Friday, April 3, 2015

conversion spaghetti: how a simple invitation led to seven new Catholics

Thirty-one years ago on Easter vigil, my family became Catholic- dad, mom, and us five children. Now, we siblings are all married to practicing Catholics and we have about twenty-five Catholic children to add to the mix. 
How did this happen? My grandparents consisted of a Presbyterian, a Quaker, an Episcopalian and a very lapsed (there was a stern, angry nun, natch) Catholic. When I was growing up, we spent extended time in the Episcopalian and Quaker churches, and my mother even dabbled in a new-age Hindu meditation church for a while. Really the most consistent spiritual practice of my childhood was always praying the Lord's Prayer together as a family before we went to sleep. 
Our youngest, 5, in my Episcopalian baptismal gown
One day, our Mexican-American neighbors invited us to the 'spaghetti feed' at their local Catholic parish. Why was spaghetti the fundraising food of choice for this church that had immigrants of Latino, Vietnamese and German origins? I don't know, but the dinner was well-attended  We went and enjoyed a bit of pasta. We continued our good, non-Catholic life.
A few months later, my parents took us on a tour of the Christian churches in the area- a different community every Sunday. After a while, we finally entered the actual church-area of St Joseph's. And we went back the next Sunday. And then my parents decided to begin formation. 
Why did we convert? I suppose we converted for the reasons that many people leave the Church. We love the crucifix, the sacraments of the Eucharist and confession, authority, tradition, dogma, and discipline. Our relationship with the Theotokos is also an important part of our faith. We had always read the Bible with reverence, but becoming Catholic helped us begin a deeper relationship with Christ. Who knows what the future will bring, but for now, we are all on similar paths to Christ through our Catholic faith. I am grateful.
 Daughter #2's baptism, confirmation and first communion- a year after her sister's

3 comments:

  1. Love the photos--and hearing your family's conversion story! I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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  2. Wow -- great story! Enjoy your blog. :)
    God bless your family! God bless the neighbors who invited your family to that spaghetti dinner!

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  3. The sad thing is a lot of these spaghetti dinners and other fundraisers are disappearing as people are now "too busy" to organize them. All these opportunities of low-pressure events to which you could invite non-Catholics, events which can create goodwill and open a door and be a bit more seeker-friendly than inviting someone to Mass. We have lost a key method of evangelization at the parish level.

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