When I began this blog over 2 years ago, I began with my reconversion story. I wrote it in three installments, but after looking back over it, I realized I didn't really finish it! So today, I'm going to finish it and may come back and add to it over the years......

I find it funny that I'm finishing up this story in the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. Iggy has played an interesting role in my faith journey. Back in 2008, I began an internship with an organization that was housed in an old building that had at one time been a Jesuit seminary called St. Loyola Academy. Right next door was St. Ignatius church. I began this internship right around the same time my brother joined the Society of Jesus/The Jesuits, an order that was started by St. Ignatius. It was around that time I had started coming back to the faith after several instances where God made it absolutely obvious He was pursuing me. So, now that you know that interesting little side story, I'll continue with part 4 of my reconversion story!


When I arrived back home after completing my internship, I reconnected with a very dear friend from college. We had a lot in common and he was a really great guy. He also came from a wonderful family and had strong foundation in his Christian faith. After a welcome back get-together, he asked me to date him for the remainder of the summer. He tentatively had plans to move back to the west coast where he was originally from, but we just thought "what the heck?" and would see what happened.

That summer, while I really enjoyed dating this guy, the Holy Spirit was still very much working in me and I was falling more in love with my Catholic faith. I became so conflicted. The man I was dating was not Catholic and had no desire to become Catholic. That was totally his choice and I respected that. When I began to think about the future, I also became more torn when I thought about raising children in a house of two different faiths. While we were both Christian, the more I learned about Catholicism, the more I realized how different our faiths really were and how hard that would be to find even footing when we would decide how to raise our children. It became even more confusing to me when I began attending church services with him at his church. We'd meet other couples at fellowship gatherings who were former Catholics and they told me "you should totally join our church", "I'm so happy I left the Catholic church", I'm a recovering Catholic", etc. This made me so sad and so very confused. I have no idea what their life stories were and why they had left the faith, but all I felt when I heard them talking about Catholicism, was how I didn't want to be sitting in their seat saying those same things to someone else, without first knowing concretely why I no longer wanted to be Catholic, if I was so sure of leaving the faith. I don't say this to ridicule or shame other churches or religions, but something that really struck me was when attending the different services, how noticeably absent the Consecration and Eucharist were.

When attending a service that wasn't centered around the climax of His real presence in Holy Communion, I really began to notice Its absence. I had been to other religious services before that had some version of communion but it wasn't the focal point of the service. Now that I noticed this, I told myself that I would look into why it was that Catholics put so much emphasis on the Eucharist. This was the first time in my life where I fully felt a deep thirst for the Eucharist and missed it when I attended church service. I suddenly felt a deep yearning and urgency to get to Mass.

In the midst of that summer, I randomly attended Mass at a church not far from where I happened to rent an apartment. The Mass was being held in the parish hall of a church that had been destroyed by a tornado in 2006. While at this Mass, I ran into two friends who I had met through the Catholic choir I had been in during my early years of college. They were now married and had a beautiful little boy. They approached me after Mass to say hello and asked me if I would be interested in filling in for them to cantor for Mass the following weekend, as they'd be out of town. I agreed. I had no idea how that small "yes" to serving Christ would change my life forever.

The following weekend when I arrived to cantor, something crazy happened. The same young man I had a deep crush on while singing with the Catholic choir during college, also showed up. Unknown to me was that he was also asked to cantor that day. I'm ashamed to say that eventhough I was dating someone else at the time, the same intense butterflies came flooding back that had been with me when I first met this man several years ago. I was so overcome with feelings again for this young man that I remember being shocked they were still so strong after all this time.

Over the next several months, we both participated in another choral ensemble at the same parish. We also helped with their youth program. Through these activities, we became very good friends. While I still felt butterflies whenever we spent time together, I pushed any romantic notions out of my mind, because I figured that if, over these past several years he never asked me out, nothing was going to happen at this point.

Later that summer, my boyfriend at the time did end up moving back to his home city and we ended our relationship. There were no hard feelings whatsoever, and we both recognized that it was for the best. Thankfully, we still maintained our good friendship. But here's where it gets wierd, again.

In late January of that year, the young man I reconnected with during the previous summer through cantoring at Mass-we'll call him "K"- and I had been at a coffee shop working on some class work for some courses we were taking. Afterward, we were hanging out and playing board games, when suddenly, he kissed me lightly on the cheek. I was shocked. It was something so simple and innocent, yet it absolutely sent shockwaves through me. He then told me he had feelings for me and was wondering if he could date me. I had NO IDEA he had feelings for me and I felt so conflicted because I had just ended things in a serious relationship. Was it wrong of me to let it go and move on? I told K that I needed to pray on it and I'd give him an answer in the next few days. I didn't want to confuse my feelings for him with feelings of infatuation and looking for a "rebound" relationship since I had just been in one. When we parted ways for the night, I had a very awful and sinking feeling that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life and had probably ruined the whole thing.

After praying for a couple of days, I had an overwhelming feeling that God had big plans for this man in my life. Just one week after the night that K asked me to date, I received a letter from the man I had dated the previous summer. He always dated his letters and began them with what time of day it was and where he was when writing the letter. I always dismissed this as just a neat and "old romantic" sort of quality in his style of writing, but looking back now, I realize just how important this quality would be in recognizing God's incredible plan and showing how nothing is of coincidence. The letter was actually quite lovely and he wrote about how thankful he was for the relationship we had been in and how he felt it was truly blessed, even though it hadn't worked out. He also wrote how he truly wanted me to be happy and that if and when I felt ready to move on, to do so and he would be happy for me. I took this as a HUGE sign that God wanted me to feel completely okay with moving on in a new relationship with K. Okay, now for the wierd part. In the beginning of the letter, I read that it had been written on the EXACT same evening that K had asked me out. Whoa.

Later that week, K and I went on our first date. Now, we're married with children! I am so blessed with an incredible husband who dies to himself daily to serve me and his children. We are able to share a deep love for our faith and I am so grateful that Christ has allowed me the gift of a husband who puts Him first, and serves me better because of his deep love and devotion to Him. After all the failed relationships and heartache of the past, I am so glad I chose to keep trusting in His plan for me.

I still look back at this incredible faith journey and it never ceases to amaze me how God truly does miraculous things in our lives if we just say "YES"! It's not always one big and resounding "yes", but several little yesses and several little steps that we choose to take to be closer to Him in the everyday. I hope my journey back to the faith has encouraged you to take a closer look at your own faith journey and look at the ways and paths you can take to venture closer to Him in your life. Perhaps I'll add more to this later. But I'll leave it here for now.

These are the lyrics to a wonderful song called "The Weight of Glory" by Catholic artist Alanna Boudreau.

 "When my Papa invites me to the seaside, will I go or just fill myself with mud pies?...I'm too easy satisfied."

These words mean so much to me and remind us how in this world, we settle far too often for the counterfeit versions of truth and happiness when God has so much more in store for us. If we only continue to pursue Him and search for truth, to say "yes" to Him, and choose to trust in the goodness and riches He so desires to spoil us with; especially when we feel we aren't worthy.

Watch/listen to The Weight of Glory music video


#1 Theresa 2017-07-31 21:13
Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Mine is very similar. Praise to God that He kept the door open to return home to the Catholic Church.