I got pregnant, Ethan was born, and I began to have these pangs of I don't really know exactly what. Longing, desire? I still can't name them. Richard had stopped attending mass except on holidays because I wasn't going with him. I had not been attending any church regularly for quite some time. We were falling away from the very thing that had drawn each of us to the other. Our strong faith in Christ and the shared belief that He had prepared each of us for the other. I called our family priest and asked him about possibly blessing our marriage. He was honored and agreed immediately. Before I could even form the words in my head they were coming from my mouth. "Would you also baptize Ethan? And what if I convert?" Father Mike was wonderful and said we should start with having our marriage blessed. Then if I wanted to have Ethan baptized in the church and to attend RCIA classes for myself, I should speak with our parish priest. I went home that night and told Richard I had called. He was shocked. "Are you crazy? We have talked about this! You don't have to do anything you don't want to do! Are you feeling pressured? Is someone trying to talk you into this?" He had a million machine gun questions and not because he didn't want to share a faith with me but because he didn't want me to feel pressured into the faith which I had dismissed repeatedly. I told him I felt it was important to share a faith as a family and to raise our current and future children in a shared church with shared teachings. Then I made the dismissive statement that he was a much better Catholic than I was Baptist so I should just convert. Besides, if I was going to have my child baptized Catholic I should probably be also. I said it flippantly and with little to no regard for what I was undertaking but the truth was, there was something very deep within me that I didn't really want to look very closely at dragging me kicking and screaming toward the church.
|The Blessing Of Our Marriage|
In my excitement, I told my mom about it. She asked many of the same questions I had began this journey with. I tried to explain that praying to the Saints was asking for intercession on my behalf. As I might ask her to pray for me, I could also ask the Saints to pray for me. And each has a "specialty"!! Wow! I was excited, blown away, overwhelmed. And that was when I saw the first of some pretty heartbreaking setbacks. My mom let loose of a dam of emotions. She was angry, upset, hurt, disappointed. This was not the religion she had chosen for her child. While the fundamental belief in Christ was the same, many of the subtle and not so subtle teachings were different. The books of the bible were not even the same. It was not the book my mom had read from and it was not the way she had spent her life praying. She was angry with me for choosing this for myself and for her grandchildren. She was saddened and worried for my eternal life. I was devastated. I shared my hurt and anger in confession and in class. I cried and ranted and raved to Richard. My mom came to Ethan's baptism but she did not attend Kinsey's and she did not attend when I was formally welcomed into the church and received my First Communion. It was hard. My mom and I didn't speak for months. Ties severed, feelings hurt, prideful indignation on both sides. While it hurt me I truly felt I was being led and there was no way I could go back. I was torn and it took a huge toll on the joy I thought I would feel. But deep inside, I still knew with my whole heart this was right for me and for my family.
|Bishop Gaydos and I before I Entered The Church|