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Author Topic: Family converts, how did it happen for you?  (Read 1846 times) Average Rating: 0
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NMHS
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« on: September 25, 2009, 02:34:26 PM »

Hello Everyone,  currently I am Catholic, and I hope to soon be able to attend my first vespers and liturgy at a Orthodox Church. This is a question for families that have converted from protestantism, Catholicism or any kind of "ism" to Orthodoxy. I have read several books and essays, listented to commentaries, podcast, visited several Orthodox parrish websites, and even spent some time watching portions of Orthodox services on you tube.  So up to this point I have tried to become as familiar as possible (which I know isn't much) with the Orthodox Church and services. 

Anyway I have a 11 month old daughter and my wife of 11 years is Catholic.  She was raised Catholic since she was an infant and although she likes the Church she does not know many details of why she specifically likes the Church.  She is hispanic so her culture has a large part to do with the reason she likes the Catholic Church.  I have many facts, reasons and statements about the comparisons of the two churches and why we as a family should attend and "Go and See". 

For those families that have converted what was it that did it for you?  Did the husband or wife take on the role of leading the family?  What was your experience in all this?  I feel as the husband and father of our family I must attempt to bring my family into the truest form of Chrisitanity there is. Not to force my opinion but to lead and guide my familiy towards that direction with my best of the ability that God gives me.  So wifes, if you converted because of your husband then what was it he did to help you, show you, guide you or lead you and the family. 

This will be a rather large topic of discussion in our household so I am trying to gather any additional pieces of experience or advice from forum members before this topic comes to the table.  Thanks to all and God Bless you guys!
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Thomas
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 04:08:48 PM »

I led my family with the support of my wife to Orthodoxy. When I left Mormonism, my wife fully supported me and followed me through the steps that led us to Orthodoxy. I know from others that this is not always the case, I was blessed with a wife who,like me, was looking for the True Church of the Most Holy Trinity. We found it within the Orthodox Church.

Thomas
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NMHS
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 04:56:29 PM »

Thank you, I hope our transition will be blessed in the same footsteps as yours!
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HandmaidenofGod
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 05:12:00 PM »

Have you read "Facing East" by Frederica Mathewes-Greene? Frederica and her husband were Episcopalians (he was actually a priest), when he decided to convert to Orthodoxy. While initially against it, Frederica eventually went along. This book is the telling of their journey. It may help you and your wife.

My advice would be to be gentle, keep an open mind, and follow the advice of your priest.
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 05:55:01 PM »

My advice would be to be gentle, keep an open mind, and follow the advice of your priest.

Exactly. Well said, HMG!

One thing I might add, based on my own sad experience: while leading your yet un-converted fammily, watch against "acute convertitis" in yourself. Smiley In people who just very recently discovered Orthodoxy, a kind of exaggerated, unbalanced approach to things might develop. I am still fighting it in myself. Smiley
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NMHS
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 11:21:16 PM »

Thanks everyone for the insights, that is all definitely good advice.  I just finished purchasing the book "Facing East".  What is tough for me is that I am a person that has to really concentrate on patience.  I wish all this could happen tomorrow.  But I must be patient and wait for Gods timing.  I have always found out (most of the time the hard way) that I need to be on Gods schedule and not mine.  ---->>> I praise God for His schedule because it is always best!<<<---Thanks for the replies! Smiley
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HandmaidenofGod
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 11:32:29 PM »

Thanks everyone for the insights, that is all definitely good advice.  I just finished purchasing the book "Facing East".  What is tough for me is that I am a person that has to really concentrate on patience.  I wish all this could happen tomorrow.  But I must be patient and wait for Gods timing.  I have always found out (most of the time the hard way) that I need to be on Gods schedule and not mine.  ---->>> I praise God for His schedule because it is always best!<<<---Thanks for the replies! Smiley

Also keep in mind that there is a possibility that your wife may never convert. She may decide to remain a faithful Catholic the rest of her life. And that's okay. Better she remain a faithful Catholic and you a faithful Orthodox Christian than her not go to Church at all.

Just because she is your wife doesn't make her journey any less individual or unique for her.

I know several people from my former parish who were Orthodox and their wives decided to remain Catholic. I'm not saying it's for certain, but it is a possibility.
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 12:26:04 PM »

My wife actually got into the Orthodox Church before I did. I was a little interested but kind of lazy about it. She eventually got me to listen to a few podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio which really piqued my interest. We were in a different situation though. We both were disillusioned with Protestantism at that point so that made us really receptive to the Orthodox Church.
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Thankful
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 02:28:19 AM »

NMHS, our family was Protestant until several months ago.  10 mos. or so ago I read about book that piqued my interest in Orthodoxy and I began reading both on the Internet and books from the library.  My husband didn't have an interest at first, but soon he asked me to recommend a book and I did.  Still more weeks went by and we attended a vigil service on Christmas Eve in a town we were visiting, our first Orthodox service. Our first liturgical service, ever.  We stood at the side, eyes wide open, just watching, listening.  More weeks, even a month or two went by, then we attended a Reader's Vespers in our home town. At that point we were on the same page and in some ways my husband had to pull *me* along as I struggled with "Are we getting involved in a cult?" (I knew we weren't but it was scary to leave what we'd always known.) My husband talked about leaving our former church, and I tried saying we could do both for a time. But my husband is not duplicitous and he spoke to the pastor of our former church, setting a date for our last Sunday there.  We've been at the Orthodox church ever since and became catechumens in August.  So while I "found" the Church, my husband has led our way into it and for that I'm thankful.  Our kids (ranging in age from a baby to 15.5 years old) are all fully on board.  They love the Church! 
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 03:32:11 AM »

What a wonderful story!  May God bless this time in your family's life.
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NMHS
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 11:36:05 AM »

Thankful, and everyone else.  Thanks for the replies!  I have this strong desire to keep learning about the Orthodox Faith and if it is Gods calling, I will become Orthodox one day!  In my own mind, I am ready to start attending today even though the nearest Church is 100 miles away.  At this time I just don't know if it is Gods calling for me.  I have been praying so much lately and it seems that I am still being called to continue to read and learn.  I feel that God is asking to come closer to Him, just not through this avenue at this time. I have many Orthodox, ECF, and church history books to read.  Along with many podcast to listen to.  Thanks to all of my Christian brother and sisters here.  I will be around continuing to learn.  Thanks and God Bless.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 11:19:58 PM »

I am cradle, my husband cradle Roman Catholic.  About ten years into our marriage, he asked me, 'do you want me to convert?'  I told him I didn't 'want' him to do anything.  I told him that what ever he decided to do, it had to do with his relationship with God, and that should be his consideration.  I didn't say another word.  He decided to convert a year later.  I think many things lead to that decision.  One was that he felt everything was familiar.  Another was that our three boys were young, and he needed to be the leader of his sons in a spiritual sense.  He couldn't do that fully without taking communion with the family.  I think, it became a matter of embracing the faith of our family.  Since he was Chrismated, he has become a devout Orthodox, and in our process of growing in Christ we take turns pulling one another forward toward Christ.  We recently visited a monastery. He can see himself living as a monastic.  Perhaps, someday, that will be our decision.  I am fortunate.
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 10:09:15 AM »

I was the first. I read Facing East and it really resonated with me. Yet, having been disapointed so many times before by various religious fads and fashions, I couldn't believe that Orthodoxy could be true, and that my "heart's true home" really existed. Yet it was my husband that fell in love with Orthodoxy from the first time we attended a Divine Liturgy and who couldn't wait to be chrismated. It took me over a year longer.
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NMHS
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 02:26:52 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  It makes me realize even more that I am not alone in this situation.  Caleb
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