Let’s just start off by saying the first church I ever knew was The Catholic Church. I went to a private Catholic school in Baton Rouge, LA where they held Mass every Monday. I loved it, the way things were done, everything just felt well organized and the priests knew what they were talking about.
My husband was raised Pentecostal, he had family members who were pastors in the church and didn’t always have the best intentions, so he grew to distance himself from the Church.
Once I moved to Missouri, I had very little interaction with church unless it was going with friends or grandparents. I had went to Church of Christ, Pentecostal church, Baptist and even James River (I’m not sure what denomination they are.) I never felt comfortable in any of these churches and nothing made sense to me, I started to think that maybe I just wasn’t a religious person.
Flash forward to 2018, I found out I was pregnant and had this overwhelming sense to find religion, whatever denomination that might be. Which first led us to Buddhism. I studied Buddhism in college and agreed with a lot of their beliefs. Our first time at temple was interesting to say the least. It was Stephen, our two best friends and me. We found our way through with no instructions, took our shoes off and proceeded to get a mat and pillow to sit in front of the alter.
The chanting and prayers were very odd, but I knew Buddhism was all about peace and harmony and wanted that so badly. Afterwards I felt this sinking feeling in my stomach, but I was also in my first trimester, so ignored it. We went back the following weekend and again, afterwards, I had that sinking feeling and I just knew I wasn’t supposed to be there.
After that, we didn’t think much about religion again until Hayden was born. What initially drew me to Catholicism was wanting Hayden to go to a Catholic school, since I had loved it so much. So I googled our local church and emailed one of the priests about how to become a member of the church.
While Catholic school taught me a lot about being a Catholic, I didn’t know everything, but I did know divorce was a big deal and since I had been previously married, I wasn’t sure that I could even become a member.
This all started during lent and I met with one of the priests and found out I had to get my first marriage annulled through the church. So we started that paperwork and we began going to weekly mass. It amazed me first, that every Catholic Church in the world worshiped the same gospel. The priest obviously does his interpretation of those scriptures after, but other than that, it is same no matter where you go. It also amazed me how welcoming everyone was to strangers like us and no one looked at us like we weren’t supposed to be there. There was no judgement of my previous marriage, which was something I was embarrassed and sensitive about. As the Pope says “who are we to judge?” And that is exactly the type of religion I wanted to be a part of.
We learned that in order to become Catholics, we had to take classes and so in September, Stephen and I started our RCIA classes. Everytime we leave class, I feel more and more confident that we made the right choice.
We will continue on with the classes until Easter, where we will be baptized and take our first communion as official Catholics. (As long as the annulment goes through)