You? A Catholic?

     This post is the fourth of four posts detailing my reasons for returning to the Catholic Church.  You can read the first post here. You can read the second post here.  You can read the third post here.  I wrote “Journey Home” to explain my decision and give people the chance to ask me sincere questions about this decision.  I will make every effort to answer all sincere questions.

st-francis-de-sales-stl-church

Beautiful St. Francis de Sales Church in St. Louis, MO – Courtesy of St. Louis Archdiocese website

     While I made the decision to return home to the Catholic Church, the first few months were difficult.  I felt like it was too easy.  All I had to do was make a sincere confession.  Despite all my harsh rhetoric about my childhood church, I was welcomed back.

    I was nervous about going to confession the first time because I felt so guilty for turning my back on the church.  I was fortunate to have a kind priest, who recognized how nervous I was.  In fact, he gave me great advice, which sustained me for the next few months.

     “Don’t look back.  Get into the routine of the church.  Continue listening to EWTN.  Maybe read a few books on the church as well.”

     Whenever I felt discouraged, I would reflect back on this advice.  I was dealing with a lot of doubt and felt like the worst Catholic in the world.  I definitely wasn’t worthy to receive communion.  I was always waiting for the priest to say, “You? A Catholic?” However, as I continued to attend, watch or listen to the daily mass and read books on the faith, I did begin to feel like a Catholic again.

     “Don’t look back.  Get into the routine of the church.  Continue listening to EWTN.  Maybe read a few books on the church as well.”

     I also struggled because I kept my return a secret for the first few months.  I was worried about my wife and kids facing questions about my return as they processed their own feelings about it.  I’m not good at deception, so I knew the decision would eventually come to light.  I decided to release these posts to explain my decision and answer any questions, so they don’t have to.

     The most significant event in my first five months back was attending my grandmother’s childhood church, St. Francis De Sales.  My grandparents were married in St. Francis De Sales in November 1938.  The beautiful church, voted the most beautiful in the United States, is now an oratory.  My sister, brother-in-law and I took my mother to St. Francis De Sales to hear the Solemn High Mass in Latin.

eduard-magdalena-and-family

Eduard, Magdalena and 12 of their 14 children from the July 5, 1934 edition of the St. Louis Star-Times

     As Cradle Catholics born after Vatican Council II, my sister and I had never attended the Latin Mass.  While I had trouble following some of the mass, I felt so blessed to share the experience with my mother.  She was almost moved to tears by attending the mass of her youth.  I’ll always remember sitting in the same pews as my great grandparents and their children, hearing the mass in the Latin form and receiving communion in the old tradition.  I will definitely be visiting again.

     “Don’t look back.  Get into the routine of the church.  Continue listening to EWTN.  Maybe read a few books on the church as well.”  Thank you, father.  I’ll always be grateful for your tact and advice that day.

     I hope after reading these posts that you have more of an understanding of why I returned to the Catholic Church.  If you want good Catholic teaching, search for “Bishop Robert Barron” on Google.  My purpose was to share my personal faith journey.  God Bless!

 

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