Skip to comments.Catholic Church prepares for tens of thousands of U.S. converts
Posted on 04/01/2009 5:54:12 AM PDT by NYer
.- 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 archdioceses 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 dioceses 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. Peters 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.
There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.
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
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.
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!
30 or 40 from my parish alone.
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.
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.
"Sola Scriptura" is indeed a way that seems right unto some men, and the end thereof is indeed death.
Where in “Sola Scriptura” does it say that the Bible is the sole source material? Just curious...
Oy! Am I disappointed!
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.
We were Lutherans. It still saddens me to see the ELCA plummeting ever downward. Glad I left when I did.
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.
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?
25-30 from my parish. Not sure of the actual numbers of candidates and catechumens.
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.
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.
Easy annulments are probably a big part of that.
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.
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 . . . . )
It does NOT contain sola scriptura, ergo, sola scriptura is not necessary for salvation and holiness.
God bless you and your wife and may he smooth the path before you.
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.
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.
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).