I'm converting to Catholicism - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just started taking the RCIA classes. So much to learn and the process seems to go on for quite a while. Why is this? I have yet to be paired up with a fellow parishoner, but that should be soon and I'm looking forward to it. The guy that I'm currently meeting with is looking for someone that is a mother and lives close to us. I'm in need of some new mama friends!
I had my first class last night and learned a ton in just 2hrs. We talked about Revelation, the Gospels, the differences between the Old and New Testament and how they are connected, etc.,

I came to the realization that I wanted to do this because a) my YDS is being baptized soon and my ODS is already baptized. b) my DH is Catholic and c) I felt like I didn't really belong anywhere - sort of in limbo.

Share with me your experience when you converted?

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#2 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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I took the RCIA course back in the early 90s and really enjoyed it. I didn't end up converting--but learned a lot. When I took it, the class started in the Fall, and then everybody converted around Easter (not exactly Easter Sunday--but in that rough time frame.) I think part of the reason that the process is long is so that you can be well-informed and make a decision which allows you to stay with the Catholic Church for life. Whereas some (not all) denominations/religions, will basically let anybody convert on the spot (regardless of how much they've studied or know), I think the Catholic Church is interested in converting people who will be practicing lifelong Catholics. JMHO. (I thing an argument can be made for both processes, actually--but then again, that's another thread.)

Good luck and enjoy the process.

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#3 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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Don't have time to post my whole story right now, but welcome!

Have to clean the house and then spend the day with friends, but will come back to tell you of my journey later!

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#4 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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i don't know what the RICA classes are, but my DH and i just went through the NFP classes and it DEFINEATLY gave us a positive look at Catholicism and it's doctrines. i love that it's a religion that hasn't gotten caught up in politics and debates and has ripped apart from it's true beliefs. i now feel i can sit through a 2-hour service and enrich myself in it's historical and deep meaning behind every prayer, every hand motion, every flick of the water. its' so meaningful, purposeful and God-honoring.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Congratulations! RCIA is a long process because there's a lot to Catholicism, and when you convert, you're basically standing before God and the Church and saying "Yes, I believe and I'll do my best to be a faithful Catholic." There are many aspects of Catholicism that can be contentious, confusing, controversial, etc, so a lenghty preparation helps make sure you understand the fundamentals of the faith and clears up any questions or issues you might have. I think we spent about a year in RCIA, it was a great experience.
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#6 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Welcome home!

My RCIA experience was an opportunity to suffer for the Faith. I left many a class in tears because I was asking for a fish and being given a snake. We were taught things like "The rosary was for illiterate peasants and is not needed anymore" and my personal favorite, "Jesus didn't actually rise from the dead. That was a symbolic story."

I didn't even know much about Catholicism but I knew that what I was hearing wasn't The Truth. This was before the Internet, so I didn't have many resources available to me.

But by the grace of God, I became Catholic, switched parishes and have been sustained by the faith ever since. There have been tough times in life but I've always had the sacraments to bless and sustain me. Every single day of my life I have thanked God for bringing me into the Church.

You are at the beginning of a wonderful, life changing adventure! You are going to be flooded with graces for a while. The angels are rejoicing in your conversion and our Blessed Mother has taken you under her mantle.

Get, learn and pray the rosary. It's not just for illiterate peasants!

(Not that there's anything wrong with being an illiterate peasant. My RCIA guy had such an intellectual superiority thing going on.)

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#7 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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Welcome home!

My RCIA experience was an opportunity to suffer for the Faith. I left many a class in tears because I was asking for a fish and being given a snake. We were taught things like "The rosary was for illiterate peasants and is not needed anymore" and my personal favorite, "Jesus didn't actually rise from the dead. That was a symbolic story."

Get, learn and pray the rosary. It's not just for illiterate peasants!
wait, i'm confused. is that something Catholics actually believe, or are you making fun of those statements because Catholics DON'T believe them. ??

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#8 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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wait, i'm confused. is that something Catholics actually believe, or are you making fun of those statements because Catholics DON'T believe them. ??
It appears to me that VillageMom6 is parodying the RCIA instructors she had - they're teaching things that are contrary to Catholic belief. That would be on par with things of the same sort people have told me they heard in either RCIA or their pre-Cana classes. Like a priest teaching in pre-Cana that "The Church teaches NFP-only, but you don't have to believe that. Birth control is OK."

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#9 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Wow. I'm totally shocked to hear that a RCIA teacher would actually teach such things. When I took the course, we used a book (I think it was called the Catechism of the Catholic Church or some such thing... and a Bible, of course)... and talked about each chapter point. The whole point was to learn the Catechism and the beliefs. We were free to ask questions... like... why do Catholics do/believe xyz... or talk about areas that we had trouble with... and then the Priest or Nun (they alternated) would explain the reasoning from a doctrine standpoint.. and then usually try and illustrate things with a personal story or something. It was actually a great class.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#10 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Oh, sorry! Let me clarify... what I was taught in RCIA was heresy. It was absolutely contrary to the faith. I was greatly distressed at being told stuff like "Jesus didn't rise from the dead". That man was completely out of line and had no business teaching RCIA.

Thankfully most people have much better RCIA experiences than I did!

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#11 of 27 Old 07-28-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Oh, sorry! Let me clarify... what I was taught in RCIA was heresy. It was absolutely contrary to the faith. I was greatly distressed at being told stuff like "Jesus didn't rise from the dead". That man was completely out of line and had no business teaching RCIA.

Thankfully most people have much better RCIA experiences than I did!
I am so sorry that happened to you. It breaks my heart when I hear things like this. One of the the things I love about the faith is the unification-and when members of the faith commit heresy, it destroys that. I am so glad you were able to find a better parish.


My story is a little complicated. I was born to a Catholic mother and a Southern Baptist father. I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but when my parents divorced my father raised me in a variety of Baptist and Evangelical churches. I moved back to my mother's, and was raised Catholic, but went into foster care where I was raised in Assembly of God church. Therefore I never went through any of the sacraments beyond baptism.

As an adult, I continued at Assemblies until I was asked to leave one Sunday for bringing my Catholic boyfriend with to services. I didn't step foot in another church for years. When my DH (not the BF from the previous story) and I got married we started "church shopping". I had decided I was anti-Catholic because of various mistaken beliefs about the church, and refused to try any Catholic parish. We couldn't find a church home, and shortly after I became pregnant, we separated. While we were separated, DH was in despair and went to our local Catholic church-he was called there, it was a very spiritual thing for him. When we reconciled, I agreed to give the Church a chance, but I had a lot of doubts and didn't agree with the Church on a lot of things.

We attended mass for a year before entering RCIA-even then I hadn't reconciled all of my doubts, but I wanted to follow my husbands lead. During 8 month long classes, I read and read and read. And I decided if I was going to be confirmed, I had to reconcile my differences. And I did. Through all my research and a lot of prayer, I came to a different understanding of the Church, her teachings, and her traditions. When I came into full communion with the Church I felt great peace. I love my faith. I love so many things about it I don't even know where to start.


So that's how a never confirmed cradle Catholic and her ex-Mormon husband became devout Roman Catholics. And lovin every minute of it.

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#12 of 27 Old 07-29-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Oh, Heather... your story brought tears to my eyes! God's grace is amazing.

Your story is similar to mine. My Catholic father and Presbyterian mother decided to raise me in no faith at all. As I grew up I developed a lot of misconceptions about the Church.

When my non-practising "Catholic" boyfriend (now DH) got engaged I told him, "I hope that you are okay with the fact that I will never convert to Catholicism. Also, I will never raise my children Catholic.". Sadly, he was okay with that.

We moved around a lot in our early marriage and when we were expecting our first child we decided to join a church, to give us a community and a sense of belonging. It never occured to me to consider a Catholic church.

One day I was driving down the road thinking about churches and the idea popped into my head, "What about a Catholic church? How about converting?"

It was my voice I heard, but the words were surely not my idea!!! But instantly a desire arose within me to become Catholic. I decided that I should at least find out what the Church actually believes. One year later I was baptized, confirmed and received my first Holy Communion while holding my baby in my arms.

Best. day. ever.

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#13 of 27 Old 08-01-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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We just started RCIA again, since we moved out of state about a month ago. I do really like this parish RCIA program. It's faithful and traditional and the people that run it are wonderful and humble. We were meeting with a priest before we moved for faith formation.

I'm glad I found a place here where I feel comfortable and dh is going also and enjoying it.
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#14 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Just wanted to say "Congrats" and "Welcome Home!" I'm a cradle Catholic, but my DH is a convert. He converted in college about a year before I met him. Shortly after, his pastor from his home church (Dutch Reformed or something like that) began talking to him a lot- and eventually converted himself. Then DH's brother converted and is now discerning the priesthood. Now we are praying for his parents to come home too.

May God bless your journey! I promise it won't be easy- but the rewards are out-of-this-world (literally!).

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#15 of 27 Old 08-19-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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busymama, how is RCIA going? I'm really enjoying ours.
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#16 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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WELCOME!!! RCIA is such a beautiful and mysterious time, enjoy every moment even the ones that have you questioning everything! I won't lie to you and tell you that this is going to be the easiest journey or that it ends upon your conversion. I have lifelong Catholics that tell me they are still on the journey - I think we all are until we are actually with Jesus in Heaven. I started RCIA in Sept. 2009 and was baptized, confirmed and received first Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil this past April. That was such an amazing night - I think I was practically glowing with grace.

The reason the process is so long is to fully immerse you in all aspects of the faith. Being a faithful Catholic is more than just attending Mass on Sundays, it encompasses every aspect of your life - in a good way of course. So the Church really wants you to know what you are getting yourself into and if it is something you feel you can to commit to. The inquiry phase is a good time to just openly ask question and after question about anything you want to know. For the first few meetings I came in with my legal pad full of questions that they happily answered!

There will be times that on the journey where you feel like you are on top of the world and other times where you feel you are in dark valleys. Just keep praying and remain open to the Holy Spirit to lead you. Keep an open mind to dogmas and doctrines that at first seem too hard to embrace and research why the church believes and teaches what it does. And to be honest you aren't going to understand everything all at once, it does take time and a LOT of prayer.

My journey has been hard on my family because my dh is a hardcore atheist that hates all religion but especially Christianity. In fact my conversion has made him more of an atheist and he openly goes between supporting and disapproving of my conversion. But even through all of that God has led me home to His Church.

I came to Catholic Church after years of being an agnostic. I was raised in a non church going Christian house and I occasionally attended a Baptist Church when I would visit my grandma. It had been about 15 years since I had attended a church when I started going to an Episcopal Church. It was like I had closed the door on God but he was still standing there waiting to be welcomed back into my life when I opened the door for Him. The Episcopal Church left me feeling like there was something more out there and I had a friend who was Catholic so I started asking her questions. She was always so great about never pushing things but just answering my questions when I would ask. I eventually started attending Mass (and after going the 1st time I honestly thought I would never go back) and then joined RCIA. My friend was my sponsor and she still helps me out so much.

I would recommend reading Patrick Madrid's books Surprised by Truth 1 and 2and Scott and Kimberly Hanh's Rome Sweet Home. I also really liked Catholicism for Dummies, it is a good practical resource to look things up quickly and it is very easy to understand. And above all the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC for short) is the best place to get answers to all of your questions.

Wow, this was longer than I thought it would be but it has been nice to share my story with you. Best wishes - keep us posted!
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#17 of 27 Old 09-03-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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How are things going?
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#18 of 27 Old 09-15-2010, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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busymama, how is RCIA going? I'm really enjoying ours.
It's going well. I have my Rite of Acceptance this Sunday and I'm a bit nervous. DH and I had a long talk last night and he professed to me that he is no longer a 'practicing Catholic' - whatever that means - and that he hopes that I'm doing this for the right reasons. WTH?! He seems to be asking me this each time I come home from RCIA and it's making me 2nd guess myself, in a way. He also explained to me that he doesn't want to raise our kids Catholic or put any pressure on them to be apart of the Catholic church - no PSR - none of this stuff. Baptism to him is just purely ceremonial and has nothing to do with the Catholic religion. Our youngest is being baptized a week from Sunday.

Mamas - I'm floored! I don't know what to do. He just wants to make sure that I'm doing this for myself and no one else. That I'm not doing it because the kids are baptized in the Catholic church. That if I wanted to start attending a Baptist church again, that we could and that would be fine with him.

I'm attracted to the comradorary (sp?) of the group that I'm a part of now. I'm interested in learning more about the Faith and feeling like I belong somewhere. Growing up and attending the Baptist church very regularly, I felt like I belonged, made great friends that I'm still in touch with to this day, etc., But the way things have shifted and taken its turn, my life no longer seems to fit in with the Baptist religion - just too conservative.

I think he's worried that I don't know enough about the Catholic religion and that RCIA is only 'sugar coating' it to make it look all nice and pretty. My instructor is going back to the depths of history - really getting excited about it and making it interesting. Sure, I know that there are some bad things about Catholicism, but that's really with any religion.

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#19 of 27 Old 09-15-2010, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How are things going?
Thanks for checking in! Ugh, I'm all over the place right now with my emotions....

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#20 of 27 Old 09-15-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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It sounds like he is worried that you will expect him to go back to Church and live a Catholic life.

I went through something similar when I became Jewish before I married dh. He was raised Jewish, but was non practicing and only went to shul for high holidays. I am a life long religious searcher and at the time had rejected Christianity as an option. He was not the first Jewish guy I dated and it was important to me that my family be the same religion so I looked into it and started taking classes to learn about Judiasm. DH thought it was cool to a certain extent but was ummm do this for you not for me, I don't care. He was comfortable with his culturally Jewish but not religious situation. Don't challenge the status quo LOL.

Anyway, flash forward 20 years and now we are both in the process of becoming Catholic.
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#21 of 27 Old 09-15-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Hang in there.... You would not believe how common that is! It is hard for the spouse to feel like you are learning more than he ever did... and that (it often seems to come to this) you plan to try hard and will seem like the better person in some ways. (I have seen this very reaction so many times. He knows he has not been living his faith, so it is hard to see someone else try.) Just lots of fear on his part about what this will really mean in your marriage. It may be wise to give him space with his thoughts right now. You will do what you believe is right and deal with the rest as it comes. These sort of situations are won by prayer and sacrifice, not by talk.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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#22 of 27 Old 09-17-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Mama, hang in there. As the previous poster said these things take a lot of prayer and sacrifice (advice I wish someone would have given me!) and you really can't talk it out. Oh there have been many late nights where dh and I have tried to talk it out but we both just end up so frustrated and hurt by one another. And it is a huge issue to agree to disagree about especially when kids are involved.

Please just know that you are not alone. This kind of thing rocks even the best of marriages. Seriously, PM me anytime you want. I think I've heard every complaint on this earth that anyone could launch against the CC from my dh and it is so hard to hear when you are in the process of making the choice to convert. I will say some prayers for you guys tonight. Keep praying and God will let you know where he wants you. Your dh is probably just concerned about how this is going to change things for all of you and you are probably worried about that too - I know I was! Keep us posted - I've got to go the lo's are getting into it!
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#23 of 27 Old 09-17-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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Congratulations! RCIA is a long process because there's a lot to Catholicism, and when you convert, you're basically standing before God and the Church and saying "Yes, I believe and I'll do my best to be a faithful Catholic." There are many aspects of Catholicism that can be contentious, confusing, controversial, etc, so a lenghty preparation helps make sure you understand the fundamentals of the faith and clears up any questions or issues you might have. I think we spent about a year in RCIA, it was a great experience.
I SO AGREE with CB and I'll just add that I needed more than RCIA could provide. I chose to dig deeper and I read extensively on my own in addition to going through RCIA. The theological mines are deep in Catholicism, the religion offers such nuanced and varied expressions of faith via various groups (the Benedictines for instance) and some of the theology required a much deeper look than just what I was told in a 90 minute class that met weekly. For instance, I needed to understand how tricky issues like sex, abortion, capital punishment and artificial birth control all intersected under the large umbrella of the theology surrounding issues on the integrity of human life.

There is a gold mine just waiting to be explored, welcome!

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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#24 of 27 Old 09-19-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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I agree that RCIA is just the start. My RCIA class is going great and I'm thrilled that I am in a program that is traditional and faithful, but we are still studying outside of class on our own too. Right now we are starting the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible booklets by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch and of course I still listen to A Body of Truth podcast with Father Loya on Catholic Radio International.
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#25 of 27 Old 09-20-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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I think he's worried that I don't know enough about the Catholic religion and that RCIA is only 'sugar coating' it to make it look all nice and pretty. My instructor is going back to the depths of history - really getting excited about it and making it interesting. Sure, I know that there are some bad things about Catholicism, but that's really with any religion.
Oh that has to be so hard. Is there anyway he would attend class with you?

Heidi
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#26 of 27 Old 09-20-2010, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh that has to be so hard. Is there anyway he would attend class with you?
Hard to with the kids and all. Now, that it's weekly and we have to go every Sunday, too.... He works his travel schedule around my RCIA classes, which I find to be very, very cool and supportive. He's coming around. Especially after the Rite of Acceptance on Sunday. It was nice to have him there.

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#27 of 27 Old 09-20-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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When my father converted, our parish offered child care during the course, because there were a lot of couples/families going through the conversion process.

Perhaps you can talk to your RCIA instructor about child care? Maybe he knows of a family, couple, or young lady/man who would love to babysit the kids so you can attend RCIA as a couple?

Proud Catholic (30) and mama to V (10)
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