Shortly after I was received into the Catholic Church, a dear friend presented me with a copy of G.K. Chesterton’s The Catholic Church and Conversion. While reading this magnificent little book on a retreat a few months after my confirmation, I thanked God for His guidance to the Catholic Church from the earliest years of my childhood. I’ve often told my friends that although I lived for a long time on the outside of the sacramental life, my conversion to the Catholic Church began when I was about seven years old. I was raised in an old Presbyterian establishment.
What shall I render to You, O Lord, for all Your bounty to me? You created me out of nothing, You hold me in existence, You redeemed me by Your Son’s Precious Blood, You adopted me in the Sacrament of Baptism. You have led me to the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church, and through her, You call me into an eternal communion of life and love with You. Truly I can justly thank You, O Lord, only by offering myself to You day by day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in union with the oblation of Your Son.
On January 24, 1997, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, I was received back into the arms of the Holy Catholic Church. Since I had made a profession of faith in the Presbyterian Church, I now made a renewed profession of faith in all that the Catholic Church teaches. For this I chose to read the profession of the Council of Trent, because it spoke the truth concerning specific errors I had embraced. Then I received the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.
As an active Protestant Christian in my mid-twenties, I began to feel that I might have a vocation to become a minister. The more I studied, the more perplexed I became. At one stage my elder sister, a very committed Evangelical Protestant with somewhat flexible denominational affiliations, chided me with becoming “obsessed” with trying to find a “true Church.” “Does it really matter?” she would ask.