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Author Topic: My priest hasn't really given me any options on becoming a Catechumen  (Read 1425 times) Average Rating: 0
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NMHS
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« on: April 02, 2011, 05:23:18 PM »

I will start off by saying I live 3 hours away from the nearest OC mission so the distance is a hindrance as well as my job has me working weekends from March to August every year so that also turns into a hindrance.  I have been inquiring about Orthodoxy for two years now and I have started to ask my local preist about becoming Orthodox. 

I have not wanted to be pushy and I still don't want to be pushy, but over the last couple years and really over the last month I have expressed much sincerity in becoming Orthodoxy.  I have told him I would move forward with any advice he has for this situation and the advice he gave was that we should meet together and he would give me a prayer rule as he does for others that are Orthodox or Orthodox at heart.  He is aware of the long distance as a hindrance and the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion but I can't help start to wonder if my distance is a problem for becoming Orthodox or the possiblity of my wife not becoming Orthodox a hindrance.  I don't know though because he hasn't responded very much to my inquiries.

I have asked him questions about converting and the catechumen process and he has not really given me much feedback or thoughts on this matter.  I'm remaining patient and I'm in no hurry.  I believe the right thing will happen in Gods time and not mine.  I am was wondering if there is something more that will keep this from happening that I am not aware of.

Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 05:56:16 PM »

"He is aware of ... the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion..."

You may have answered your own question. Maybe he's not pressing the matter because he feels the time is not ripe.
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 06:06:15 PM »

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I have not wanted to be pushy and I still don't want to be pushy
The Kingdom of God comes by force
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 06:08:23 PM »

"He is aware of ... the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion..."

You may have answered your own question. Maybe he's not pressing the matter because he feels the time is not ripe.

Right.  There is nothing wrong with getting a sound answer, though.  Let the priest know you are serious, as there are many fly-by-nighters he has to deal with.
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 06:09:38 PM »

In my case, I had to meet with the priest several times before the subject of finding a sponsor and getting ready for my chrismation was even brought up. It reminded me of the Jewish tradition, where you have to ask the rabbi about converting 3 times before he will take you seriously.
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 09:37:25 PM »

A word to the wise is sufficient. The Kingdom of God is at hand.

I imagine a Priest would come to you to fullfill the Great Commision if so moved by the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 10:27:06 PM »

"He is aware of ... the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion..."

You may have answered your own question. Maybe he's not pressing the matter because he feels the time is not ripe.

Right.  There is nothing wrong with getting a sound answer, though.  Let the priest know you are serious, as there are many fly-by-nighters he has to deal with.

I suppose it would be easier to handle if I knew what the answer would be.  A simple yes or no would suffice.  I might wait until Lent is finished since I believe he is pretty busy right now.
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NMHS
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 10:28:56 PM »

A word to the wise is sufficient. The Kingdom of God is at hand.

I imagine a Priest would come to you to fullfill the Great Commision if so moved by the Holy Spirit.


So, you tend to think that since there hasn't been a due response that maybe this is for not?
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 10:31:26 PM »

Who knows? Only God does.

He might be insanely busy because of Lent, I do agree. Perhaps wait until that's over to approach him.
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 10:33:38 PM »

"He is aware of ... the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion..."
You may have answered your own question. Maybe he's not pressing the matter because he feels the time is not ripe.
Right.  There is nothing wrong with getting a sound answer, though.  Let the priest know you are serious, as there are many fly-by-nighters he has to deal with.
I suppose it would be easier to handle if I knew what the answer would be.  A simple yes or no would suffice.  I might wait until Lent is finished since I believe he is pretty busy right now.
I don't think that is wise.   You will not know the answer until you ask.  The time is at hand.  
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 10:38:23 PM »


NMHS,

Seeking God is never "for naught".

Keep knocking, and that door will be opened!  Don't give up.

Like you said, your priest is most likely quite busy during Great Lent.  Give him the benefit of the doubt, but, still....approach him, busy or not....he would be delighted to hear that someone is truly interested in joining the Church.

I have to believe that he would "never" say NO to your becoming Orthodox (unless for some reason you rejected the teachings of the Church).  Have no fear in that.  If he's a priest, especially in a mission church, his life's work is to grow the flock, to reach as many people, to save as many souls, to spread the Word as far as he can.

Maybe, he doesn't realize you are "serious" about it.

Go back to that door, and knock louder...and if the door isn't opening...go through the window.

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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 10:40:03 PM »

"He is aware of ... the difficulties that lie between my wife (RC) and I with my possible conversion..."
You may have answered your own question. Maybe he's not pressing the matter because he feels the time is not ripe.
Right.  There is nothing wrong with getting a sound answer, though.  Let the priest know you are serious, as there are many fly-by-nighters he has to deal with.
I suppose it would be easier to handle if I knew what the answer would be.  A simple yes or no would suffice.  I might wait until Lent is finished since I believe he is pretty busy right now.
I don't think that is wise.   You will not know the answer until you ask.  The time is at hand.  

Fr,
Thank you for posting in this topic.  I was hoping one of the local Priest would post their thoughts about this.  I know the Bishop is in town for the week and I know the schedule they have is very busy, so I was thinking I will wait until his departure and then ask. 


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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 10:44:57 PM »


NMHS,

Seeking God is never "for naught".

Keep knocking, and that door will be opened!  Don't give up.

Like you said, your priest is most likely quite busy during Great Lent.  Give him the benefit of the doubt, but, still....approach him, busy or not....he would be delighted to hear that someone is truly interested in joining the Church.

I have to believe that he would "never" say NO to your becoming Orthodox (unless for some reason you rejected the teachings of the Church).  Have no fear in that.  If he's a priest, especially in a mission church, his life's work is to grow the flock, to reach as many people, to save as many souls, to spread the Word as far as he can.

Maybe, he doesn't realize you are "serious" about it.

Go back to that door, and knock louder...and if the door isn't opening...go through the window.



I couldn't ever imagine not continuing to knock on the door but I admit I was starting to wonder.  Thanks for the advice.  I will keep knocking.  I was starting to wonder if I should start knocking at another Orthodox doorstep.  Although that would be difficult since the other doorstep is 5 hours away. Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2011, 10:48:51 PM »

"So, you tend to think that since there hasn't been a due response that maybe this is for not [naught?]?"

By no means; I would not interpret it that way at all. A priest wants as many to join the church as possible--that's his primary mission in life. But it's not a contest to see how many warm bodies he can tally--we're not Protestants--admission to the church has to be done correctly. An experienced priest will often provide guidance without really talking about it to you. He's guiding many other souls at the same time. Trust him. He doesn't want to participate in breaking up your marriage. That's understandable, right?  When he thinks you're ready, you'll be the first to know.

After Pascha--which is incredibly demanding for a priest--arrange to speak to him one-on-one so you can find out what's on his mind. You may be surprised. And don't be too quick to join the church over your wife's objections. Love is of the essence, especially as it regards your life's partner. It may take some time. Time is often the answer. The church isn't going anywhere. If you are Orthodox, you are a servant. Be hers.

Plus, I would note that a major theme of Orthodoxy is 'spiritual growth through suffering'. Might as well get used to it now.
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2011, 11:59:54 PM »

A word to the wise is sufficient. The Kingdom of God is at hand.

I imagine a Priest would come to you to fullfill the Great Commision if so moved by the Holy Spirit.


So, you tend to think that since there hasn't been a due response that maybe this is for not?

I don't know. Maybe it has already happened. What do you feel in your heart? Is Christ with you?

For those of us baptized as babies, it is a different process.

I guess the Priest's opinion or anybody else's judgement on you is rather meaningless in comparison to how Jesus understands your heart.

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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 12:01:41 AM »

Quote
I have not wanted to be pushy and I still don't want to be pushy
The Kingdom of God comes by force

Love that passage Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 02:46:34 AM »

I waited three years to convert. The first time I tried I was told no because I lived too far from a parish for catechism…but even in that God opened a door.  A bishop allowed a priest to act with economy and gave a year long email catechism to myself and another friend interested in Orthodoxy….and at the end of it all we were invited to come be baptized….the Temple was over 1600 miles away in another country and only 6 hours by air away plus another hour on the road between the airport and the city.  And for the next several years we got to go to church only once for a few days when we flew in.

So be of good cheer. God is faithful.
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2011, 08:16:24 PM »

I waited three years to convert. The first time I tried I was told no because I lived too far from a parish for catechism…but even in that God opened a door.  A bishop allowed a priest to act with economy and gave a year long email catechism to myself and another friend interested in Orthodoxy….and at the end of it all we were invited to come be baptized….the Temple was over 1600 miles away in another country and only 6 hours by air away plus another hour on the road between the airport and the city.  And for the next several years we got to go to church only once for a few days when we flew in.

So be of good cheer. God is faithful.
Flying or driving 1600 miles to get to an Orthodox church in another country? That's intense.
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2011, 09:37:30 PM »

I can't get over this.  I suggest you directly ask the priest, "Good morning/evening Father, I've decided I want to convert to Orthodoxy and join this parish.  How do I go about doing this?"

Under which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is this parish?
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2011, 09:44:32 PM »

I can't get over this.  I suggest you directly ask the priest, "Good morning/evening Father, I've decided I want to convert to Orthodoxy and join this parish.  How do I go about doing this?"

Under which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is this parish?

Well, I did ask this question this morning and in summary the response I recieved was "that its not impossible to become Orthodox due to these limiting situations but most Orthodox that encounter these situations either join another church affiliation, fall away or continue on with their own prayer rule".  He didn't want to discourage me but these limitations don't exactly appear to be all that welcoming either.  He said only I can say if these limitations are insurmountable..............hmm.........what to do Huh I dunno


Ukrainian
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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2011, 10:55:20 PM »

I'm only a layman but I find the priest's response bizarre.  He has the authority to counsel you about the ramifications your conversion could pose to your life, but not to reject you unless there is a canonical impediment about your spirituality.  My recommendation is that you seek another parish, though I know that will be difficult for you in the area in which you live. Keep attending this parish when you can, go to Orthodox Church websites to view videos to experience the liturgical services, "receive.org", "goarch.org" etc. I'm saddened that this kind of a response occurs to seekers of Holy Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2011, 11:40:49 PM »

I can't get over this.  I suggest you directly ask the priest, "Good morning/evening Father, I've decided I want to convert to Orthodoxy and join this parish.  How do I go about doing this?"Under which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is this parish?
Well, I did ask this question this morning and in summary the response I recieved was "that its not impossible to become Orthodox due to these limiting situations but most Orthodox that encounter these situations either join another church affiliation, fall away or continue on with their own prayer rule".  He didn't want to discourage me but these limitations don't exactly appear to be all that welcoming either.  He said only I can say if these limitations are insurmountable..............hmm.........what to do Huh I dunno   Ukrainian

Ukrainian?  You are in the US, no?  The next one is 5 hours away?   Where is it (if you don't wish to respond online, email via pm)?   I am sure I can help you out one way or the other. 
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2011, 11:43:05 PM »

^The reason why I asked is because there is only one parish in the US that would fit this description, and I would be surprised if the priest responded this way.   Then again, he may be testing your committment.  
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2011, 08:04:58 AM »

I can't get over this.  I suggest you directly ask the priest, "Good morning/evening Father, I've decided I want to convert to Orthodoxy and join this parish.  How do I go about doing this?"

Under which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is this parish?

Well, I did ask this question this morning and in summary the response I recieved was "that its not impossible to become Orthodox due to these limiting situations but most Orthodox that encounter these situations either join another church affiliation, fall away or continue on with their own prayer rule".  He didn't want to discourage me but these limitations don't exactly appear to be all that welcoming either.  He said only I can say if these limitations are insurmountable..............hmm.........what to do Huh I dunno


Ukrainian

"join another Church affiliation?"

Just exactly what limitations is he referring to?  This doesn't sound like a distance limitation to me. 
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2011, 09:00:26 PM »

^The reason why I asked is because there is only one parish in the US that would fit this description, and I would be surprised if the priest responded this way.   Then again, he may be testing your committment.  

Fr, pm sent. 
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2011, 09:18:40 PM »

I believe the major limitation is that it takes 3 hours to drive to the mission and this distance keeps me from becoming part of the community.  New Mexico is sparsley populated and I kind of live in the "country". 

I can't get over this.  I suggest you directly ask the priest, "Good morning/evening Father, I've decided I want to convert to Orthodoxy and join this parish.  How do I go about doing this?"

Under which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is this parish?

Well, I did ask this question this morning and in summary the response I recieved was "that its not impossible to become Orthodox due to these limiting situations but most Orthodox that encounter these situations either join another church affiliation, fall away or continue on with their own prayer rule".  He didn't want to discourage me but these limitations don't exactly appear to be all that welcoming either.  He said only I can say if these limitations are insurmountable..............hmm.........what to do Huh I dunno


Ukrainian

"join another Church affiliation?"

Just exactly what limitations is he referring to?  This doesn't sound like a distance limitation to me. 
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2011, 10:47:57 PM »

And it is not an insurmountable problem.  Now when you work weekends, I assume that there are times when you get off during the week.  If this is the case, then I would say that going at least once a month would be good.   You need to at least have one sit down meeting with him.  Schedule a time--you give him openings in your schedule and he will let you know what coincides with his (when he is going to be in town, etc.).  Take it from there.  A priest naturally is going to be reserved if this will cause marital problems.  He will likely want to talk with your wife too (i.e. if she is not on board with becoming Orthodox, is she at least ok with your inquiry and catechumenate, etc.). 
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« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2011, 12:48:01 AM »

And it is not an insurmountable problem.  Now when you work weekends, I assume that there are times when you get off during the week.  If this is the case, then I would say that going at least once a month would be good.   You need to at least have one sit down meeting with him.  Schedule a time--you give him openings in your schedule and he will let you know what coincides with his (when he is going to be in town, etc.).  Take it from there.  A priest naturally is going to be reserved if this will cause marital problems.  He will likely want to talk with your wife too (i.e. if she is not on board with becoming Orthodox, is she at least ok with your inquiry and catechumenate, etc.). 

Fr, I replied back to your PM.  Thank you
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« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2011, 06:35:15 AM »

Dear Friend,
I was a convert, like you.  I would like only to say that in my experience, only those whom God wills, will be chrismated/baptised.  It may be that for some reason, God wills that you remain in your situation.  If it were God's will, that ALL became chrismated/Orthodox, surely He would provide for this.  But it does not seem to happen that way.  Please do not despair.  Salvation is surely NOT about church membership.  Our Lord is gracious to a fault and He looks only at the heart.

Love,
C.
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