After spending 20 years in various Protestant denominations Brad Schilling found his home in the Catholic Church. Brad lives in Bunbury, Western Australia with his wife Marina and their three children.
Sometime in February 2010 I decided to attend a Catholic Mass. After 20 years of being a Protestant Christian I had come to the point where I could no longer bring myself to attend another church service. Over the years I had been a part of over 10 different denominations as well as helped to begin an Anabaptist like house-church. I was tired of wanting church to be more than a service that I watched. I remember thinking that Sunday morning, "Well, if Church is no more than the Sunday service then I will go to where they do it properly."
Julie is wife, mother and Catholic convert raised in the Methodist church. During her walk of faith she encountered many different Protestant denominations before finally calling the Catholic Church home.
Looking back in my Christian walk of over 30 years, I can now see my steps into the Catholic Church as a reflection of the poem "Footprints in the Sand". My feet have traveled into many Christian denominations the past 30 years, such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian USA, PCA, Assembly of God, Non-denomination and Bible Church. My footprints and Jesus' prints were side by side for several of those years. Then somewhere during those years (for many years) I looked down and I could only see one set of prints, thinking they were mine and I was alone in this journey. My love for Jesus was so real in my life, but why could I not feel at peace in the church? I felt alone in this walk and began to think just maybe something was wrong with me. Now, I see that they were Jesus' footprints carrying me into the Catholic Faith. Fifteen years ago my faith was challenged in the church I attended in which I was a member. I was hurt deeply and this was when my journey into the Catholic faith began, not having a clue this is where my journey would end. Fifteen years ago "Catholic" was not in my vocabulary. My search for a new church began after I was hurt and my feet trotted to many denominations with no peace to be found. A place of worship "one on one", worship with my Lord, was my heart's desire. An anointed sermon and music (praise & worship) was my agenda, and yes I found this in many churches I attended. I also loved to study the Word of God. A good study was encouraging as well. Good sermons, good music and good teaching meant a good church. I traveled into several "Jesus and Me" churches.
This story of conversion is a story of one who longed for God before she understood what she was longing for, who searched for God and for so long he remained hidden from her, but who continued knocking upon the door and seeking (Matthew 7:7-8) until finally finding God within the fullness of truth. Upon finding that pearl of great price described in Matthew 13:45 she was willing to sell all in order to possess it.
My Pearl of Great Price
My mother likes to say that we were catholic with a small "c" meaning that our religious interests were varied. Although my mother and father were both baptized Christians, my mother converted to Judaism when I was about three years old. My earliest religious memories are of the reverence shown to the Torah as the velvet-covered scrolls were carried through the assembly in the Temple and of the poetic cadence of the Sabbath blessing my mother recited in Hebrew as candles glowed from our dining table. We didn't remain Jewish more than a year or two, but those memories became an anchor in my soul.
Libby Edwards is a former neopagan witch of fifteen years. She is happily married and has one eleven year old son.
I am often asked by friends and family why I converted to the Catholic Church. They don't want a simple answer; they want to know how and why the Church "sucked me in." For most of my family, the response is usually one of surprise, but they are so thankful I am at least Christian now that there's little argument against it. But for my friends, people who have known me since at least college (and sometimes longer than that), the response is often some combination of anger and bewilderment. You see, before my conversion, I was neither Protestant, or Christian, or Jewish. I was a Neopagan Witch.
But! I didn't start out that way.