I never thought I would ever be a Catholic. Growing up, I don’t even think I knew what that was…never met one. Well, there was one friend in my class, but that’s all. I do remember being interested in her family when I visited their home. They had a lot of children, and something about that intrigued me.
When I first met my future husband, I thought he was pretty cute, and immediately “pursued” him. It soon came out that he was Catholic, and again, visiting in his home was interesting, as he is one of 8 children. Dating brought out a lot of questions from me, and he could answer none of them. He was the little kid in the back of the room when they had religion classes in the summer. I’m sure he paid attention…hehe! Anyway, I had questions about the Catholic faith. I don’t even really remember how I even had questions???
I went to a Methodist college the first year out of high school..and had a class where I had to write essays on God, Jesus, the Church…and I really tried to write them as if I was a believing Catholic. I had one book that I read that told me what I was to believe. That’s it. I never went to a Priest to ask questions. I really struggled with those papers…could never quite “get it” figured out. The next year, I transferred to Mike’s school, and we finally decided we were going to get married. Still didn’t have the Faith questions figured out.
We decided we would have an ecumenical marriage…he’d stay Catholic, I’d stay Methodist. We asked my minister if he’d marry us. He said yes. We asked his priest..he said no. Dilemma. I had a friend who was my mother’s age, and a Lutheran. She told us about the Episcopal priest in the closest town, saying she’d heard he was good with young people. We were not quite 20, so yes, we were young. Discussions with Fr. Terry led to us both becoming Episcopalian, and that we were for 15 years. A move to Kansas and 3 children later, Mike said he wanted to go back to the Catholic Church.
In the meantime, the Holy Spirit had caught up with me via the women’s counterpart to Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship. Basically, the HS told me that my husband should be the spiritual leader of our family. NOT what I really wanted, because I was pretty happy as an Episcopalian..and had been happy as a Methodist, for that matter. But, I was NOT happy about the Catholic decision. However, I listened to the HS, and told Mike, OK. So, the very next Sunday we began to attend the Catholic parish. We sat in the back. The music touched my heart most every Sunday, and I would weep. The children were not happy because they did not have donuts after Mass like the “white church” did.
I did try to visit with the Priest..more like I would yell and holler and fuss. The priest would sit very quietly and listen. Then he would patiently tell me what the Church really believed about …you fill in the blank. Fr. Pottorf, you had to be a Saint to put up with me! I’ve since told him that, and thanked him for showing to me the love of Christ in those turbulent encounters.
Three years later, after two tries at RCIA, our house burning down, losing a baby to miscarriage, moving to the country and losing contact with my friends, and going into a deep depression, I finally was confirmed.
I’m still learning…and loving the Faith more each and every day.