Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Brought You Back to the Church?


The reasons for a person's decision to embrace Catholicism are many and often can't be explained by one single factor. I still enjoy hearing a convert or revert's story because there is always something unique about each journey.
I am just wondering what it was that brought you to the Catholic Church as a revert or convert.

If you have a second, could you post a few thoughts on what was the most influential person/place/thing/event that got you on the journey?

Here's a few ideas:

  • Was it hearing or reading of the testimony of another convert?
  • Was it a book, tape, cable TV or the new social media that was instrumental?
  • Was it a personal relationship with another Catholic at work or home (ie spouse)?
  • Was it completely supernatural and you can't identify a single factor?

I am hoping to see if there are any things that are more common than others and thus perhaps more effective in bringing people across the Tiber. Thanks!

19 Comments:

OpenID lovebeingcatholic said...

Great question! I plan to check back and see what kind of answers you get.

I was already investigating church history. I ran across Catholics on the web who could defend their faith, which was a new experience for me. I read a bit from the church fathers, which pretty much cinched the deal. The two biggest factors were probably history and faithful Catholics who knew their history and their faith.

August 16, 2010 9:32 PM  
Blogger At Your Service said...

Mostly Supernatural- if you had told me 6 months before I made the swim across that I would actually be doing it, I would say you were crazy. Some key factors:
-I was reminded of the fact that The Church is the oldest and largest charitable organization in the world.
-The importance of tradition in interpreting scripture, and The Deposit.
-The beauty and scriptural relevance of the Liturgy.
-The devotion to The Blessed Virgin.
-Every day there's something to look forward to or celebrate in the Liturgical year.
-The Eucharist(this is actually #1)
-A clear stand on spiritual and social issues
There's many more- I could go on and on.

August 16, 2010 9:36 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

I have not crossed yet, but I have been drawn to the Catholic Church for more than a decade. I remember driving home from work about 15 years ago and nearly swerving off the road as I realized that the biggest obstacle most Protestants have...the Marian dogmas...was not an obstacle to me.

My recent fervor for the Church resurfaced in the fall of 2008 when I read a Reformed version of the Apostles' Creed. I winced that at the title..."An Apostles' Creed"...as if there could be more than one. Its subtle twisting to avoid any hint of Catholicism so unsettled me that I began doing serious study in Catholic apologetics. Shortly after, I discovered the local EWTN radio station, which was broadcasting far more pointed and faithful discussions leading up to the 2008 Presidential election than anything on the Moody Evangelical radio station.

One huge issue for me is authority. I simply cannot stand the lack of authority in the Evangelical world, and I yearn for and admire the authority vested in the Pope and the Magisterium.

August 16, 2010 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

In my case it was several factors. I was born in a Catholic hospital (even though my parents were baptists), went to kindergarten at a Catholic parochial school, and then kept "bumping into" (so to speak) things related to Catholicism through out my life. I wrote about it on my blog on August 2. It is long and far too much to go in to here.

August 17, 2010 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Cammie Novara said...

"I still enjoy hearing a convert or revert's story because there is always something unique about each journey." I can completely relate to that quote from personal experience. There's a really interesting debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at http://www.intelligentdesignfacts.com

August 17, 2010 1:34 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Reading. 3 Books in 3 days and I could not WAIT to be Catholic one day longer!

Born Fundamenalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie
Rome Sweet Home by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
Surptised By Truth by
Patrick Madrid

TRUTH - set me free from disillusion I was once again deeply experiencing as a "non-denom" Christian, where the the 'revolving door' antics and partial truths of modern day evangelicalism had begun to no longer satisfy. I LOVE TRUTH!

August 17, 2010 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Dale said...

Though raised Catholic, I had become a protestant when I married 25 years ago. About 5 years ago I had become very active in the leadership of my protestant church, but I recognized that I knew very little about its official doctrine, so I started reading more about it. One of the books I chose was a book by John Gerstner call “Primitive Theology.” It included a chapter meant to explain the “errors” of the Catholic Church. However, this particular author had obviously built a straw man and took way too much pleasure in knocking it down. I wondered, is that what Catholics really teach? So I went to the public library to get some more information. There I found David Currie’s book “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” and Scott Hahn’s “Reason to Believe”. After that, I moved on to John Newman and G.K. Chesterton. Finally, I started reading early Church fathers like St. Iraneus . I eventually read my way back into the church.

August 17, 2010 9:10 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

I was becoming discontent with what I was witnessing in various Evangelical churches I'd attended. From very big to very small, there were some things that they all seemed to have in common that were quite anti-Biblical for "bible believing" churches. I decided I needed to find a different denomination that lined up better with my beliefs.

But as I studied Scripture, I felt that there was something wrong with that point of view, and instead I needed to find an authority to submit to. That required finding the Church Christ founded. At this point, I still believed what I had been taught, that the Catholic Church was apostate. We nearly became Lutheran.

Then a friend, who had been struggling with many of the same issues I had been, found the book "Surprised by Truth". Neither she, nor I had ever heard of anyone converting into the Catholic Church, save perhaps by marrying a Catholic (certainly not a REAL conversion...).

I made it about halfway through, still unconvinced, and then someone pointed out the John 6 dialog. That was the sign I was looking for. Ironically, I already knew the Catholic Church was absolutely right on life issues, which no Protestant church could claim. And here was another sign of the one, holy, Catholic Church. That did it for me.

As life has it, my husband was a lapsed cradle Catholic who never received confirmation. So we ended up entering the Church together that Easter vigil. My friend also entered with us. When someone asks what led me to convert, I mostly reply the Scriptures.

August 17, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

I returned to church when I began going out with the Catholic woman I would soon marry. It was the first time I thought God had taken a particular interest in me.

August 17, 2010 11:30 AM  
Blogger Doogie said...

It was a question of authority for me. I had always believed in Sola Scriptura.

The one day a Catholic told me that Sola Scriptura was not scriptural. For days afterward, I scoured my Bible for proof that it was. When I found the opposite proof, I had no choice but to follow the Truth, and it took me to Rome.

Authority was the key domino. My prior understandings of Mary, the Eucharist, the Sacraments, the liturgy... all the other barriers I had built up over the years fell once this initial one was so resoundingly knocked over.

August 18, 2010 5:59 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Folks, thanks so much for the great comments!

August 18, 2010 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newman, NEWman, and NEWMAN!!

Also, Thomas Howards books and Journey home testimonies. What i realized though was once I was intellectually convinced, it became a psychological issue. Fear of change and fear of what will come next. Then I remembered the "just shall live by faith" and that we walk by faith not by sight. That truly is scary! So, I jumped in and let the chips fall where they may!!

Tim

August 18, 2010 9:04 AM  
Blogger George @ Convert Journal said...

I had been concerned for a while in the direction of my ELCA Lutheran church, but never considered leaving for a minute (really). Then, last August, they simply went too far (the synod, not my particular congregation). I was surprised myself, immediately thinking "I am not Lutheran" (a cradle Lutheran over 50 years).

The next issue, if not Lutheran than what? I fairly quickly eliminated everything but Catholicism although still had big doubts. With a newly open heart and mind I was again surprised. I don't feel led here as much as pushed and couldn't be happier.

August 19, 2010 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I was in a similar position as Bekah, looking for a church that was more Biblical. I had already believed that baptism was part of the salvation process. After that, I was convinced by the Real Presence, and it went from there.

August 20, 2010 7:33 PM  
Blogger John Salmon said...

Realized evangelical positions on issues like baptism/Communion made no sense.

August 21, 2010 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Caedmon said...

The sacrament of penance/reconciliation. I was tired of being told my sins weren't really sins, that they were just illnesses or symptoms or some other psychobabble. I knew they were sins. I knew confessing "to God alone" was never enough to break the slavery to them. I needed to confess my sins as sins to another person who would affirm they were sins, affirm my need for a savior, and speak Jesus' words of forgiveness.

August 24, 2010 10:09 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Caedmon:
though penance didn't make me Catholic, it sure has been life-changing. I had no idea how much grace was available to me through sacramental confession. Thanks

August 24, 2010 10:21 PM  
Blogger G arry D. Obillo said...

I was converted to Southern Baptist,when I was a freshman student in 1986, after how many years came back to the Church after attending a Catholic seminar, since then, I loved the Lord more and his Church.

August 31, 2010 1:18 AM  
Blogger Catholic Poet said...

My husband had a near-death experience that moved him to return to the Catholic church. I came along with the idea that I would learn exactly what the church was teaching and then refute it and lead him to a Bible-believing church. As always, the Lord had the last laugh, and I soon found that the Catholic Church held the truth I'd been seeking for so long.

September 04, 2010 12:38 PM  

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