A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Archive for the ‘My Conversion Story’ Category

Over the past year and a bit, I’ve received a few negative comments on this blog. Sadly, the comments had nothing to do with my content. Instead, they were bitter criticisms of the Church itself, of its saints, and even of the fact that we celebrate Mass on Sunday.

Effectively, the commenters tried to make me feel ashamed of being a Catholic and blogging about it.

The name I chose; the description of my faith journey in the first posts I published; the quotes I draw from a Catholic edition of the Bible and the Catechism; my posts about holy days, seasons of the liturgical year, the saints and the sacraments—all of these make it clear that this is a faith-based blog by someone who joined the Roman Catholic Church.

For anyone reading this blog—whether Catholic, Protestant, or from another faith background—I’m glad I’ve written something that caught your attention, and I hope you’ll read more of my posts.

Of course I love getting positive feedback, even if it’s just “Thanks for posting this,” but I know not everyone will agree with what I write. That said, those who want a platform to rail against the Church need to look elsewhere. I delete the anti-Catholic rants that appear in my comments queue.

For those who feel I should be ashamed of being a Catholic, who find themselves upset just seeing my posts about the Church and my experience of life from a convert’s perspective, I invite you to read on to consider what we have in common. To learn more about dialogue between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations and cooperation on social justice issues. To find out more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. To visit a Catholic church and attend Mass.

There are many things I love about the Church: the beauty of the Mass, the involvement of my senses in worship, the graces we receive through the sacraments, the riches of the prayers and writings previous generations have left for us, the fellowship at parish functions, the social justice work carried out by priests and parishioners, and more.

I’m not ashamed to be a Catholic Christian. When I joined the Church, I felt like I came home. And I won’t apologize for that.

As we marked the start of a new year on January 1st, Catholics observed the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

In the Anglican and United churches I attended over the years, we talked about the fact that Mary said yes when the angel Gabriel told her she would be the mother of Jesus. We spoke about how she gave birth to Jesus, raised him, and stood by him as he died on the cross. Beyond that, no one said much about Mary.

Since I began attending a Catholic church, I’ve discovered more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In praying the rosary and saying the Hail Mary at Mass, I’ve learned that Mary leads us to Jesus, prays for us, and carries our prayers to God. But I’ve also come to see Mary as a model of faith:

Mary gives us an example to follow. She is the woman of faith who said “Yes” to God, and she is the faithful woman, faithful to the ultimate consequences.

This short and clear explanation was given in “Mary—A Woman for All Times and Seasons” (The Canadian League, Volume 88, No. 3, Fall 2012, pp. 2-3), the text of a homily by the Most Reverend Martin W. Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s and National Spiritual Advisor to the Catholic Women’s League.

I hadn’t thought about the ways, as explained in this homily, that people could identify with Mary. Read the rest of this entry »

Okay, not funny. More like life-changing.

As the site name tells you, I haven’t always been a Catholic. Baptized, confirmed and married Anglican, I attended an Anglican church for years, some of that time with my husband. Then we joined a non-denominational congregation for a couple of years. Returning to Ottawa from southern Ontario meant finding a new place to worship. Lent 2011 found us at a local Catholic church.

We knew many of the prayers and hymns. But the congregation actively participated in the service by sitting, standing, kneeling, making the sign of the cross, praying and singing. Candles on the altar, votives in the chapel, icons, statues and stained-glass windows added to the atmosphere. Worshipping in this church involved all the senses. We enjoyed the service and decided to return.

Catholic edition of the Bible

Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition

Yet I also wanted to learn more about the Church. I had questions about the Virgin Mary, the saints, the Pope, purgatory, confession, and so on.  Read the rest of this entry »

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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