The Road Is Not Always Smooth; Mary Paul Forsyth’s Faith Journey

In 12 Converts on 2016/01/29 at 12:00 AM

I was raised in the Methodist Church.  We attended church regularly including Sunday School and when I was old enough, youth group.  I didn’t go to church very often as a college student or young adult.  However, I was married in the Methodist church.  I was attending an Episcopal church (after my separation from my husband and while I was awaiting our divorce) when I was dating my husband who is a cradle Catholic.

My husband was not interested in changing his religious affiliation, although at the time, he was not truly practicing his Catholic faith (not going to Mass regularly). Since we were planning to get married, I decided that it would be smarter to have our family  worship together rather than going separate ways on Sundays.  I believed that all the Christian denominations were basically the same, so it didn’t matter to me one way
or the other.  My RCIA program didn’t convince me otherwise, sad to say. It just made it possible for me to receive communion.  That being said, I remember feeling very much at home during Mass. There was a  feeling of foundation in the worship and the liturgy. Looking back, I know there were many things “out of order” at the parish where I was confirmed, but the sense of being part of a faith community that was so clearly rooted in history and scripture was present in my heart very early, even before I began my RCIA classes.

I was annoyed over the annulment process.  It took two years and when it was finally completed I was relieved, but didn’t really understand what the point had been.  I felt like I had just irritated my ex-husband and created conflict that wasn’t already present.  Today, however, I believe that God used my husband to bring me into His Church!  It took 14 years after my confirmation before I realized I was part of something truly special and I am so grateful now for God’s grace in bringing me here. I will never forget the day I came to understand the reality of the Eucharist. Wow! How could I have been receiving communion all those years and not know that it was truly the body of Christ?

Now, I can’t imagine not being Catholic!  I can’t imagine not having access to the Eucharist.  I believe that my conversion is an important part of God’s plan for my husband, his family and others who have had the Church their whole lives and are lukewarm about it. There is nothing like a convert in the family to stir people up! I also believe that my becoming Catholic was part of God’s plan for my family since I’m the only
one! When my father died, I thought, “Wow, I’m the only one praying for his soul.” I knew then that I needed to be more diligent in praying for the souls of all my ancestors.  Who else would do it?  God is so good and so merciful.  My only regret is that I haven’t been able to bring my entire family into the Church!  No worries, though, I’ll keep working on that!


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