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.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Is That What Catholics Really Believe?"

Today we had our inaugural picnic for a new meeting we are starting called "Seekers." Once a month, we will invite folks into our home for a discussion about a topic pertaining to Catholic faith and practice. The goal is not to "convert" non-catholics but to allow people with an interest to have their questions answered as well as discussed in an informal and non-pressured environment. My wife and I started this group as a way of providing a place for non-Catholics to ask and find out about Catholicism. If we had found a group like this existed 6 years ago, perhaps we would have come into the church sooner!
Our speaker today was an Nazarene church member who first fell in love with an Irish Catholic, then subsequently came to love her Church as well. His conversion story was humorous and heartfelt and it was great to hear from yet another convert who was convinced he
needed to convert, not just for marital unity, but because of Truth! He became convinced that Catholicism was true, particulary after reading Karl Keating's Catholicism vs Fundamentalism and gentle questions from his wife as to "why Protestants have so many religions when Jesus started one Church? " He now leads the RCIA group in our parish and has a powerful testimony for how the Eucharist and the other sacraments of the Church have been life-changing.
A Catholic bookstore in our area also has quite a large volume of business with the many evangelicals who come there to purchase the latest best seller among Christian writers and they stock most of them; The Purpose Driven Life, Prayer of Jabez etc, along with Bibles, CD's etc. They also have an excellent Catholic section with all the latest writings of Pope Benedict as well as the classic writings of the saints. Sometimes a non-Catholic will ask the employees about Catholic doctrine or belief and our group can benefit these folks. My wife's conversion was aided by the patient answers that were given her by the owner of the store. Our group is meant for those with inquiries who aren't necessarily interested in converting but are not running 180 degrees away from the Church! If they should decide to become Catholic, that's even better, but our main goal is to dispel the myths that surround our faith. Catholicism is regularly misrepresented by Hollywood, the media, and sadly, by our separated brethren, as well as "cafeteria Catholics" (I'll take one of those, but not one of those, thank you very much!)
The ground rules are that the discussion will center around a particular aspect of Catholicism;
"Why do Catholics make such a big deal about Mary," "Catholics and the Bible," "Where did the Bible Come from?" The group is not to encourage polemics and vitriol and Catholic-bashing is not allowed! We pray God will draw a few souls that have honest questions and are seeking understanding about the Catholic faith. Pray for us for wisdom, hospitality and charity.
I'll let you know how it goes.


Anonymous Jim McCullough said...

Good idea. Will keep you all in prayer.

August 26, 2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Jim, we really appreciate it !

August 27, 2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

I guess that Jack Chick is not invited to hand out his tracts at this event?
I used to hang out with Seekers, until they got tired of me being a Found. Most Seekers I've encountered seem to prefer being lost (isn't that the unspoken state of a Seeker?), and usually stand firm in being flexible (is that possible?).
Good luck at the event, and maybe a couple seekers will moor themselves to the Barque of Peter.

August 28, 2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Hey St. Jim Bob! Good to hear from you.
Sometimes like Chesterton said, once they stop shouting it down, they actually may find themselves attracted to it. But,you are correct I don't believe Mr. Chick will be invited to this event :)
Hey! I learned all my theology from those cheesy little comic books with the terrible drawings as a 14 year old. What a skull full of mush I had then. Lord willing, it has been transformed by the renewal of my mind and heart.

August 28, 2006 11:34 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Greetings from Omaha, and we, too, are starting our apostolate, RECON, Sunday, October 1st. We will meet at the Holy Family Shrine on I-80 at 5:30 - 7:30. Our group is a little different than Seekers. We of course will welcome true seekers, but ours is more for the reverts and converts who have returned Home, and are trying to find their place in the Catholic Church and or their particular parish. We have met with Msgr. Dunne, and Fr. Gutowski, founding priest of the Shrine, and Fr. Taphorn, chancellor of Arch diocese of Omaha and have the "go ahead." We are so excited. I see this as a way for all of us 'blogger's to keep in touch and help each other. The world is getting much smaller due to the internet certainly! Anyway, it's exciting to read about your group, and we will pray for all of you. It's marvelous how God is calling and using us in the New Evangelization! We hope to help priests of the many parishes help those who've taken or are taking RCIA and what they're to do with themselves when that class is over. Sometimes they find their niche, but many times, they don't. We are going to strive to be that source of fellowship and support for the sometimes lonely, rough road once inside the large Church. God be praised! We are also in contact with CHN, as you are, so we look forward to hearing from them as well. Blessings to you all. May many Seekers find the warm welcome you have for them, and also find that Rome is not a tyrant, but a Holy Mother who loves her children with an everlasting, deep, Sacred Heart Love!


September 02, 2006 11:06 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Sue and Rich
We will pray to for your new ministry. How I wish there was a similar apostolate for us when we came in. Jesus in the Eucharist more than makes up for the sense of isolation one may initially experience after being in a small local community church, but it sure is nice to have a group like yours for those still dripping wet from their swim across the tiber. i am sure you will greet them with warm blankets and much love!

September 03, 2006 8:49 AM  

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