My conversion story, like everyone elses, is and will always be a work in progress. But to avoid a huge backlog of “My Journey To Rome #47264813” posts, I thought I’d give the Reader’s Digest version up to this point.
2008: I started babysitting for the M. Family when I was a freshman in undergrad. They had two (now four) children adopted from China, and I have four siblings adopted from China – I quickly found out they were Catholic when one of their little boys informed me that I prayed funny my first night sitting for them. I began to pray for their “poor Catholic souls”, and was curious as to how their mother converted TO Catholicism from Protestantism. It was totally unheard of to me. I knew of plenty of people who had left the Church, but none who willingly entered in.
Fall 2009: I found out the Donut Man converted to Catholicism. Do not laugh. I was seriously dumbfounded by this revelation. When I was a little girl I was the closest thing to a groupie I think it’s possible for a cheesy Christian children’s entertainer armed with a donut puppet and an army of small Barney-style children singers to have. To this very day I get Donut Man songs stuck in my head at the strangest times. The news that he converted was a shock to me, but I started to suspect that if ROB EVANS converted to Catholicism, it COULDN’T be the Anti-Christ. . .right? I’d read the early church fathers in junior high and high school, but decided that maybe it was time to see what this whole Catholic thing was about. A few weeks later, I asked Mrs. M. if I could attend Mass with her family that weekend. My Protestant spidey sense should have alerted me to the convert blood-thirsty glow in her eyes. But I went anyway. My heart was shaken at the sense of overwhelming peace, and sense of homecoming I had that morning. I chalked it up to the incense.
Winter 2009: I kept waiting for the “Aha! See! They DO worship Mary!” moment to arrive, but it didn’t. I devoured everything on Catholicism I could get my hands on. I revisited the church fathers. I sat in on RCIA classes. I cornered the presenters in dimly lit back classroom of a small parish with Mrs. M. and refused to let him leave until I had exhausted every argument I possessed against conversion. I lurked like a cyber creeper on large Catholic forums. I read blogs like Conversion Diary and Betty Beguiles in one of my classes that didn’t test over lecture.
January-May 2010: I was sold. I had to be a part of this. There was no question in my mind that this Church was what God had been preparing me for throughout my entire life. I started attending RCIA regularly, but the group was already past the inquiry stage. I opted against coming into the church before I left for the summer, for family and other personal reasons.
Summer 2010: Out of respect for my father, and an unwillingness to see him go through any more drama over this decision than necessary, I drove 30 miles to a tiny parish in the middle of nowhere, and attended their vigil Tridentine Latin Mass.
Fall 2010: I’m in RCIA for real now! I’m excited about where life is going, and happy to be on the road home!
Spring 2011: I was received into the church on Easter Vigil. YAY!