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Author Topic: Catechumen Back on Track  (Read 916 times) Average Rating: 0
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ATX
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« on: October 21, 2012, 09:17:16 PM »

Hello,

It's been a while since I've posted.  I was made a catechumen in early 2010, but my catechesis was put on hold after I moved to Germany a year later.  I couldn't fine an English speaking priest or parish to attend and everything ground to a halt - apart from lots of reading and longing.  I'm happy to report that after a move back to the States, that I'm working with a priest and am back on the path toward chrismation - God willing.  I'm attending a small mission parish in Fayetteville, NC.  My family is not Orthodox, but Mormon.  This is challenging and I have baggage resulting from being raised in and leaving that church behind after the kids were born.  I am prone to anger and despair, from time to time.  I pray for the Lord's mercy that, as I move forward in my catechumenate, I may be a source of peace at home.  

Lord have mercy.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 09:18:06 PM by ATX » Logged
CatherineBrigid
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 09:31:48 PM »

praying for you!!! what a journey you've had so far!
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 12:06:07 AM »

Glad to hear you are back in the states! Good luck as you continue your catechumenate.

Subdeacon Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 11:45:47 AM »

Welcome back and as a convert from Mormonism I understand the baggage and I will prayer for you.

Lord have mercy on you.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 08:19:27 PM »

You're in my prayers.
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 08:25:23 PM »

Yeah!  Smiley
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ATX
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 10:16:57 AM »

I attended my first Divine Liturgy in nearly two years yesterday.  I have attended Vespers every Saturday for the past 3 weeks, but have not gone to DL due to a time conflict with my family's Mormon church meetings.  My kids tend to give their mom a really bad time about going to church if I'm not there to help mom get them to church.  They're at that age where sitting there listening to someone drone on about some religious topic in a classroom setting is oh so boring.  They'll probably find 1.5-2.0 hrs of chanting to be equally tedious.  Do any of you have kids in the 11-14 yrs old range who resist going to DL?  I think my guys would like holding candles and following the priest around, maybe at that age (especially boys) it's a simple matter of giving them something to DO during the time we are supposed to be worshipping God.  Anyway, yesterday I couldn't take being away from DL anymore and as lovingly as I could I told my wife that I was going.  She was ok with it, just stressed that the boys would give her trouble about going to church with her.  Fortunately, I have some leverage as both of them want something for Christmas really, really, really badly.  Did I mention they want this thing really badly?  They've been researching online like excellent consumers every day after school, that's how badly they want it.  I don't like using such things as leverage, but it worked.  I made cooperating with mom without complaint every Sunday morning from this point forward a condition of getting what they're asking for.  Yesterday, it worked like a charm and I was able to leave for DL with a satisfied spouse.  It's hard enough to participate in the worship of Christ our God without my family my side.  Knowing my wife is upset about it is so much harder.  At least yesterday that part of it was mitigated. 

 
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mabsoota
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 01:47:24 PM »

could u take them with u to vespers so they can learn a bit about how the church is? maybe even arrive a little late so they are not bored? then give them the choice of where to go on a sunday.
this may cause a bit of friction at home, but i think that it's an issue that will have to be faced sooner or later.
maybe you could come to some sort of compromise like alternate which meetings you attend alternate weeks?
may God give u patience and very much courage.
remember to show love and tolerance and respect in all your dealings and your preaching will be done without words.
then, later when the family's heart are softer, you can preach with words too.
our prayers are with you, brother.
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 12:21:36 AM »

One of the keys for my grandsons to be activated in the Church was their ability to serve on the altar with me (I am a Subdeacon). One of my Grandson has ADHD, Bipolar disease, and Aspergers but really enjoys going on the Altar where he can focus on worship> he looks forward to going to Church and when we arrive late it is difficult for him to stay in Church. The other grandsons all enjoy being on the latar and being part of the action.

Thomas
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 07:14:44 PM »

I pray the one day my family will follow me into the Church.  I would be so happy to see my my sons serving at the altar during Divine Liturgy!  One step at a time.  I hope to take my family to Vespers soon. Alternating weeks (Vespers/LDS Sunday services with the family one week and Divine Liturgy the next week) is working out great so far.  The priest of our parish is fine with this and agrees that I have to be sensitive to my family's desire for me to be at church with them.  

I met with Fr. Sam (our priest) over dinner last week and we had a long conversation about my journey.  I also emailed him a list of all of the books and articles about Orthodoxy I've read and he made some additional suggestions.  He told me after Vespers on Saturday that as far as he's concerned, I'm ready to be chrismated.  All he needs to do is speak with my wife first.  I really appreciate his sensitivity to my family situation.  He won't chrismate me unless he feels it won't ruin our marriage.  I don't feel ready, though.  Hearing that kind of left me without words.  I don't feel ready, not by a long shot.  I'm not a very good catechumen.  I've been a catechumen for nearly three years, but I'm a terrible faster.  I'm a great reader of books.  In other words, I'm great at thinking about Orthodoxy but not living in an Orthodox manner.  Honestly, I don't feel like I've done much of anything to prepare for illumination besides go to Divine Liturgy when I can and read a lot of books.  I plan to devote the Nativity Fast to truly, for the first time, fasting in an Orthodox manner.  It's hard since I don't really know how to shop inexpensively for fasting meals.  My boys will want their standard meat-based American fare.  My wife's on board with the fasting diet, so that will make it easier.  She welcomes a meatless, vegan or vegetarian diet for health's sake.  It will be interesting to see how we can make this work.  Please pray for me as I begin the fast so that I may do so faithfully and with an Orthodox mind.  God willing, I will be chrismated in the near future.  
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 07:26:08 PM by ATX » Logged
biro
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 07:21:59 PM »

Lord have mercy.

I am sorry you have had these difficulties and I pray it will all come out worthwhile.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 11:13:29 AM »

Your priest sounds wonderful. If you don't feel ready, he won't chrismate you, but talk to him about why you don't feel ready to be chrismated and get his thoughts on that, too. As far as fasting is concerned, I know that I had a much easier time of doing it consistently once I was able to commune. Maybe it's not the best reason, but knowing that keeping the fast means communion in a week is a short-term enough goal for me to hold on to. Being able to participate fully has made a huge impact on being able to live differently, although I still have a long way to go!

I'm glad that you found a way to attend services that works for your family, and having a spouse that's supportive of fasting will make a huge difference. Awesome priest, awesome family. I'm praying for you. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 11:46:20 AM »

I I plan to devote the Nativity Fast to truly, for the first time, fasting in an Orthodox manner.  It's hard since I don't really know how to shop inexpensively for fasting meals.  My boys will want their standard meat-based American fare.  My wife's on board with the fasting diet, so that will make it easier.  She welcomes a meatless, vegan or vegetarian diet for health's sake.  It will be interesting to see how we can make this work.  Please pray for me as I begin the fast so that I may do so faithfully and with an Orthodox mind.  God willing, I will be chrismated in the near future.  

I wouldn't worry too much about the expense of fasting meals. I find that our grocery bill actually goes down during fasting periods - beans and rice are cheap and there are entire aisles of the store that you can avoid during the fast.
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