Cradle Catholics in need of Renewal

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mposey

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I wanted to throw out a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time and something that I think others may be able to relate to:

I am a Cradle Catholic. The Catholic Church has always played a role in my life - the intensity of my full participation in all of the opportunities the Chruch has to offer has varied over the years.

When I met my wife-to-be, she was Protestant and very much interested in learning about Catholicism as we began to date seriously. She had many questions for me and I began to realize I had almost NO answers for her…my 20 years of practicing the faith had left me almost completely unable to defend the Church I professed to love. I knew that I would remain Catholic…but I had no idea why.

My wife signed up for the RCIA here and I attended the classes with her. My intentions for attending were to support her in this important decision-process, but, of course, I would not really be learning anything here…I mean, I had been Catholic all my life, right?

Well, the following 7 years have been eye-opening. Once I came to grips that I was in need of RCIA as much as my protestant wife, things started to get better. In many ways, it has been a blessing if a discovery as there is SO much to learn, pray and understand!

My question is two-fold:
1 - Are there others out there in the same category here?
2 - What are your best / favorite resources out there that are feeding into your re-discovery of the Church?

Thanks all in advanced for the sharing,
Mike
 
Mike, I’m in the same boat that you’re in. Not only that, I know MANY people like myself, who were poorly catechized as children, who may have learned our religion “in our heads,” but not “in our hearts.”

I drifted away from the Church when I went off to college. I’d had my sacraments and so my parents thought they had done what they could. We’d gone to church on Sundays but my family never lived its religion at home or anything. I wandered, spiritually, for many years and found myself drifting back toward the Church a few years ago, as I’d had children. I visited an evangelical “mega” church in my area with my daughter, but didn’t like it. It was totally different from what I’d been used to.

About that time, my sister-in-law died unexpectedly from pneumonia. She was only 39, and my wife was devastated. I didn’t really know where to turn (I really was spiritually bankrupt), but found myself visiting my local Catholic parish for a mass one Sunday. All of a sudden, the light blinked on and I “got” the Mass. I met with my parish nun about our situation and sent my wife over to her. Sister really helped my wife cope. One of the things she said was that we ought to pray a prayer of thanksgiving, that my sister-in-law died to bring us into the Church. We absolutely believe that.

My wife entered the RCIA program, and learned and taught me, the cradle Catholic, a great deal. Now she teaches CCD and I lector, plus I sponsor new RCIA candidates, I was so inspired. In short, the RCIA program lit her fire and mine, as well.

Since then, I’ve found that getting ranted at (unprovoked) by evangelicals has forced me to research my Catholic faith and understand it better than most, and as much as I’ve learned already, it just makes me realize how much more I DON’T know. Our religion is incredibly deep and complete. To really get your arms (and heart) around it will take a lifetime. At the moment, I’m reading “A Short History of the Catholic Church,” “Theology for Beginners,” and “Where We Got the Bible - Our Debt to the Catholic Church,” all bought from Catholic.com.

God Bless,
Michael
 
I am a Cradle Catholic. I have been well taught, but I never have felt like I am a great Catholic. I need a jump-start, but am not sure where to begin. For one thing; I have tried reading the Bible, but I get bored. I also have gone to catechism classes, but they aren’t very interesting. What can I do to appreciate my faith more?
 
In regards to your attempt to read the bible - I have 2 suggestions:

Scott Hahn’s online programs a salvationhistory.com/%between%

Scott is one of the premier Catholic authors and has some great online (free) courses. My wife and I are about to start the first lesson.

Jeff Cavin’s “The Great Adventure”. You can go to his website at jeffcavins.com.
Jeff is the host of Relevant Radio’s Morning air (relevantradio.com), author and former host of EWTN’s Life on the Rock.

Gob Bless,
Mike
 
Here in San Antonio, we have a renewal movement called A.C.T.S. (Adoration Community Theology and Service). It was started by a local priest in order to foster and deepen the sense of community in his parish and has spread throughout the archdiocese and even to other states.

I have seen many lukewarm Catholics (unfortunately I was in this group) transformed by the Holy Spirit at work in this group.

Many of us now attend one of several weekly Bible Studies. Reading Sacred Scripture is wonderful, but learning from and with prayerful, educated Orthodox Catholics has helped me to truly apply the Truth to my own life.

Attendance at daily Mass , followed by the Rosary, is still growing.

Many parishioners regularly participate in Perpetual Adoration.

As individuals and as a community, we actively seek out classes, conferences, speakers and other resources to deepen our knowledge of our faith.

There are many wonderful resources available: Books by Scott Hahn, Karl Keating, Frank Sheed to name just three. EWTN provides a wealth of programming. Periodicals such as Envoy Magazine and the National Catholic Register are valuable.

I caution you though to always read and study prayerfully. Many materials that claim to be Catholic simply aren’t. If something doesn’t ring true, check the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a must for every Catholic home).

I’m sorry if I’m long-winded here, but several years ago, I felt the same longing to know more. The more I learned, the more I craved to learn. And the more I learned, the more I realized how I fall short of the mark – thus I was drawn back to the Sacraments and the learning cycle continues.
 
my wife is Baptist and remains so… doesn’t reflect good on me :rolleyes: but, it was until i married her that i really began to read and read and read about catholocism… i was born catholic, went to a catholic elementary school for 8 years… always went to church every sunday and holyday, tried to do all the things asked of a good catholic… quit going to confession for about 20 years, that part about her religion i liked (confess straight to God)… probably the biggest mistake of my life… now i try to go at least once a month…try… 😃 … anyway, i always hope one day she will join me in mother church, but i will have to keep trying to do a better job, because up to now, she is still baptist… :eek:

peace
 
I found the following resourses helpful in bringing me back to the Church.

1: Faith of the Early Fathers (Jergens)
2: The Catholic Catechism (Harding)
3: The Spirit of Catholicism (Dubay ?)
4: Catholicism and Fundamentalism (Keating)

These brought me to a well-rounded understanding of the history, teaching, and application of the faith and allowed me to answer questions raised by my Evangelical friends (who’s enquiries led me to the Church).

David
 
our parish began participating in Christ Renew His Parish retreat program some 9 years ago and it has produced outstanding results. Over 60% of our women and about 40% of the men have attended with glowing response. The weekend retreat is put on each year by either a team of men or women in the parish school for members of the parish and others. It is very local, intensive, and effective. Because of this activity this small, old Catholic community has become renewed, revived, and invigorated. Several new ministries have emerged, the school program has grown, and the parish community has become ‘family’ - just like the ‘old’ Catholic church used to be. I will pray that you can find something like CRHP to fulfill your desires. It is well worth the effort

IN CHRIST’S Love
 
Pete,

Thanks for the info. Do you know where I could leanr more about Christ Renew His Parish (online, workbooks, etc.)?

God Bless,
Mike
 
I’m another “revert”. after years of very sporadic Mass attendance and avoiding the sacrament of penance like the plague, i realized one day that i was really missing something in my life. it just so happened that we were starting a series of Renew groups in my parish at the time and in my search for some meaning in my life i signed up to host a group in my home. God sent some very charitable and spiritual people to me and they helped me start back on my journey. One book i found helpful was Alan Schreck’s Catholic and Christian. But what really makes a difference is the frequency with which I attend Mass, pray and go to confession. I still have times i backslide and there is a direct correlation between those times and slacking off on prayer and receiving the sacraments. I also have become a firm believer in the graces obtained through Eucharistic Adoration. If your parish has this, i strongly encourage you to find the time to do this. If it doesn’t, maybe you could spearhead starting it, even on a weekly or monthly basis
 
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mposey:
I wanted to throw out a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time and something that I think others may be able to relate to:

I am a Cradle Catholic. The Catholic Church has always played a role in my life - the intensity of my full participation in all of the opportunities the Chruch has to offer has varied over the years.

When I met my wife-to-be, she was Protestant and very much interested in learning about Catholicism as we began to date seriously. She had many questions for me and I began to realize I had almost NO answers for her…my 20 years of practicing the faith had left me almost completely unable to defend the Church I professed to love. I knew that I would remain Catholic…but I had no idea why.

My wife signed up for the RCIA here and I attended the classes with her. My intentions for attending were to support her in this important decision-process, but, of course, I would not really be learning anything here…I mean, I had been Catholic all my life, right?

Well, the following 7 years have been eye-opening. Once I came to grips that I was in need of RCIA as much as my protestant wife, things started to get better. In many ways, it has been a blessing if a discovery as there is SO much to learn, pray and understand!

My question is two-fold:
1 - Are there others out there in the same category here?
2 - What are your best / favorite resources out there that are feeding into your re-discovery of the Church?

Thanks all in advanced for the sharing,
Mike
Mike, I am also a cradle catholic that knew nothing about the faith I belong to. My mother put my brother and I in catholic school for two weeks when we were suppose to receive our 1st communion, and that was all the learning I got. Oh, I knew the prayers and mass by heart but I didn’t know what any of it meant, really… I knew what it was suppose to mean in my heart but felt really empty and knew I was missing something very important. I stumbled onto catholic answers on ewtn one day, heard Scott Hahn and got some of his cd’s. That was the start. I have learned so much and I understand so much more. Try listening to Fr Mitch’s Threshold of Hope in the ewtn library. Lots of answers.

God Bless and guide you,

Maggiec 😉
 
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pete:
our parish began participating in Christ Renew His Parish retreat program some 9 years ago and it has produced outstanding results. Over 60% of our women and about 40% of the men have attended with glowing response. The weekend retreat is put on each year by either a team of men or women in the parish school for members of the parish and others. It is very local, intensive, and effective. Because of this activity this small, old Catholic community has become renewed, revived, and invigorated. Several new ministries have emerged, the school program has grown, and the parish community has become ‘family’ - just like the ‘old’ Catholic church used to be. I will pray that you can find something like CRHP to fulfill your desires. It is well worth the effort

IN CHRIST’S Love
CRHP has changed my life and this is a great idae!!!
 
Try discussing Catholicism with a Traditionalist! 😃

You will find out very quickly how much you don’t know. It sure made me “get up to speed” in a hurry.
 
I love this thread. I feel like I have company in my journey. I actually never fell away from the Church, but for many years I relied on Evangelicals for my spiritual growth and Bible knowledge (and, like others here, my rationalization for not needing the sacrament of Penance). After high school (I am now 34), I became involved in an Evangelical fellowship group, in which I learned the importance of making Christ the center of my life and the importance of “praying continuously.” However, their anti-Catholic undercurrent made me suspicious and sent me on my pathway to Catholic apologetics. Long before I found Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism, I read Alan Schreck’s Catholic and Christian, then of all things, I found Not by Scripture Alone, by Sungenis. Although this is an unusual place to start for a beginner (I had to keep the dictionary handy!), it did introduce me to the genre. Realize that at this point I did not have Catholic Answers, or the internet, and I was just browsing the Catholic section of the Christian bookstore. Fortunately, I believed in my sacraments and I answered the question of “When did you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?” by explaining that at the time of my Confirmation I had made an adult declaration of my faith. Also, although I liked the fellowship style of worship and learning, I did not appreciate the “worship service” nearly as much as the liturgy of the Mass, and I couldn’t see why anyone would pass up the Eucharist in favor of being “fed” only by the written Word.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that it was actually Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by David Currie that brought my heart all the way back to my Catholic faith. It was actually his argument for authority that convinced me, although I appreciated his other points. We have had Catholic radio in our area for about a year, and that is when I discovered Catholic Answers. Since then, I have not been able to stop reading and listening to tapes, mostly Scott Hahn, as well as several of the references listed by others. Probably for the best, or I would have broken the bank and never finished my residency.

I will stop here, except to say that I am now trying to determine how to develop an adult catechesis program in my parish (see Apologetics forum), so that others don’t have to wander around the way that we on this thread have been doing. Also, although I wish that Catholics weren’t so susceptible to believing the anti-Catholic messages, I also wish that we were better catechized (as adults, because educating children is not adequate) and I am grateful to the Evangelicals for helping (and challenging) me to grow so much.

Ellen
 
This is a GREAT thread!

I actually started reading the "Left Behind"series and was so offended it drove me back to the church! I started watching EWTN, “Web of Faith”, “Abundant Life,” and “Life on the Rock.”

Then I bought, “Why do Catholics Do That?”, started reading “Creed of a Catholic,” the CCC, and I also have the Baltimore Catechism. Of course, I also started visiting various Catholic websites and I actually started a discussion board on a website to force myself to research common questions and support my answers.

I’m a bit rusty, and I actually had to discontinue the borard both for my own lack of knowledge and for time constraint reasons.

The references in this thread are wonderful and I need to write down and search out all the titles!
 
You are by no means alone. There are many of us in this boat. I didn’t go so far as RCIA, but I did read a lot, switched parishes and started a holy card collection. A return to tradition has helped me a lot. Adoration, the Rosary and other devotions are also useful.
 
I am also a caradle Catholic, and never understood how beautiful the Catholic Church is until I saw it through the eyes of many of our famous converts.

The first book I read was “Home Sweet Rome” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. What was fascinating to me is the fact that Dr. Hahn was a very stonch practicing Lutheran studying to become a practicing minister. And in his research to refute Catholicism, he discovered Catholicism. What is also interesting is that you don’t only see one side of the story, you also get Kimberly’s struggles with Scott’s conversion

I know, for me, especialy during college, I began exploring other Christian churches. But somehow, something always kept pulling me back to the Catholic Church. I’d always find that there was something missing in other churches. And when I sat at Mass in my home Parish, I always felt at home and at peace. Which is why I could never understand why people leave the Church, although I know in their hearts and minds they have a legitimate reson to.

Although I’m still learning, and have to find a stronger voice to defend her, I’m constantly finding new and exciting things to learn about our Church. Despite the many scandals and upheavals, the Catholic Church has survived for over 20000 years. Thee must be something good in all of it if the Church has survived this long.
 
I am a cradle catholic also, and I always had very strong faith but my knowledge in the area catechesis was running on fumes from my teen years. I did not start learning more about my faith until my older brother left the faith for an evangelical church and started hammering my mother on our Blessed Mother. Well I took arms and the first book I bought was Karl’s book Fundamentalism and Catholicism. This was the spring board into the Catechism, the Holy Bible and many other books. Resources are many but I trust Catholic Answers, EWTN, Catholic Exchange and New Advent for solid internet info. Saint Josephs Communications and Catholic Answers is where I purchase most of my listening and reading material. I will pray for you!

God Bless
 
My wife left the Catholic Church about 20 years ago to join me in Pentecostalism (first), then So’Bap’ism. When I started studying Catholicism last fall, she started reading my books and realized how much she hadn’t been taught. Long story short–just a few days ago she went to Confession and has come back to the Church, but she will also be joining me in RCIA this fall so we can continue learning together. Next Easter Vigil we’ll really be together 😃

DaveBj
 
Cursillo is also a good program. ACTS, as mentioned earlier is a great program but the biggest impact for our parish has been the Christ Renews His Parish program.

One of the failings, IMO, of the Catholic Church is that so much is left up to either the Parish Priest or the laity yet not much education is given. My father, a pre-Vatican II raised Catholic, came to my parish and his observation was that there was such a strong sense of love and community that he had never seen in a Catholic Church. Understand that my dad was in the US military and we moved every 3 years so he and I have had an experience with a great number of Catholic churches over the years. My point is that God has called us to live together in community and true community is based on knowing each other on a deeper level. Not the superficial “see you on Sunday, how ya doin’” type of relationship but the truly caring “John is sick, why don’t some of us get together and go mow his yard for him” level of relationship. CRHP has been responsible for fostering that type of community in my Parish which is home to over 7,500 registered households.

If anyone is interested in more information on CRHP (which started in Ohio) feel free to contact me via PM.
 
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