Carolyn Jacobs was happy attending her small Episcopal Church, and felt the Catholic annulment process an insurmountable barrier to becoming Catholic. However, her husband’s love for the Catholic Church moved her heart.
I was born in the ghettoes of Chicago’s South Side in 1961. My first memories are of dilapidated apartments, window frames without windows, trash strewn on the streets, urine-soaked alleys, and a neglected-derived independence. As a three-, four-, and five-year-old, I remember many times coming and going from the apartment my mother, siblings and I shared while my mother, an active alcoholic at that time, had friends over from morning till night — days filled with card games, cigarette smoke and all the beer and vodka they could want. When I was about seven years old, my father, whom I had only met once, came to the apartment announcing that my six siblings and I were going with him. It was the last time I would see my mother for years. Much later, my father told us my mother told him she was moving and leaving us at the apartment, and warned him that if he didn’t come get us, we would be abandoned.
In 2005, I found myself inside a Catholic church for Midnight Mass. My future wife, born and raised in the Catholic Church, was by my side, silently showing me something that I never thought I’d see or feel. At the age of 31, an unexpected realization set in – thus beginning my personal journey to the Catholic Church, my home.
The Christian tradition that emerged from John Wesley’s eighteenth-century Methodist movement has developed several branches. One of them is called the Wesleyan Church, and I was born into a family in that denomination. My parents met at a Bible college in Oskaloosa, Iowa. My father was studying to be a minister, and my mother was there to pick a husband out of the pool of future preachers.