Life Update: I’m Catholic Now
Writing again these last few months has been a joy. After taking a pretty sudden hiatus here these last few years, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to redevelop rhythms or devote myself to this space. But despite some setbacks after contracting COVID, I’ve been eager and joyful to be back here, reading through the Bible, and sharing with all of you.
During my hiatus, several of you reach out through email and Facebook messages asking where I was and if I was okay. I was offline more than on and didn’t always see/respond to those messages but it meant a lot to know that this little corner of the internet mattered to you.
While it’s not been a secret to those in my immediate physical community, there were several life changes that occurred in the two-year pause I took from writing. My health struggles continued to mount, making it hard to do much more than what was minimally required of me. I’m so grateful that, at the end of 2020, I was finally able to see a skilled surgeon and, by the grace of God, have been living a much fuller, pain-free life these last several months.
During this time, I also went through a lot of personal changes that greatly impacted my desire and ability to write and share publicly what the Lord was doing. Much of what the Lord was teaching me was quiet moments meant only for me and my situation, not a story I’ve yet been called to share.
There’s also been a public transformation that I avoided addressing directly. The internet has been filled with an “us vs them” mentality and I dreaded incorrect assumptions. I also was afraid of misunderstanding or inadvertently hurting the pastors, youth group leaders, and church friends who have shown me the love of God well throughout my life.
But I think now is the time to share some of these changes more publicly.
Several of you reached out and asked during the Bible in Lent Challenge when you saw books like “Tobit” and “Maccabees” on the reading schedule, and while I tried to be as open and concise as possible, I realized there was a need for some longer explanation.
After mulling it over for, well, almost two years now, I wanted to share with you that last year on Pentecost, I was welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church.
While this has brought me so much joy and excitement, I know that not everyone will have the same reaction to this news.
Fulton Sheen, a 20th Century archbishop, once commented, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
This has been my experience. I had been taught, at best, misinformed views and at worst, deliberate lies, about what the Catholic Church teaches, especially in its treatment of Scripture. As I started to dig into source documents, it was clear that most of my anti-Catholic sentiments were railing against a superstitious boogeyman, not the actual Catholic Church.
All my life, I have been encouraged to search the scriptures for myself, as the Bereans did in Acts 17, and to compare all teachings to the Word of God.
In the last several years, I have done that.
I have studied the scriptures fervently and have concluded that the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings align with the teachings of the Word most clearly.
Being confirmed in the Catholic Church felt like a homecoming I didn’t know I was longing for. The Holy Spirit has been working in my life through both my local parish and the Bible in a powerful way.
While I know this is not the conclusion most of my pastors and teachers wanted me to come to, I hope they, along with you, can trust that I did this with a sincere dive into Scripture and a desire to serve and love the Lord to the best of my ability.
I also understand that this may appear to be a sudden decision but, for those who know me personally, it’s been clear that this has been a long, thorough process that began as a freshman in college when my friend in the dorm room next to me began to challenge my misconceptions and humbly, but clearly, articulate why she was Catholic.
So, where does this leave this space and my writing here?
Well, much of it won’t change. Becoming Catholic hasn’t changed my love for Jesus, the Bible, or believers around the world.
While there might be some new topics and some of my theology has shifted, my goal is always to draw us closer to the Lord. There is a lot in the modern world that divides us, but I hope that as believers, we can focus on what unites us and listen humbly to those whose theology differs from our own.
I’m going to be working on compiling a resource and FAQ page in the coming week or two, answering some questions I’ve received (and any questions you leave in the comments), and sharing resources that have been meaningful to me in this process.
You May Also Like:
Why I Became Catholic: Frequently Asked Questions about My Conversion from Protestantism
Resources on Catholicism: What Catholics Believe
An Overview of the Apocryphal or Catholic Books of the Bible
Just wanted to send a note of encouragement to you. (You may not remember me from your time in Hawaii 😊.)
Wishing you well, and praying your health issues resolve completely,
Hello, my dear friend!
What a joy to read of this transformative encounter with the risen Lord! May you always continue to draw nearer to him and to seek to live in Christ! Congratulations and much, much love from all of us!
Congatulations on your decision to become a Catholic. I was raised Catholic and have nothing but positive feelings about the Church. All the best to you.
I’m new to your blog and cannot wait to dig deeper into past and present posts! I am a Roman Catholic who LOVES LOVES LOVES the Word of God–it has literally saved my life and I love sharing my love with others via my blog.
This is so lovely! We are just beginning our official process of conversion to the Catholic Church, though the Lord converted our hearts last year through prayer, discernment, Scripture, and a lot of reading. And you know, when I first read your blog years ago, I knew you would become Catholic, and that we would, too. How did I know? Only the Lord has that answer. Bless you!
I am not Catholic, but I have many friends who are Catholic and I respect them for who they are and will also respect you for who you are and what you believe.
Who ever we are – their will always be others who are not happy with that. It is impossible to please the whole world. So I firmly believe in being authentically me in order to shine for my Father in Heaven, no matter what and what to encourage you to always be true to you and don’t worry about the you vs them situations – it is their problem, not yours.
I pray better health for you!
This is such a lovely message and one that I completely understand. I believe that when you search deeply and earnestly, God will show you what is necessary and true, even if it is not the answer everyone else wanted you to have. I hope your journey continues to be fruitful and encouraging and I look forward to reading more about what you’ve learned!
Congratulations to you! I hope we can all be more accepting and loving of people who are different to us. 🙂
Thank you for your honest sharing Bailey! I’m so thankful that you’ve found peace both physically and spiritually in these past couple years. I appreciate your vulnerability. It’s encouraging!
Hope your journey to good health continues along with your journey in faith! Welcome to the fam!
As someone who is not religious, I am always interested to hear the perspectives of how and why people change faiths. Your story is intriguing, and I wish you the best of luck!
Welcome to the Catholic Church Bailey! I’ve been reading your blog for years since I’ve also struggled with some issues you write about and it has always been enlightening. I believe God knows your true heart and will be with you in whatever path you choose, I hope you find the same love and peace I’ve found at church. It’s not perfect, but God is bigger than that. I’m really happy to know you’ll experience communion, get to know Mary and the rosary, amazing paths that leads us closer to Jesus.
I would like to know how you came to your conclusions by searching Scripture to become a Roman Catholic. Care to drop a line or two of how that came about through Scripture? Thanks.
Hi Paul, Before making the decision to become Roman Catholic, I came to the conclusion through the searching of Scripture that “The Bible Alone” was in itself, a man-made tradition not taught in Scripture.
Passages that pointed me to the Biblical teaching of Scripture + Tradition are 1 Timothy 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, and Acts 15.
You can read more in my FAQ and Resources on What Catholics Believe page about other factors/Scripture that led me to the Catholic Church.
Well thanks for responding Bailey. I’m glad your seeking truth. Those passages you mentioned about tradition and scripture, are not two seperate things, but one thing. Mainly the gospel which was delivered orally at first and then written down. Can I show you from one of the verses you gave me..
It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
2 Thessalonians 2:14-15
Paul has the gospel in mind that the believers were called through, and these are the ‘traditions’ that he wants them to stand firm in which was either taught to to them by word of mouth or a letter. That is the ‘traditions’ he is referring too. It’s not two seperate things, but one and the same handed down. Go back and read 1Thessalonians 2. Written before this, and you can see he is talking about the gospel..
For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:9
Why does Paul speak so much about the ‘gospel’ if these ‘traditions’ were supposedly seperate and just as important? But he never mentions these traditions but two times, but the gospel he talk about plenty. That’s because these ‘traditions’ are the gospel. I’m not trying to change your mind, but just giving you another angle possibly to see the truth? But thanks for responding to me and have a blessed day!
Hey Bailey, I’ve following your blog for a couple of years now. On similar journey’s through infertility and seeking Jewish traditions in my Christian Faith. After a lot of research and seeking, my husband and I decided last spring that Catholicism was most in line with what we discovered, and what we believe. It can feel lonely, especially when protestant friends and family don’t understand, or are anti-catholic. Just wanted to let you know others are on the journey with you! We will be recieved into the church next spring! God Bless!
Thank you so much for sharing! I will be praying for you and your husband on this journey!