Return to and Redeparture from Catholic Roots
My Story: Catholic - Baptist - Catholic - Lutheran
I grew up in the Catholic Church and have received all the sacraments including confirmation on Pentecost Sunday 2001. I even went to a Catholic University. However, I became disillusioned and unbelieving of certain doctrines. I drifted away from the Catholic Church in 2004.
After drifting away from the Church of my younger years, I began seeking a new church and studied the Methodists and Southern Baptists.
I chose the Southern Baptists because I thought their doctrine was more in line with my interpretation and understanding of things and the preaching style was more to the advantage of someone trying to learn the Bible.I was in college at the time and exploring.
I was Baptized and became a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Chicago.I left Immanuel and engaged in 2 years of reflection and prayer. After this reflect I discovered that God was calling me back to my roots in the Catholic Church.
Recently, after deep reflection I returned to the Catholic Church and am now back in communion with the Church. I am a member of St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Chicago. I am a member of the St. Vincent Singers ensemble and trained to be a lector.
I am keeping a blog, Faith, Grace Salt Light. This blog is intended to share my faith journey. I have also started another blog Discerning Lutheran Citizen to chronicle my conversion to the Lutheran faith and discernment process to become a Diaconal Minister of the ELCA.
I grew up in the Catholic Church. I was baptized at St. Odilo Parish in Berwyn. I made Communion at 7 years old in the Parish of Our Lady of the Mount in Cicero. I even lied in a Catholic run group home at Maryville Academy. Then I mad the decision as an adult to be a confirmed Catholic. I was confirmed at Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago. I also graduated from DePaul University in Chicago.
However, even after being Confirmed I fell away from the Church because of questioning basic doctrines, such as transubstantiation, and the priest sex abuse scandal.
Catholic Study Materials
The Missing Center
I went for 3 years without attending any church and studying the bible on my own. A year into this self-study I decided that something was missing. I began searching for a new religious community. I researched the Baptists and the Methodists. I did not decide until after the 2004 election which to join. I chose the Baptist denomination.
I have given credit for my decision to convert to Baptist to my role model Sen. Lindsey Graham. However, giving him full credit is overstating a fact. He did influence me to return to church, but it didn't have to be the Baptist Church. I had been influenced by a simple statement that he made during the campaign in response to a question about a photo of then Sen. Edwards and VP Cheney at a prayer breakfast. His only response was that "It's good to pray." I thought, 'yes it is.' I decided to return to Church. I further had decided to attend a local Baptist Church.
I discussed this with a friend and she thought that the change was interesting. We talked about my conversion and she asked why the Baptist denomination. I really did not have an answer. She asked if maybe it had anything to do with Sen. Graham. Before then I had not really thought about that. She further explained that we sometimes feel more at ease with the beliefs of those we feel we can relate to and this may very well be the case.
I entered Immanuel Baptist Church church shortly after the 2004 election. I attended sporadically between November 2004 and November of 2006. I originally wasn't going to join the church because I though that I was moving to South Carolina, but Pastor Nathan Carter persuaded me that it was best for me to have a church while I was in Chicago.
I attended services regularly between November 2006 and January 2007 and then pursued membership in the church. I attended the new member class. I was then baptized and gave my baptismal testimony on 14 January 2007. I became a member in February 2007. Later I ceased attendance at church and was removed from membership.
Baptist Study Materials
Reteurn to Roots
Revival of my Catholic Faith
I spent two years reading and reflecting on faith issues. During this time of reflection I read the bible, the Baptist Faith and Message, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as other documents and books on both traditions. This reading, reflection, and prayer led me back to my Catholic roots. I believe as Catholics do that community is of greater import than individual religious experience. I never forgot during the time I had fallen away that I believed in the social Gospel rather than in a Gospel with a social message.
I am a member of St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Chicago. Where i am part of the St. Vincent Singers and attend the Sunday night Bible study. I plan to recieve training as a lector and join at least one committee. I also attend Catholic Scripture Study at DePaul University on Monday nights when classes are in session and plan to attend some of the other Catholic Campus Ministry gatherings.
Catholic Missals and Cathechism
Up and Out Again
After a few years I found that I was still disenchanted with the Catholic Church because of the politics of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. Even after electing Pope Francis I the Council continues to focus almost exclusively on what I call bedroom sins: gay rights, abortion, birth control and conscience rights. They do not say much about other parts of the Catholic Catechism. There are not statements about political/economic justice, poverty, and society's duty to care for the least among us.
As a result of this apparent sole focus on sexual and the conscience rights of particular individuals ethics as opposed to general welfare of the society I decided to leave the Church for good this time.