In the spring, I went to the offices at my church asking about catechism classes for adults, talked to a priest, and was told I would be contacted by the people in charge. (Catechism in the Catholic church is an introduction to the Sacraments. If you grow up Catholic, you would go through these series of classes as a child.)
Well, I wasn’t contacted, and after a few weeks, forgot about it. It was probably good that I didn’t start the class in the spring. I needed a few months to adjust to marriage and then a new job in the summer, and throwing another big change into the mix might have pushed me over the edge.
In the months that I wasn’t going to Catechism yet, I was also a bit discouraged, hearing from various Evangelicals that me wanting to convert wasn’t okay. A particularly annoying moment was when I met a friend of a friend (who happens to go to an evangelical church) who asked me what church I went to and I briefly mentioned that I had grown up going to an evangelical church but was now attending a Catholic church and wanting to “convert.” A few days later she sent me a lengthy message on Facebook urging me to “not turn away from God,” and that the God we serve is “real and powerful and that other churches worship idols.” She even went as far as to direct me to Genesis 19:26, which talks about Lot’s wife becoming a pillar of salt.
But I kept going to mass.
About 6 weeks ago, I went back to the church offices and talked to the same priest about starting Catechism. He told me again that I would be contacted by the man in charge of it. And this time, I was! When the man began his e-mail with “Estimada en Cristo Emily,” it was as if that greeting had been from God Himself. I knew that it was finally time for me to start my Catechism journey.
Two weeks ago I had my first class. When I arrived, I realized it was going to be just me and the teacher/man from the e-mail, which is actually perfect because I can ask more questions that way. Juan Pablo explained to me that he used to be an atheist. Over time and because of his wife’s gentle urging, he surrendered his life to Jesus and is now a devout Catholic. Because of his, I could tell that he does not take his relationship with Christ for granted.
I had also been worried that the more I found out about Catholicism, the less I would realize I agreed with it. I was surprised, then, when the topic of our first class was Ecclesiology. We discussed why and how the Church was founded, the Four Marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic, & apostolic), and the organization of the Catholic church (what a parish, diocese, and universal Church mean). I was somewhat familiar with the things we discussed (thanks, Biola!). With the things I didn’t know, I was encouraged by the fact that my teacher had Biblical references to support his points and that this can help me learn more on my own. I left the class feeling relieved that I hadn’t disagreed with anything and excited for everything I’m going to learn in my upcoming classes.
Though my journey toward becoming Catholic is not far from being over now, I also have to continually remind myself that “becoming Catholic” isn’t my ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of every Christian, regardless of their denomination, should be to become more like Christ. It’s a goal we should have for the rest of our lives on this earth: More like Christ. More like Christ.
I’ll end this post with the very first paragraph of the first “On Becoming Catholic” post from early 2014:
I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but hadn’t because the last thing I want to do is offend anyone or start a theological debate. However, I’m going to share, because I hope it’s as obvious for you as it is for me to see that God’s story is bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. And when I had almost given up hope that I would ever make sense of my faith again, God reminded me that His love is relentless, and, Protestant or Catholic, He will never give up on me.