CatholicMatch is not just home to many cradle Catholics but is also a nurturing community for converts, some of whom will be formally entering the Church this Easter Vigil.
Jeffrey-660829, a 33-year-old single dad from Sparks, Nev., is in RCIA and looking forward to becoming Catholic. “I was raised nominally Protestant, but have experienced a change of heart and mind after much study – spurred by a lay Dominican friend – of Catholic apologetics and theology,” he says. Jeffrey joined CatholicMatch in December and hopes the community will help him grow in his Catholic faith.
Careese-449851, a 40-year-old single mom from San Antonio, knows how Jeffrey feels. She was received into the Catholic Church at last year’s Easter Vigil.
Careese was raised by Methodist parents who sometimes attended church. “As a little girl, I was drawn to the Catholic Church and I love history,” she says. “As Bishop Newman once said, ‘To be steeped in history is to cease being Protestant.’ That was true for me.”
Still, Careese attended non-denominational services and Episcopal services before resolving to make an earnest search for her true religious home. Catholicism cropped up. “There was so much being brought to my attention by the Holy Spirit,” she says. “There were ‘God winks’ I could not ignore.”
Today, Careese can’t imagine having gone through the process without CatholicMatch. “Because I am the only Catholic in my family, CatholicMatch was extremely critical in my faith journey. When I joined [in the summer of 2009], I knew that God was calling me to become Catholic and I knew that I would of course want a Catholic husband.”
When it came time to have her son baptized, the Texas mom didn’t have to look far for Godparents: she asked Joe-388825, a CatholicMatch member from Maryland, to be her son’s godfather and Georgina, a California woman on CatholicMatch, to be the godmother.
Georgina was also Careese’s RCIA sponsor, offering vital support throughout the process.
As a new Catholic, Careese is filled with grateful wonder. “To celebrate His providence for me, I am trying to make my home as Catholic as possible,” she says. “But the most important, I feel, it to simply be very mindful that I am partaking of the true Blood and Body of Jesus Christ, who suffered for me. I make sure when I receive Him that I spend time thanking Him for His sacrifice. It isn’t always easy to get my mind quiet and do this, but I try.”