The South has a little bit of an unfair advantage because there weren't many Papists down here in the old days.

In my high school two of my best friends were Catholic - one Roman and one Lebanese Maronite. A third was Eastern Orthodox. A good friend in the Boys' School (yes it was sex-segregated!) was Greek Orthodox. And that was just about all the non-Protestants in the whole dang school. (Clearly, in retrospect, I was hangin' out with the right crowd. . . the old-styled Southern pulpit thumpers were suspicious of Episcopalians. They were right, but for the wrong reasons . . . . )

29 posted on 04/01/2009 2:21:03 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: ak267
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible is the only infallible or inerrant authority for Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

It does NOT contain sola scriptura, ergo, sola scriptura is not necessary for salvation and holiness.

30 posted on 04/01/2009 2:23:41 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: kindred
There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death: Sola Scriptura.
31 posted on 04/01/2009 2:24:43 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: RedDogzRule

God bless you and your wife and may he smooth the path before you.


32 posted on 04/01/2009 7:15:50 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: steve86

I do know some converts from maybe 15 years ago or so who came in like that. I’m spoiled in my current parish, and a lot of the Episcopalians who come in, certainly in this year’s class, are not looking for “lite” anything. They’re a wonderful and pious class.


33 posted on 04/01/2009 7:17:32 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: AnAmericanMother
It is interesting, isn't it.

I'm on a high from our last RCIA class, which ended an hour ago. Such a lovely and interesting group of people. And most of them ready to take the plunge, ah, so to speak. I was telling one, a very impressive and witty young lady from Colorado how much it meant to us to see these people growing in their love for Jesus.

34 posted on 04/01/2009 7:24:44 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
That's great that you have a good RCIA bunch!

We had a History of Western Church Music course like that, where everybody was on the same wavelength and really interested in the material. We used to sing the music in parts on the spot! It was truly an awesome class.

We sort of lateraled into the parish, so we missed RCIA and I sometimes wonder what it would have been like (I would have been a complete annoyance in RCIA so it was just as well really).

35 posted on 04/01/2009 8:08:39 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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