I do have a disclaimer and a side note before you begin. In the first question, my disclaimer is that I never, ever told Steven he had to become Catholic. I did tell him that for us to work our children had to be Catholic, but that was my only requirement. Just so you know ;). And my side note is on question #4.... LOL I love him so much. Check it out!
1) What first got you interested in the Catholic faith?
I first became interested in the Catholic faith when attending mass (or "church" as I called it at the time) with my wife (then girlfriend) Stacy. I had not had any previous interest in the Catholic church, and was mostly oblivious to the Catholic Church's beliefs and teachings. At first I was only going to make Stacy happy, however over time I began to enjoy going to mass each week.
2) What things drew you in to learn more?
I was drawn in by the order and symbolism of the Church. Things such as the ornate priest's robes, the order of the mass. The amount of energy put into every detail of everything the church did amazed me. The more questions I asked, or the more I googled information, the more I became interested.
3) What did you feel like the Catholic faith offered that the faith of your childhood didn't?
As opposed to the Baptist church in which I grew up, the Catholic faith offered a much larger sense of family. While the members of the Baptist church were all very friendly and helped each other out, it still felt like a very small group. I was drawn in by the world-wide community of the Catholic Church, and knowing that in almost any city in the world you can find a Catholic Parish.
Brand new Catholic fiance! This was 6 days before our wedding. He came in at 7am on Easter morning since we were going to be on our honeymoon on Divine Mercy Sunday!
4) Are there aspects of the Southern Baptist faith you miss?
I have found almost all of the positive aspects of the Southern Baptist faith in the Catholic Church. The only thing I missed were the frequent covered dish meals after church.
5) What made you decide to join RCIA?
I decided to join the RCIA program after going to church for about a year off and on with Stacy, and starting to really feel at home there. I appreciated the RCIA program for the formal way in which it was designed, taking place over the course of a year.
Excited new Catholic with Fr. Dan after Mass
6) What teachings or aspects of the Church did you struggle to accept?
I struggled, and sometimes still struggle today, with the Church's viewpoints in regards to same-sex marriage. While I understand the biblical teaching, it is hard for me to promote a situation that creates unequal rights for a group of people, and wish that a new alternative solution could be found.
7) What was your experience with some of the harder teachings of the church like believing that the Eucharist is Jesus in the flesh, and not using contraceptives, for example?
I spent a lot of time reading and learning about the Church's teachings, and the reasoning and logic behind them. Things really started to click for me when I realized that most of my opinions had been told to me by society, and very few I had come to on my own. Taking a hard look at society today and seeing where we are, I was able to understand many of the church's teachings in a new light.
8) What thoughts and emotions did you feel the day you converted?
The day I converted felt like a celebration party for me. After such a long journey, it felt good to finally "graduate" into the Catholic Church. I also remember feeling a great sense of peace that morning.
Dad came down to celebrate with us, and we spoiled Steven with all kinds of Catholic goodies!
9) How did your family feel about you converting?
At first, my family was skeptical about my conversion, mostly due to a lack of knowledge about the Catholic church and its beliefs. My Mom asked me twice if Catholics believed in Jesus Christ. After some conversations explaining the beliefs, they were at peace with my decision.
10) A little over a year later, how has your faith changed or grown?
I know so much more now than I did a year ago. I have grown and learned in my faith, and I am more convinced now, than ever, that joining the Catholic Church was a good idea, and that I am at home.
We ate Easter breakfast on "My First Communion" plates ;).