Hi! I'm new to this board... I have taken some time to read the convert testamonies. Very facinating!
My husband and I are contemplating converting to the orthodox church. Here is our stories, hope someone can help shed some light... put thier 2 pennies in...
I'll start with my husband... He is on paper Roman Catholic. He started attending a Byzcath parish in high school. He has always been facinated with orthodoxy this is something that has spoken to him since he was a child. Here is the catch... He is Croation. (and once upon a time a Duquesne University Tamburizten, you can't get more "national"
than that. PS. he still plays Tambura) Soooo the ethnic identity is a BIG issue.
Is it possible to be Croation and to be orthodox?
About me... In a nutshell. I am Serb/Croation/Polish/English My mom was Protestant (currently not practicing) and my father was Orthodox.(also not practicing) I was exposed to both churches until my parents suffered some sort of religious apathy and stopped taking me. Second, I was always made to feel VERY unwelcome in the Serbian church. It was made very clear early on by my peers that I was a "halfbreed" and "N*gger" (Honestly, some kids are that cruel) My dad also refused to teach me Serbian because, "I should try to be American" Yet at the same time, we never missed going to church for Serbian Christmas or Easter. So I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking that all Orthodox christians were nationalistic, clannish alcholics. So I stayed far away from the church.
When I met my husband, he invited me to church with him. It was Christmas eve. I smelled the incense and knew that I had come home. I was baptized on St. Patricks Day 2002.
Then we moved away. Since there is not Byzantine Catholic parish near us, we have been attending a little Orthodox parish in our town for our spirtual food and attending a Roman Catholic parish. When time allows we make the 2 hour trip to the nearest Byzcath parish.
On one of these trips to the Byzantine Catholic parish we were accosted by one very beligerent "traditional" Catholic (as he called himself) who bellowed angrily about how "there is no such thing as a good latin mass". Getting to know the other folks in the parish, all of them were angry former Roman Catholics(Priest included) who were fed up with Vatican II and were seeking solace by joining a Byzantine Catholic church. It really bothered me to be around such animosity. I didn't join Byzantine Catholic church out of anger, I was baptized because I felt that this was the best way to express my faith. I had enough when someone shoved a pamphlet with the Sacred Heart of Jesus prayers, written in Latin in my hands. These events have prompted me to read more about the Eastern Christian Faith.
With that said....
Is it weird that I am looking to become Orthodox after only being Byzantine Catholic for 2 years. Have I given it enough time? I feel that my spirtual journey has led me to orthodoxy.
Do I need to be "re baptized" or just chrismated?
Last, I hope I don't seem strange or overly desperate, I have been harboring this for a year now and I need to let it out somewhere.