Kathy Frein is a convert to Catholicism from the Baptist faith. 25 years after entering the Church, peers challenging her daughter's convictions caused Kathy to look deeper into her own faith and rediscover Christ and His Church.
Why Am I a Catholic?
When I began to contemplate this task, I considered what its title would be. I thought about making it declarative and writing "Why I Am a Catholic." Then I became more introspective and began to consider the question "Why Am I Catholic?" It has been a personal examination of my faith that finally led me to an understanding of beliefs of the Catholic Church. What joy there is in discovering the Truth!
I've been a Christian since I was ten years old when I expressed a belief in Jesus Christ, was baptized, and joined the little Baptist Church in Monroe, Arkansas during a "fire and brimstone" revival in the late 1960's. I've been a Catholic Christian for the last 26 years. I joined the Roman Catholic Church the year after I married my cradle Catholic husband. I joined the church for a good reason even though it may not have been the right reason. I wanted our family to worship together and my husband and his family had been long time members of our local parish so I felt I should follow his spiritual leadership.
Nikki converted to the Catholic Church from the Baptist tradition in the Summer of 2011. In addition to being a stay at home mom she is also working on obtaining her Master's degree in theology. Nikki lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband Jason and four children. You can read Jason's conversion story (from the Evangelical tradition) here.
Like most converts to Catholicism, I would have never guessed in a million years that I would be where I am today, having just been received into the Catholic Church on the Feast of the Assumption. And like many converts, it's hard to know where to begin, since there are so many things that pointed Jason and I toward the Church.
To go back to the beginning, I was a Cradle Roll Baptist. We went to services every Sunday morning and evening, and I attended Sunday school faithfully. On Wednesday nights I was a Pioneer Girl, filling up my little blue sash with every badge I could get. Later when our church began the Awana program I flew through each level, memorizing as many verses as I could. In high school I was an Awana Cubby leader and enjoyed helping the little 3 and 4 year olds learn their verses. I was there whenever our youth group did service projects and missions trips. I was about as involved as a kid could be and I loved the fact that our youth group had a number of "on fire" and really committed kids who inspired my faith.
Julie is wife, mother and Catholic convert raised in the Methodist church. During her walk of faith she encountered many different Protestant denominations before finally calling the Catholic Church home.
Looking back in my Christian walk of over 30 years, I can now see my steps into the Catholic Church as a reflection of the poem "Footprints in the Sand". My feet have traveled into many Christian denominations the past 30 years, such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian USA, PCA, Assembly of God, Non-denomination and Bible Church. My footprints and Jesus' prints were side by side for several of those years. Then somewhere during those years (for many years) I looked down and I could only see one set of prints, thinking they were mine and I was alone in this journey. My love for Jesus was so real in my life, but why could I not feel at peace in the church? I felt alone in this walk and began to think just maybe something was wrong with me. Now, I see that they were Jesus' footprints carrying me into the Catholic Faith. Fifteen years ago my faith was challenged in the church I attended in which I was a member. I was hurt deeply and this was when my journey into the Catholic faith began, not having a clue this is where my journey would end. Fifteen years ago "Catholic" was not in my vocabulary. My search for a new church began after I was hurt and my feet trotted to many denominations with no peace to be found. A place of worship "one on one", worship with my Lord, was my heart's desire. An anointed sermon and music (praise & worship) was my agenda, and yes I found this in many churches I attended. I also loved to study the Word of God. A good study was encouraging as well. Good sermons, good music and good teaching meant a good church. I traveled into several "Jesus and Me" churches.
Richard was born into a Jewish home in 1950. Twenty-two years later, he discovered Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, and served Him in evangelical Protestant churches for more than thirty-two years. In 2005 he was received into the Catholic Church.
My movement in 1972 from Jewish faith to Christ was so profound an experience, I can tell you when it happened, where I was and what I was doing when I committed myself to the Lord and joined the Protestant church.
But I cannot tell you when I knew I belonged in the Catholic Church. That process was more gradual. I didn't know I was moving toward Rome until I opened my eyes and discovered I had arrived.
Fr. Carter Griffin
Father Carter Griffin is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Raised Presbyterian, he converted to Catholicism while attending Princeton University.
My big mistake was attending a Catholic Mass. It began innocently enough, visiting a Catholic friend who attended a southern university, a young woman that I wanted to impress by my large-minded desire to go to church with her. But my life has never been the same since that April Sunday of 1992. The next day, returning to New Jersey where I attended college, I had eight hours to ponder the experience of that Mass. It had made an indelible impression, and upon returning to the dormitory I asked a Catholic friend of mine to take me to his parish priest. I had some questions that needed answering.
Almost Not Catholic
Here's the skinny:
● Born into a reverent Pentecostal family
● Former Pentecostal preacher and high school Bible teacher
● Trained in Reformed theology at Oral Roberts University (03')
● Entered into full communion with the Catholic Church November 23, 2008
Now let's dive right into the story from where it gets interesting
On February 5, 2006 my daughter was born. I'll never forget the overwhelming joy and love of that moment. I will also never forget the fear of the Lord that overcame me. It had been fine up until this point to linger in my own religious "ignorance"--I say ignorance because I knew there were serious tensions in my faith but I had no internal drive to resolve them--going about practicing Christianity in the tradition that I had inherited. However, it was quite another thing all together to pass that faith off to this innocent life. As I held my helpless daughter in my arms, I remember knowing that I had run out of time. The time was now to investigate what was the true faith, the true Church, and where in fact would my children be safe from the rising tide of relativism, secularism, and evil.
Pam Forrester writes from Fallbrook, California, where she lives with her husband, Mike, of thirty five years. They have seven children. The youngest was six when her mother entered the Catholic Church.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY HEART FROM SINGING
When I was eight I asked my mom to take me to the little church at the end of our street. She began to drop me off every week for Sunday School. One Sunday, my teacher presented the Gospel and encouraged us to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. “But,” she told us, “you must be willing to do anything for God, like be a missionary.” Well, I really wanted to be saved but I did not want to be a missionary! I had to think this over. I went home and thought about it for a while, my little 8 year-old soul struggling against selfish desire. Some weeks later, I convinced myself that I would be willing to be a missionary for Jesus and I asked Him to come into my heart.