Converting to Catholicism: No Easy Task for a Protestant Pastor – Here’s Why… 

Comment: 

Keith Nester, the above speaker, made me wonder just how many people turn away from the Church due to the obstacles identified in the video. Happily, Mr Nester managed to get help to overcome the difficulties which he encountered, but how many others don’t move beyond initial enquiries or experiences, discouraged because of the Catholics they meet?  My favourite convert is a friend who became a Catholic after years of reading about Fatima.  What about you – any interesting conversion stories, whether your own, perhaps a favourite saint-convert,  or the conversion  of someone you know, family or friend?    We need a break from Covid and tyrannical governance so get typing those conversion stories and related issues – and that’s an order!  😀  

17 responses

  1. I don’t know if “reversion” counts as “conversion,” but I’ve had two reversion stories: one was my return to the Church and the practice of the Faith after 44 years (having been removed, as a child, via divorce). I had been attending the Protestant sect in which I had grown up, but the dark cloud of cultural Marxism had descended on this sect to the point of revulsion (e.g. “inclusive language” and the acceptance of homosexuality on spurious grounds).

    Two years after my reversion, I had another one: I discovered the TLM and started to read about the Vatican II revolution, about which I knew nothing. I was speechless during my first TLM, knowing instinctively and immediately that this was the true Catholic liturgy, but I wavered between the “two forms of the same rite” (NOT!!!) for 4 years, until one Sunday Mass, when the Novus Ordo priest praised Bill Gates during his homily.

    I emailed him an angry note, shook the dust off my Earth Shoes, and left the Novus Ordo world for good. Unfortunately I’ve had to return a couple of times for family funerals, but could barely restrain the urge to jump up on my pew and start shouting about the Trojan Horse. The Novus Ordo has become as repulsive to me as inclusive language. Its casual irreverence is deeply offensive and a grievous insult to God. There is nothing Catholic about it.

    One more thing: because of my responsibilities with a local sacred music choir, I’ve been physically inside 3 Protestant churches since my reversion, for rehearsals and performances. Each time I am struck at the utter emptiness of these places, including an Episcopal church, allegedly the Protestant sect closest to the Faith.

    A Protestant who truly loves God could well take the comparison of church interiors as a conversion starting point: utter barren emptiness vs. the fullness of devotion displayed in statues, murals, paintings, flickering votive candles everywhere, kneelers, a fully dressed altar, the solemnity, the chant and incense, vestments….

    • RCA Victor,

      I think your “reversion” stories definitely fit into the category of “conversion” – it’s a fascinating story.

      I’m especially struck by your remark about coming to feel revulsion towards the novus ordo because it reminds me of the priests who wrote about their “conversion” to the traditional Latin Mass, in the book Priest Where Is Thy Mass/Mass Where is Thy Priest… At least one of them (if not more than one) said that after saying both Masses, there came a point when he detested the one and loved the other. I paraphrase slightly but that is the essence of the statement.

      • Definitely without a doubt the crisis in the Church (modernism, Novus Ordo, corrupt hierarchy, apostasy of the West) was a big reason for me being tempted to lapse. I knew something was wrong about the Church I had just joined, but I just humbly believed what I had read/been told. Then a bad experience in a Novus Ordo parish caused me to realise there was a crisis. I could have lapsed but around this time I found out about FSSPX via Catholic Truth. Actually it was a Catholic Truther who invited me to the society’s parish in Glasgow. Archbishop Lefebvre explained the crisis and everything made sense thereafter.

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          I’m delighted that Catholic Truth was able to help you find the SSPX and the Traditional Latin Mass – that’s wonderful.

          Personally, I think that the easiest way to avoid the temptation to lapse is to never lose sight of the fact that at any minute, we may be called to our Judgment.

  2. I think this is a really interesting topic. I Googled to see if I could find a famous saint convert because I love reading conversion stories and have read lots of saints before, but not for a while. I found a really interesting webpage with the stories of other people as well as saints, and this one really jumped out because I’ve heard a lot about the American Roe Vs Wade abortion law.

    5. Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”)

    In 1970, Norma McCorvey, under the pseudonym “Jane Roe,” filed a law suit challenging the Texas laws that criminalized abortion. Eventually, the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court as the now-famous Roe v. Wade. She is described as a pregnant woman who “wished to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion ‘performed by a competent, licensed physician, under safe, clinical conditions’; that she was unable to get a ‘legal’ abortion in Texas. . . She claimed that the Texas statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they abridged her right of personal privacy. . .” (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), 120)

    Norma McCorvey describes herself as having been relatively ignorant of the facts of her own case, and claims that her attorneys simply used her for their own ends. She was pregnant with her third child and wanted end her pregnancy, but she was not aware of all the implications of abortion or even what the term itself meant. She did not fully realize that this process would end a human life. In the end, Norma never had an abortion. She gave her baby up for adoption.

    In the 1980’s, she became involved in the abortion movement. Around 1992, she began to work at abortion clinics. In 1995, a pro-life group moved into the same building as the abortion clinic, leading to a series of encounters between Norma and pro-life activists. Over time she became friends with many of them and began to have serious doubts about the morality of abortion.

    Emily Mackey, the 7 year-old daughter of one of the pro-lifers, particularly affected her. Eventually, she started going to church, and began to reject her past involvement with the pro-abortion movement.

    Since her conversion she has dedicated herself to pro-life work, starting her own ministry, “Roe No More,” in 1997, and continues to speak out against abortion and for life. In 1998, she became a Catholic convert and has worked to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Norma McCorvey teaches us that we need not be defined by our past. Sometimes the lessons we learn from our past prepare us to minister to others in the future.
    https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/here-are-10-of-the-most-unexpected-catholic-conversion-stories

    I had no idea that “Jane Roe” had changed her mind about abortion, and even converted to Catholicism, which is more evidence of the media bias and how they withhold information that doesn’t suit their narrative.

    • Lily,

      That is very interesting indeed. I knew that there had been a change of mind and heart on the part of “Roe” but hadn’t read any details before. That is very interesting indeed. Thank you for your imaginative “Google”!

    • Lily

      Thanks for that interesting post, I had no idea that Roe had changed her mind on abortion let alone that she had converted to the Faith. Just shows how devious the left is in keeping those nuggets quiet. Shows their evil intent and the extent of their power to silence truth.

  3. I’m a convert and was received into the Church in 1985 at 24 years old. The novus ordo was all I ever knew. The first things that were given to me by a good friend was a rosary, a little booklet on how to pray it, a Green Scapular and the classic book by Mgr Eugene Boylan called ‘This Tremendous Lover’. My instruction by the parish priest and preparation for the sacraments was woefully inadequate although I didn’t realise this at the time. But I did persevere with the rosary and on Our Lady’s birthday I went to the Holy Cross Bookshop in London (now closed, I think) to get a book on Our Lady, where I met an old-school Jesuit priest (now gone to his eternal reward) who got talking to me and I think he realised that here was another post-Vatican II casualty. We had casually arranged to meet sometime, and I’d more or less forgotten about it, but just like the good shepherd that he was, he turned up on my doorstep one evening (having come some considerable way) with a catechetical book by St Thomas Aquinas that he thought would be helpful. He became my confessor, spiritual director and good friend for many years. He sorted out problems regarding my reception of the sacraments (i.e. he conditionally baptised me and arranged for a bishop to give me confirmation) and I got a proper instruction – lasting a few years – that I would never have had otherwise. I’ve always believed that all of this was a completely undeserved grace through Our Lady’s intercession. I later joined a parish RCIA group to help others coming into the Church and it was atrocious, and I started to see the problems – I think most of those who went through that course eventually lapsed and I’m not surprised. Anyway, one thing led to another and I discovered the TLM. For a while, I attended both the TLM and the NO, but the more I attended the TLM, the more I found I couldn’t cope with the NO and I eventually went exclusively TLM around 2000.

  4. As for myself, I converted first to the Novus Ordo at age 21. I was engaged to a Catholic, whereas I had been raised Baptist. By the time I was a teenager, I had become an atheist. Why? The Baptist pastors could never directly answer questions on morality. Why did we believe what we did? Because the Bible says so. Why does the Bible say so? Because God said so. Why did God say that, for instance, marriage is between a man and a woman, and not between those of the same sex? No natural law, no moral law, no eternal law – just because. In the Baptist world, God made laws just because, and wrote them down in a book so we could know them, but having thrown out all true source of faith and morals, there was no actual reason why God decided; it was arbitrary. So naturally, I became an atheist.

    At the age of 20, I began going with my now wife. She was nominally Catholic, raised in the NO, went occasionally on Sunday, but was the average NO attendant. She did hold that she was to remain Catholic and that our children would be raised Catholic, which I figured I would change her mind on. I of course, as a pagan lived a life of terrible vice. As the vice grew, it reached a point where I could no longer continue. I reached a major low in my life – and I picked up the Rosary. That’s when everything changed.

    I joined the NO. I was received without conditional Baptism, as the ecumaniacs in the diocese I live in declared almost all Protestant baptisms valid without exception. Shortly after I was “received”, I began to wear the Brown Scapular. Well! The Blessed Virgin had plans for me. A couple months after this, our NO priest who occasionally said the Traditional Mass for the diocese invited my wife and I, who were now married. We went, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was NOTHING at all like the Novus Ordo. My first impression was that they were completely different in almost every sense of the word, which is really true! I began to research, and finally I sat down and read the ordinary of the True Mass. I couldn’t believe what I had found. I couldn’t believe that there were these beautiful prayers that were NOWHERE to be found in the new Mass. It was a complete shock to the system. I had to start attending this Mass … first, I had to figure out what to do about my wife. She wanted at all cost to remain in the parish she grew up in, and became more and more uncomfortable with the constant talk of Latin and chant and incense. After a year, she grew tired of leaving the church angry as she had started to veil and we received Communion on the tongue, she wore a skirt, etc. The rock music, tube tops, old ladies handing out Communion rubbed us more and more the wrong way, and so for my birthday, we went to the diocesan Latin Mass. Oh! What a change. After so much prayer, my wife and I decided to stay with the True Mass in the diocese. I have to say, it began a process. Whereas in the NO, our conservative priest was “pray, pay and OBEY” (Opus Dei …), suddenly, we were outsiders. Our NO friends saw us as radical, strange, having attachments to all that old stuff that went out with the open windows and doors of the Church! We became rebels … and so I started to look into the reason why some Catholics didn’t accept V2 and the New Mass. It really all started with Fatima. I became quickly convinced that Russia had not been consecrated, and that someone in the Vatican lied about the Third Secret. My defences of the new religion were slipping … I didn’t know what to do! I was afraid I might be slipping into schism … and the. I began to read about Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX. Finally! I felt sane again! We continued in the indult Mass, until finally, the day came. The homily that Sunday: the New Mass. I had already decided that V2 was full of error and that I could never again attend a New Mass. “The New Mass is good, you can’t have a problem. The new Mass is valid, and you have to receive Communion that was consecrated in the New Mass. The New and Old Mass are two sides of the same coin. Obey.” (Another Opus Dei priest …).

    Well! I took my wife out for coffee. She said “I was my children to be Catholic. Period. I don’t care about the rest. If one of our sons wants to be a priest, I don’t want him to go to some lavender seminary which will teach heresy!” Aha! I moved in. “Let’s make a sacrifice and drive one hour each way to Mass with the SSPX!” “Aren’t they schismatic? Aren’t their Confessions invalid?!” “No! And they don’t go along with anything new!” “Ok then!”

    We went. And the homily blew us away. Finally, here was Catholicism that I had always studied! Finally, everything I had ever read about true Catholicism made sense! There was no need to hide what I thought or what I read or what I cared about as a Catholic, I could be as “rebellious” as I wanted and everyone agreed with me! I was home amongst the rebels!

    So I sat down and discussed my Baptism with the priest. He agreed that there was grave enough reason to perform a Conditonal Baptism. Finally! After so much doubt about it, I was being heard! And then the day came. I made the Tridentine Profession of Faith, was abjurer, conditionally Baptized, made a general Confession with conditional Absolution, repeated our vows, and received the sacramentels from the SSPX. Incredible! For the first time, sanctifying Grace! We were both conditionally Confirmed. What grace! And now here I am, a teacher at a Society school, my children attend a Society school, and I am a Third Order member of the SSPX. What grace I have been given to be here! How Our Lady truly led my all the way from paganism and a life of sin upon sin, to the dignity to form young Catholics and be a member of this great Society of St Pius X. What grace! And how unworthy I am!

  5. These are all breath-taking conversion stories! I loved read them. I always think it is such a grace to be called, as an adult, into the Church. It marks a soul out as very special IMHO. Thank you all for sharing. I found every story really edifying.

  6. Well, here’s a surprise… Boris Johnson has had his baby son baptised a Catholic.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8758129/Boris-Johnsons-son-Wilfred-christened-catholic-Westminster-Cathedral-confirms.html

    I may be behind the times, but I fail to see how a child can be raised a Catholic if his parents are not Catholics and if they are living in a (how can I put it) irregular personal “relationship” situation?

    Life just gets more puzzling by the nano-second.

    • Editor

      Just in case readers don’t know, Boris is a baptised Catholic who abjured the faith in favour of Anglicanism. I guess Catholicism would have prevented his rise through the political ranks!! The priest who baptised his child should not have baptised him. There’s no way that child is going to be raised a Catholic.

      • Athanasius,

        I’d forgotten that – I think you told us that before, about Boris being baptised a Catholic. Even so, it’s beyond comprehension why he would want his son baptised (maybe his live-in girlfriend is a pseudo-Catholic as well, who knows.)

        As you say, there’s no way that child will be raised a Catholic but what I just cannot and never will understand is this; why does ANY lapsed Catholic want to have their children baptised? It can’t surely be just a “respectable” excuse for throwing a party – what on earth is in their minds to do that? Does anyone know?

        • Editor

          I think they baptise their children in a vain attempt to convince themselves and the public that they are still in some shape or form Christians, when in fact they are clear pagans in the way they live, and in Johnson’s case, legislate.

          This was the man, remember, who, when Mayor of London, told the government to ignore all public objection and get on with legalising “gay marriage”. He then dumps his wife for a new woman, has a child with her and subsequently turns up at a Catholic church to have it baptised. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

          I blame the apostate clergy, though, who accommodate these pretend Christians more than the pretend Christians themselves. This latter will simply make use of whatever morsels of Christian repsectability these clerical disciples of Satan put at their disposal.

          Here’s another example of how these robed and mitred infiltrators are attempting to destroy holy mother Church from within. https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2020/09/ruth-bader-ginsburg-rest-in-peace.html

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