Author Topic: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?  (Read 1048 times)

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Offline Taxi_06

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Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« on: July 08, 2011, 10:21:30 PM »
Hello, this is my first post. I have been raised Roman Catholic, but recently found out about Orthodox Christianity. Though I have been Catholic my entire life, and I am quite spiritual, I haven't been confirmed yet simply because I don't feel "at home" with the Catholic church. Since reading about the Orthodox faith, I have felt that it is the change I am looking for. I agree with more of the Orthodox beliefs than that of Catholicism, and I am also interested in the history of the church.

So those are my reasons for wanting to convert, and there are more, but I find it difficult to put into words. It's just a "feeling" that I would like to learn more, and a feeling that this is what I have been looking for. The real question I have is: Where do I begin? I don't have an Orthodox church anywhere within a 75+ mile radius, and I don't know anyone that is Orthodox. I have downloaded some prayers onto my Kindle, I have tried to read as much as I can about the practices of the church, and I have been generally searching for more and more information. In about a year, I will be going to college in a town with an Orthodox church, but is there any way I may be able to get started on my path to conversion?

Thanks for any help and God bless,
Nicole

Offline Andrew Crook

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 10:35:53 PM »
Welcome Nicole,

We'd be happy to answer any questions you have here.  When you do move to a town with an Orthodox church, I would definitley see a priest to talk to about this stuff also.  In the meantime, you can do what others have done (including myself).. just learn all that you can!  Use the internet, and make sure to visit Ancient Faith dot com among other websites. 
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity

Offline Maria

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 11:04:18 PM »
Hello, this is my first post. I have been raised Roman Catholic, but recently found out about Orthodox Christianity. Though I have been Catholic my entire life, and I am quite spiritual, I haven't been confirmed yet simply because I don't feel "at home" with the Catholic church. Since reading about the Orthodox faith, I have felt that it is the change I am looking for. I agree with more of the Orthodox beliefs than that of Catholicism, and I am also interested in the history of the church.

So those are my reasons for wanting to convert, and there are more, but I find it difficult to put into words. It's just a "feeling" that I would like to learn more, and a feeling that this is what I have been looking for. The real question I have is: Where do I begin? I don't have an Orthodox church anywhere within a 75+ mile radius, and I don't know anyone that is Orthodox. I have downloaded some prayers onto my Kindle, I have tried to read as much as I can about the practices of the church, and I have been generally searching for more and more information. In about a year, I will be going to college in a town with an Orthodox church, but is there any way I may be able to get started on my path to conversion?

Thanks for any help and God bless,
Nicole

Welcome to OC.net and to Orthodoxy.

It might be a good idea to get in contact with the pastor of the Orthodox Church at your college town.

He can suggest certain books to read, and when you visit the college campus, you can also visit him.

He also might be able to help you through emails and let you know of new developments, visiting speakers, or perhaps a new mission or a planned mission church in your area.

I will pray for you.

In Christ,
Maria
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 11:05:59 PM by Maria »
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Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμας

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 12:26:01 AM »
Hello, this is my first post. I have been raised Roman Catholic, but recently found out about Orthodox Christianity. Though I have been Catholic my entire life, and I am quite spiritual, I haven't been confirmed yet simply because I don't feel "at home" with the Catholic church. Since reading about the Orthodox faith, I have felt that it is the change I am looking for. I agree with more of the Orthodox beliefs than that of Catholicism, and I am also interested in the history of the church.

So those are my reasons for wanting to convert, and there are more, but I find it difficult to put into words. It's just a "feeling" that I would like to learn more, and a feeling that this is what I have been looking for. The real question I have is: Where do I begin? I don't have an Orthodox church anywhere within a 75+ mile radius, and I don't know anyone that is Orthodox. I have downloaded some prayers onto my Kindle, I have tried to read as much as I can about the practices of the church, and I have been generally searching for more and more information. In about a year, I will be going to college in a town with an Orthodox church, but is there any way I may be able to get started on my path to conversion?

Thanks for any help and God bless,
Nicole

Welcome to OC.net and to Orthodoxy.

It might be a good idea to get in contact with the pastor of the Orthodox Church at your college town.

He can suggest certain books to read, and when you visit the college campus, you can also visit him.

He also might be able to help you through emails and let you know of new developments, visiting speakers, or perhaps a new mission or a planned mission church in your area.

I will pray for you.

In Christ,
Maria

that is what i have been doing, and it has been really helpful for me, and im sure it would be for you as well. Even if it just email conversation, it helps

Offline wayseer

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 03:14:30 AM »
Hi Nicole and welcome.  I am only new here myself.

I was in a similar situation and live 300 kilometers from the nearest Orthodox Church.

Books are a good start and I would recommend anything by Kallistos Ware.  I have just latched onto another book which is interesting - Eastern Orthodoxy Through Western Eyes by Donald Fairbairn a 2002 production. 

And as others have advised, I would endeavour to make contact with an Orthodox priest.

May God light you path.
Not all those who wander are lost.

Offline JR

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 04:01:33 AM »
Hi Nicole

Welcome to OC and to Orthodoxy,

I am also RC withe same thoughts as yourself.

the only difference for me is that we have orthodox churches on every street corner here, but i don't speak the language lol.

anyway this is a great place to learn, any questions, then just ask. there is always someone with an answer.

God bless

Hello, this is my first post. I have been raised Roman Catholic, but recently found out about Orthodox Christianity. Though I have been Catholic my entire life, and I am quite spiritual, I haven't been confirmed yet simply because I don't feel "at home" with the Catholic church. Since reading about the Orthodox faith, I have felt that it is the change I am looking for. I agree with more of the Orthodox beliefs than that of Catholicism, and I am also interested in the history of the church.

So those are my reasons for wanting to convert, and there are more, but I find it difficult to put into words. It's just a "feeling" that I would like to learn more, and a feeling that this is what I have been looking for. The real question I have is: Where do I begin? I don't have an Orthodox church anywhere within a 75+ mile radius, and I don't know anyone that is Orthodox. I have downloaded some prayers onto my Kindle, I have tried to read as much as I can about the practices of the church, and I have been generally searching for more and more information. In about a year, I will be going to college in a town with an Orthodox church, but is there any way I may be able to get started on my path to conversion?

Thanks for any help and God bless,
Nicole
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them".

Mother Teresa

Offline bogdan

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 10:52:01 AM »
Welcome!

I would also recommend making contact with the church in your future college town. If you can foster a relationship with the priest now, then you will have a leg up when you actually get there in person. (Be advised that some priests do not respond to email in a timely fashion, and that caused me some difficulty when I converted. You may get better mileage with a phone call.)

Offline Taxi_06

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 06:10:57 PM »
Thanks for all of your helpful thoughts and suggestions! I really appreciate it.  :)

Offline Agabus

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2011, 07:10:51 PM »
After getting in contact with the priest and getting his take on the situation, just spend the year getting familiar with and praying Orthodox prayers. Read a few books, but not too many. Look on the Internet, but not too hard. Spend more time with the Psalter than you do worrying if you are praying it right. Those sorts of things will follow with regular catechesis.

Keep your eyes on Christ.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Claire

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 03:16:37 PM »
HI!
I also was raised in the RCC and while I did love the church as a child once I started going to the orthodox church I was hooked as they say. There is something wonderful about knowing that nothing has changed in the church for 2,000 years. My grandmother was always horrified by the loss of latin in the church. I wonder what she would say about the alter girls?

I like reading the lives of the Saints, there is a series that has each day of the months Saints. They are actually very uplifting/ sad/educational/ better than any novel! I also like history books as well. Your local library may have some great books, mine did!

When I met with my Priest he told me to go slowly and really learn not just skim. So in addition to reading maybe once a month you could go on weekend trip, shopping and church. I have no sense of direction or size/time so I am not sure how far 75 miles is. If you have any close friends maybe they would be willing to go with you.

No matter what remember that Christ loves you and as long as you are honest with both yourself and him everything works out somehow.
Claire

Offline GTAsoldier

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 05:43:43 PM »
Peace Taxi,

I'm in the same boat as you. I too was raised Catholic but I have been drawn to Orthodoxy for nearly 2-3 months now. I mainly came across it when I discovered the doctrines of theosis and panentheism via non-Orthodox sources. I was surprised that the Orthodox teach more on theosis and other similar doctrines than my current church or any other church in Christendom. It has been an interesting journey so far and I'd only wish I discovered it much much earlier.

Anyways, like you I seek to convert to Orthodoxy sometime in the future (hopefully my Catholic parents and other members of my family who are for the most part, non-Catholic Christians can approve since they dont know much about the Orthodox Faith). As for where to start, I suggest reading the Orthodox Study Bible to get a good understanding on how Orthodox Christians interpret scripture. My copy is coming in the mail this week and I have read most of a sample of it on my Kindle. It's worth a shot. Another good place to start is by reading Fr. Hopko's "Orthodox Faith" online. Here's the link: http://oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp

May God bless you and grant you and me many years,

- GTA
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 05:48:41 PM by GTAsoldier »
God be merciful to us sinners.

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No longer posting on this forum. Thanks to all the helpful people who inspired me. God bless.

Offline Seraphim Rose

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 07:17:24 PM »
A simple piece of advice: If you keep attending Catholic Mass, close your mouth at the filioque. So you should say it like this:

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father."

(Leave out "and the son".)

The filioque was the first big heresy of the Roman church. About 5 years ago, I started praying (as a Catholic) for the reunification of the East and West, and I stopped saying the filioque. Eventually I decided to stop waiting for that reunification, and pursue it in my own soul.

Start crossing yourself in the Orthodox way too. Forehead, all the way to your abdomen, right shoulder, left shoulder. Index finger, middle finger, thumb extended together; pinky and ring finger clutched to the palm. And do it more slowly and reverently than the flippant way I used to do it.

Obviously, I am speaking from personal experience. But renouncing heresy is renouncing heresy.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 07:20:42 PM by Seraphim Rose »
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Offline GTAsoldier

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 09:12:00 PM »
A simple piece of advice: If you keep attending Catholic Mass, close your mouth at the filioque. So you should say it like this:

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father."

(Leave out "and the son".)

Start crossing yourself in the Orthodox way too. Forehead, all the way to your abdomen, right shoulder, left shoulder. Index finger, middle finger, thumb extended together; pinky and ring finger clutched to the palm. And do it more slowly and reverently than the flippant way I used to do it.

Good point. I've been omitting the filioque at Mass in recent time and started to cross myself in the Orthodox fashion on a regular basis.
God be merciful to us sinners.

Quote from: IoanC
the best way of conveying God's love to people is through your own presence and deeds.
No longer posting on this forum. Thanks to all the helpful people who inspired me. God bless.

Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Wanting to convert, but where do I begin?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2011, 10:59:05 PM »
It could be worse.  When I converted back in the 90s the nearest church was over 1600 miles away. Basically I could only afford to go to Church once a year.  Since then I've been in places where it's 100 miles to church…and I went as much as my gas budget would allow, which was pretty regular.  So…count your blessings.  :)