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My Conversion Story.

Friday, April 03, 2015

WOW! Where to begin! When I was in the Army in 1964, we were allowed to go to church for the last two weeks of basic training. The first Sunday I went to chapel by myself. I looked for my platoon leader so we could sit together but she wasn't there. When I got back to the barracks, I asked her where she had been during church since I didn't see her. She told me she had gone to an earlier service. I asked if I could go with her the next weekend.

She hesitated but then said sure why not. She didn't tell me she was Catholic. The difference between the two services was astounding to me in that I felt the presence of Christ when I was with her. The previous week in the Protestant service, I hadn't felt a thing.

A couple of years later, I met the man who would become my husband. Turns out he was a non-practicing Catholic. When we decided to get married, I wanted to be married in the Church but he didn't have his Baptismal record so we were married by a Justice of the Peace in Texas.

After our first son was born, I had him baptized. Same for our second child, a daughter. By the time the third on came along, I also got her baptized but couldn't remember the names of any of their god parents as we were military and pretty much just took whoever was next in line to be godparents at the base chapels.

When the fourth child was born within seven years, my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore and left the family. I moved back to Ohio to live with my mother, who had never approved of my marriage because he was Catholic. Still somewhere in the back of my mind I knew somehow I would become Catholic.

I attended nearly all the churches in my hometown looking for a church home after I had a falling out {married preacher made a pass at me on one of his home visits) with my mother's church. Every time I thought I had found the church, my kids would run up to me after the service and I could feel the person I had been talking to pull away. My children are half Hispanic. Their beautiful olive complexions were a stumbling block for the people of the churches.

When my youngest daughter was 9, she was matched with a Big Sister through the Big Brothers/Big Sister program in our town. It didn't matter to her big that she was half Hispanic. One of the conditions for Angel to spend the night on Saturdays was that she had to go to church with the family.

In Sept of that year, 1980, Angel came to me asking if she could attend "Sunday School" at her big sister's church. I immediately went to Becky asking why she hadn't been going during the summer. That is when I found out they were Catholic. Of course I was happy that Angel would find out about the faith she had been baptized into as an infant. Little did I know I would also be learning at the same time.

I had taken some instructions with the post priest when I was pregnant with my first child but didn't get to complete the process at that time. Now my oldest was 14 and I'm learning from his little sister. As it came time to receive first communion, I had to go to a class with all the other parents because Becky wasn't Angel's parent.

As I was walking down the hall in the basement of the school looking for the classroom, a large, tall man came toward me with a huge smile on his face. He recognized me as Angel's mom and wrapped me in the most welcoming hug I had ever received in any church I had set foot in. I knew at that moment I was destined to become Catholic.

After the class, I talked to Fr. Mac. We set up a time for me to come to his office for further instruction and for him to see where I was in my journey. Turns out I was ready to be accepted into the church and we set Easter as my acceptance date. April 18, 1981. Holy Saturday.

Even though this was what I had wanted for many years, I was weak in my faith and many Sundays just stayed home when I should have been in church. In October, 1998, I attended a Cursillo retreat. Shortly after, my youngest daughter decided she wanted to be confirmed. It wasn't long after that event, we started going with a group on a monthly basis to renovate a house for a group of nuns living in Tijuana, Mexico.

I learned about the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour, a group of sisters who were older(over 45), widowed or divorced. The leader of the group, Madre Antonia, was a mother and divorced. Her children were grown and she answered the call to serve the prisoners in the La Mesa Prison in Tijuana. As we finished the house that would become her convent, I felt drawn to her group. I was still working but became an auxiliary of her group. Even though I haven't been able to attend many of her functions or the vow ceremonies lately, I still consider myself one of her auxiliary members.

My journey has been difficult at times, different, and interesting. I am still learning every day about my faith and when I quit learning, I most probably will be dead. I am very adamant about some aspects of my faith and am trying to pass those values and principles along to my grand son and grand daughter.

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  • JUDYBYJUDY
    TEDDYBEAR, what a beautiful conversion story. Praise God that you are in His Holy Church now. And thank you for sharing your story as well. God is so good and He sends us the people we need to lead us to Him when we need them. He continues to lead us day by day and calls us into a deeper relationship with Him as we are ready. God Bless you and your lovely family. I pray for a Happy and Holy Easter for all of you. In Jesus most Holy Name, Amen
    2308 days ago
  • DIXIE2350
    Thank you so much for sharing. The right church family is such a blessing. I believe we never stop learning and growing in our faith. God has made us as a work in process until the day we stand before Him in heaven. Praise His Holy Name. Be blessed, Alice
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    2308 days ago
  • PRAIRIECROCUS
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    2309 days ago
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