Raised Catholic, Emma Fradd became an atheist in high school based off the reasoning that she couldn't prove God existed. That changed when she received an extraordinary grace through the hands of the Blessed Mother.
Five years ago, I was an Atheist. I was born and raised as a Catholic but when I got to high school and started thinking more about my ‘faith’, I became friends with people who didn’t believe in God, so I considered myself to be an atheist. I always asked myself the question: “Is there a God?” My main reasoning behind being an atheist was that I couldn’t see God; I couldn’t hear Him or feel Him, so He just must not be real. This pushed me to live an unhealthy lifestyle, filled with drugs, alcohol, stealing, impure relationships and for the most part, just sadness.
Nikki converted to the Catholic Church from the Baptist tradition in the Summer of 2011. In addition to being a stay at home mom she is also working on obtaining her Master's degree in theology. Nikki lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband Jason and four children. You can read Jason's conversion story (from the Evangelical tradition) here.
Like most converts to Catholicism, I would have never guessed in a million years that I would be where I am today, having just been received into the Catholic Church on the Feast of the Assumption. And like many converts, it's hard to know where to begin, since there are so many things that pointed Jason and I toward the Church.
To go back to the beginning, I was a Cradle Roll Baptist. We went to services every Sunday morning and evening, and I attended Sunday school faithfully. On Wednesday nights I was a Pioneer Girl, filling up my little blue sash with every badge I could get. Later when our church began the Awana program I flew through each level, memorizing as many verses as I could. In high school I was an Awana Cubby leader and enjoyed helping the little 3 and 4 year olds learn their verses. I was there whenever our youth group did service projects and missions trips. I was about as involved as a kid could be and I loved the fact that our youth group had a number of "on fire" and really committed kids who inspired my faith.
Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer from Austin, Texas who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism.
How the Search for Truth Led Me from Atheism to Catholicism
One thing I could never get on the same page with my fellow atheists about was the idea of meaning. The other atheists I knew seemed to feel like life was full of purpose despite the fact that we're all nothing more than chemical reactions. I could never get there. In fact, I thought that whole line of thinking was unscientific, and more than a little intellectually dishonest. If everything that we call heroism and glory, and all the significance of all great human achievements, can be reduced to some neurons firing in the human brain, then it's all destined to be extinguished at death. And considering that the entire span of homo sapiens' existence on earth wouldn't even amount to a blip on the radar screen of a 5-billion-year-old universe, it seemed silly to pretend like the 60-odd-year life of some random organism on one of trillions of planets was something special. (I was a blast at parties.)
Fr. Carter Griffin
Father Carter Griffin is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Raised Presbyterian, he converted to Catholicism while attending Princeton University.
My big mistake was attending a Catholic Mass. It began innocently enough, visiting a Catholic friend who attended a southern university, a young woman that I wanted to impress by my large-minded desire to go to church with her. But my life has never been the same since that April Sunday of 1992. The next day, returning to New Jersey where I attended college, I had eight hours to ponder the experience of that Mass. It had made an indelible impression, and upon returning to the dormitory I asked a Catholic friend of mine to take me to his parish priest. I had some questions that needed answering.
Michael is a 32 years old Catholic Christian who came home in December 2007 to the Church after 15 years away. His story like many, as of falling away from the Sacraments after Confirmation and only to later return to the Church.
December 24, 2007 is a date I won't forget. This past Christmas Eve (December 2010) marks three years since I made the official decision to return to the Catholic Church after some 15+ years away. It was my conscious effort to follow Christ and his Church - my "Yes, Lord". Beginning with several notable occurrences in the prior year, I made the decision to attend Midnight Mass by myself at the local Mission. I chose this place for several reasons. It was close, I had been there for a wedding in 2006 and lastly, I was baptized there as an infant, so it is a special place to me. Why not a rebirth there? I had not been to a Catholic Church (outside of funerals or weddings) on my own accord since my confirmation in 1992. In fact, I more or less feared setting foot in a church as it wasn't something I was comfortable doing. Add to that comments from many and society's labels and it is almost taboo. When I would drive by a Catholic Church, my conscience always nagged at me, but I would tend to find some excuse. I had always known that I would return one day, however my answer was "later", "sometime", or "not yet". That time was now.