Desperately Seeking Catholicism: A Jewish Convert’s Long and Winding Road into the Catholic Church through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)

Desperately Seeking Catholicism: A Jewish Convert’s Long and Winding Road into the Catholic Church [through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)]

by Laura Evans
Culture Wars
December 2015

“Laura Evans” is a pen name. Laura was received into the Catholic Church in early 2015. Shortly thereafter, Laura helped her friend, Mary, be received into the Church as well, without RCIA. Both are devout and faithful Catholic women, who attend Mass every Sunday. Laura would like to express her heartfelt appreciation to Mike Jones for his invaluable support during her long and winding road into the Catholic Church.

A year into my interminable journey to try to become a Catholic, I had this nightmare: I am trapped on the roof of a high rise building. Several people are stuck there with me. They are being rescued one by one until I am all alone. My terror grows as day turns into night. With no help in sight, I decide to take matters into my own hands.

My only hope is to climb down the side of the building. It is a treacherous descent, but somehow I make it to the bottom. I see the people who could have saved me. I walk over to them and, with tears in my eyes, ask plaintively, “Why didn’t you come to rescue me?” They look at me blank faced, with no answer. I wake up from the dream sobbing.

I desperately wanted to become a Catholic until I tried to join the Catholic Church. There I found endless bureaucracy and red tape that would make a day at the Department of Motor Vehicles look like a walk in the park. Rather than the enthusiastic support I encountered at Protestant churches, in Catholicism, I found a sluggishness that paid little heed to Christ’s proclamation that we swiftly make disciples of all nations.

In evangelical Protestantism, where I unexpectedly found myself in my early 50s, people would move heaven and earth to help me and others become “born again.” It didn’t matter if the church were closing for the day or if the hungry churchgoers were hankering for bacon and eggs. When a lost soul wanders into a church, business as usual comes to a screeching halt. If the building caught on fire, Protestants would still be evangelizing, despite the firefighters and flames. But Catholics? I found a starkly different universe, one in which rigid rules prevailed (even those that appeared to violate Canon Law) and receiving people into the Church seemed to be at the bottom of most people’s to-do list.


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