So this post may be a little more ‘me’ focused, but it ties in to parenting, so bear with me.
I was born, raised, and baptized in the American Baptist Church. For a solid 18 years of my life, I attended services at the same church in West Virginia. Like many, I came to college, and ended up attending church services at a non-denominational church on campus. And also like many, I soon fell out of going to church on a regular basis. Whether it was that I just wasn’t “in” to church, or maybe I was just lazy, I’m not sure.
But later I would meet my wife, a Catholic-since-birth (aka ‘cradle Catholic’), and started attending Mass regularly with her. We were married in a Catholic church and also decided to raise our son Catholic. Over the past few months, I have reflected on my personal religious options. In all, I found myself more and more drawn to the Catholic faith.
About two months ago, I asked my wife what she would think about me converting to Catholicism. Obviously taking her completely by surprise, she said that was my choice and that while she would support any decision I made, she certainly would not pressure me to join the Church and that I certainly should not join just for her. But upon further reflection and research, I decided to enroll in our local parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.
I attended my first class Wednesday night and really enjoyed it. The process is somewhat long and intense (the classes are every Wednesday evening from now until Easter), but I find myself very excited. In the end, I felt like I belonged in the Catholic Church, and that I want to have the opportunity to share in the experiences of my wife and son.
My excitement is mixed with nervousness. There are obviously a few issues that I have with the Church, and as I learned in RCIA, that’s to be expected. RCIA is a time for personal reflection and study and, if necessary, a reconciliation of differences that you may have with the Church. I spoke to my mom and dad about it, and they enthusiastically support my decision. So as of Wednesday, I am considered a ‘Candidate’ to the Catholic Church.
And, in a way, this decision plays a large role in parenting. It fulfills a promise I made when taking pre-cana classes with my wife before we were married, that I, to the best of my ability, would raise my son in the Catholic faith. And now that my son is here, I want to share in that with him.
So this blog, from time to time, may detour from parenting and hit on progress made in RCIA, but I consider this a large part of parenting now and in the future. It certainly is a journey, just like parenting, but one that is all connected in the end.
I certainly do not wish to take away from this blog, so spiritual-talk will be kept to a minimum, because I believe that religion is a very personal thing, something that may be very different to each individual. My choice has much less to do with the social/political aspects that are sometimes attached like a parasite to the Catholic Church and more about my personal relationship with God. So if you’re really expecting me to be much different, you may be disappointed (or relieved).
In the meantime, let us not forget the events that happened this day eight years ago, and remember the lives lost on that fateful morning.