Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Glad to Be Catholic
by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Aug. 18, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
“I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I became Catholic at age 23. I was blessed to be invited to attend Mass with my co-workers. What I write now is of knowing and sensing something different in the Catholic Church. I realized later it is the Blessed Sacrament always there, always present.... I love the church with the seven sacraments to be followed always as a wonderful gift of grace given to us. Our church is universal – everywhere we go, the church is there. But also in our lives, our homes, our neighborhoods – we can always sense God everywhere.”
“I wrote on the church scandals for a freshman English class, and I got the paper back with the following remark: ‘Robert, grade for this paper A, and grade for this class A. You make me proud to be a Catholic.’
“That note made my day, and I am proud to have an influence on people with that remark.”
“It’s not easy getting six young children ready for Mass every Sunday morning, and as a convert from a more ‘relaxed’ Protestant upbringing, I often ask myself during the Sunday morning rush why we bother. By the time we arrive at the church we are sweating, disheveled and sometimes (me) crazy-mad from all the effort. Then, when we are finally there, we play musical laps with the little ones and whisper-yell at the older ones to ‘stop goofing!’ But then comes the Consecration, when almost always, our children become temporarily hushed by the presence of our Lord. We walk slowly and silently in line (except our six-year-old daughter, who sways like a bride to the choir) and I am momentarily overcome when I receive the Body of Christ. Back at my seat, I close my eyes as a rush of love comes to my heart. It is brief but pure and I am able to say a quick thank-you before our two-year old squirms up through my arms, his face a quarter of an inch from mine. “I love you, Mommy,” he whispers. My husband smiles peacefully at me and I can see it in his eyes, too. This definable moment of joy, when we are in complete communion with our Lord and each other, transforms the week for us. It is a glimpse of what heaven feels like and I want to shout to the world, ‘I’m glad to be Catholic!’”
A dear friend of mine who is Catholic came through cancer and invited me to her church and to meet her priest. I met with Father Al Grasher in December of ’03. I was too late to go to RCIA to study Catholicism that year, so Father Al suggested I come to church for Mass, and if I wanted to convert to Catholicism, I could begin RCIA in the fall of ’04. I am a new convert this past Easter. I can’t wait to wake up each morning with the Lord and spend the day … listening, praying, in meditation with him. Father Al, the church family and other church families within the different parishes have taught me through the love of our heavenly Father the overwhelming joy I live now.
Send your experiences or memories of being glad, happy, or proud to be Catholic to: Glad to Be Catholic, Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99201, or by e-mail to: email@example.com. Please include your phone number in case we need to contact you for clarifications; and we’ll appreciate knowing the name of your parish, too.