IC XC NIKA
Okay, I will try to make it short and sweet. I am Shawn, been on this planet almost 19 years (I am 18, not to confuss anyone). I was born into a Protestant family, though I really didn't practice the form of Protestantism I was born into, that being Methodism, until I was about 12. In the 7th grade, I saw, in my Intro to Foreign Language class a film on St. Michael's Monastery. It is I believe a Benedictine monastery, in France. I found the life the monks lived very interesting, and so started watching EWTN and TBN. As I continued watching EWTN, I was convinced that the Catholic faith was the fullness of faith, and so I continued to practice it privately. I started to read the life of Francis of Assisi (who I still look up at today), and was at loss of words over his life. However, before reading his life, I stopped by a Catholic church near my house, after a summer bike ride, to refresh myself with some water. I eventually met up with the pastor of that church, a man by the name of Fr. Jerome Fasano. He gave me a few books, to name just a few, the Catechism of the Catholic church and Jesus our Eucharistic love. At any rate, age 15, my parents allowed me to be confirmed into the Catholic church. At this time, also, I was considering, after reading Francis's life, to become a Franciscan myself, of a group of friars, called the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. I liked how the friars wore beards, helped the poor, and didn't go around in civilian clothing. So, to continue my Catholic journey, I started to read more on Francis, and some Catholic mystics. These being all Carmelites, John of the Cross (all his works), Teresa of Avilia, as well as the Little Flower, Therese of Lisuexe (sp?), as well as the life of Padre Pio (okay, a Franciscan). However, as I continued to read, these saints were apart of a much different Catholic church than I was. That's right, the dreaded development of doctrine was just tearing the Catholic church apart. So, I started to look for something much more stable. My answer came when Pope John Paul II went to the Ukraine. This was my introduction to the Eastern Rite Catholics, and I was blown away (at this time, I was aware of the Orthodox). So, one day a few friends and myself were passing down Braddock Rd. and we see this domed church, by the name of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, at the time, I was hoping it was Eastern Rite. To my displeasure, it wasn't. However, EWTN started to run a show called, "Light of the East" on the Eastern Rite Catholics, though mostly, Byzantine Rite. I really enjoyed the show (and I must say, I still do watch it), and started to look up some of the Church Fathers writings on the internet, as well as contemporary Orthodox and Eastern Rite saints. I came to the conclusion that the Catholic church wasn't holding the Faith of the early Fathers. I mean, all the pope has to do is say something, define it as infallible, and you have to follow it. So, the pope could say that Jesus was just a man, or whatever, and if he defined it as infallible, you have to follow it. So, at that time, I really knew that this wasn't the Church that Jesus established. So, I believe on St. Paddy's day, 2003, I started attending St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church (I say St. Paddy's, because much of the blood that pumps through these veins is Irish), and was Baptized, and Chrismed on my 18th birthday, 6. Dec. 2003.
Penelope, my view on Chalcedon. To make it short and simple, I don't believe it is an Ecumenical Council. I have my reasons, but I look up to many Eastern Orthodox saints, as well as lay people in general, and since most on this site are Eastern Orthodox, I wish not to open old wounds.
With all love and peace.
coptic orthodox boy
p.s. Sorry, haha, it is a bit longer then I had planned.