This occurs in other faiths as well. When I joined a community of believers in 1991, we first had to attend an orientation class for several months. The pastor remarked in the church service welcoming new members how impressed he was with the "quality" of new members they were taking in. He was referring to the fact that at the time, two PhD's and one MD were joining the church. It was a validation that the church was "legit" in that folks with advanced degrees in medicine and psychology were willing to throw their lot with them.
Finally, I have seen that non-Catholics have noted this recent "tide" and one blogger referred to it as an "epidemic." I wouldn't say converting to Catholicism is a disease. Though, I suppose if it were I'd be the first to name it: Tibernucleosis.
A partial list of the symptoms include:
- A daily sense of wonder and the almost uncontrollable desire to regularly slap oneself on his/her forehead and say "Why didn't I see this before?" (Anti-seizure medications do not suppress this urge.)
- A sudden desire and interest in Church history (before 1517).
- A propensity for hanging around Catholic Churches and shrines.
- An irrepressible urge to begin collecting rosary beads (I mean, how many do I really need?) holy cards, blessed objects, third class relics, holy water, lawn and garden statues.
- Setting up a new "one click" buying feature on Amazon used books.
- An insatiable desire to spread the disease to others.
- The desire to kiss the hands of every priest you meet.
- The new found physical ability to kneel for prolonged periods of time despite arthritis.
- The inability to pass up buying candles and decorating the home with them.
- A new and unusual interest in *dead* people (Saints)
- A renewed interest in burning incense (left over from the 60's?)
- A sudden new fondness for the Pontificus Maximus.
- Add your own here________________________________