I've made a big decision recently and thought I'd document how this all goes. I have decided to convert to Catholicism...something I said I would "never" do. My parents didn't really take us to Church as kids, but they faithfully put us on the little church van that came through our neighborhood. I attended a small Nazarene Church close to our home. The Church gave me a second family, and taught me about the life and teachings of Christ. I loved my little church and the opportunities for spiritual development. I had a really wonderful pastor who connected me with a larger Nazarene Church in Oldham County where I attended youth group. The relationships that I made in that church were life-changing. I was able to attend church camp and was introduced to Trevecca Nazarene University. As a teenager, I sought a place where I would have more structure (weird for a teenager, huh) and desperately wanted to be surrounded by people who shared my beliefs and values. I loved my experience at TNU and graduated with my degree in social work in 2004. Danny and I started dating in 2002 and even though we had different religious backgrounds, we just knew that our love for each other was so great that we would figure the rest out.
We were married in the Catholic Church in 2008. I developed a deep respect for the traditions and values taught in the Church. I still questioned at that time whether I would ever be "Catholic," but it was definitely on my mind. Then, dad died. I became pretty angry and bitter towards God for "taking" my dad from us at such a young age. The heartbreak and questions are still there, but I know that there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives and Dad's death is no different. I'm still searching for the meaning in his death. I may never fully understand why he left us so soon, but I know that he watches over us and Sophie knows that her Gramps is her guardian angel who keeps her safe every day.
We baptized Sophie in the same church where we were married. At that time, I made a commitment to raise our daughter in the Church and I have decided that if I am going to raise our daughter as Catholic, I should share those same beliefs. We have decided to join St. Albert the Great Church. It's close to our home and has a great school that Sophie can attend when the time comes. I have made contact with the Director of Lifelong Formation to get more information on the RCIA process. We've had some trouble connecting, but hope to hear back from her this week. We went to mass yesterday and Sophie was NOT well-behaved. I couldn't find the nursery and the one person I asked for help was less than helpful. Sophie could not sit still. She fussed in the cry room (much to the annoyance of others - and to the one gentleman who glared at me while my daughter was fussing, may God bless you because it was highly rude of you to be such a jerk in the CRY room!!!!). I missed a great deal of mass while dealing with my stubborn little girl. Next time, I'll be sure to get there much earlier so I can find the nursery. I'll say that it wasn't the best first experience at a church, but we will forge ahead and keep trying.
I am excited for this new adventure. It will be a time of learning and reflection, that's for sure!