I married an agnostic but my children were all brought up
Catholic. We separated after 25 years and later divorced. During
this time I never felt that I was not a part of the church. I continued
attending and receiving communion. I then spoke with Fr. Ed about an
annulment. He sponsored my application and was very supportive during the
process. Having my annulment didn’t change my life in any way – until I
met my husband. We noticed each other in church. I am now happily
married, have an extended family all together of 9 children and 25
grandchildren, and thank God for my fortune. I never felt that I was not
part of our church and I would encourage you to feel the same. The God we
know will never turn His back on us. God is all forgiving and loving.
I am a cradle Catholic, born, baptized and raised in the Catholic
faith. I went to Catholic school and I lost my faith in the clergy when
the school closed after many fund raisers to keep it going. I stopped
going when I was 17 and for 25 years I was away from the formal practice of my
faith. I never lost faith in God – just the church. Living in California
for 20 years made it easier to not attend Mass. I only attended the three
times a year when I came home. When my father died, I grieved alone in
California and decided to return home. God blessed me with Fr. Kevin
O’Brien who restored my faith in the clergy. When he left, Fr. Scott
Fobare completed what Fr. Kevin started in me. In these two priests, I
have found a kinder and friendlier Catholic Church since I have returned.
No condemnation but a welcoming “hug” feeling. I was made to feel special.
My joy since then has not faded and since returning I became involved in church
activities. I can assure anyone, you will never be condemned, not now, not
the lovely way our Catholic faith has evolved. People said in the past you
cannot go home. I’m telling you “Yes, You Can!! You can come home
and when you do, you will wonder why you stayed away so long! ·I married an Episcopalian in a Catholic Church. While not
becoming Catholic, he did attend Catholic churches during his years in the Air
Force. Our children were baptized Catholic and our faith was strong.
When he left the service and we returned home, he wanted to return to his
Episcopal parish. He attended my church so I attended his. After
many years he became unhappy and discouraged. Our first two children
missed out on first communion and lessons and when I found I was pregnant again,
he said “not only do I want the baby baptized Catholic but I want to become
one!” We knew we were in the right direction and turned to God to answer
our prayers. My husband became Catholic, a trustee, Eucharistic Minister and
Usher. I teach third grade Sunday school and am a Eucharistic
Minister. Our first two children made their first communions and our
“baby” is now an altar server. Life is difficult without faith. God
is there for you. Turn to Him and pray that His will be done. His
plan for you is much better than the one you have for yourself. We pray
you will find your way home also.
I left church about 10 years ago. A friend told me she was
becoming Catholic and asked why I didn’t go to church. My reasons sounded
weak and pointless. My friend Joe gave me a “Come Home” folder to read
from the meetings in Ogdensburg. The folder sat on my dresser then one
night I picked it up and read the testimonies by people who have found their way
back. Then I read the pamphlet on going to confession. I began going
to church but I was terrified of going to confession after so many years.
Fr. Garry Giroux said the Mass with such feeling, passion and a sense of humor
in his homily. I knew I couldn’t receive communion but I left the Mass
feeling elated! I told my friend Joe about the confession issue and when a
priest came to visit him, he asked him to talk to me. I found myself
giving my confession face to face and I was filled with an incredible feeling of
peace, joy and happiness. I cried on the way home while saying my penance.
At Mass that Sunday, Father said that apostles could be found anywhere in our
lives. I later told him that I knew two of them, my two friends who helped
get me back to church. This has been a life changing experience for me
which started with a small orange “Come Home” folder, an impromptu confession at
a picnic table and a deeper yet unexplainable understanding of the Holy Spirit.
I am full of joy and of prayer and of love of God. The best part is the
journey home still continues