Author Topic: Conversion Issues  (Read 442 times)

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Offline AgiosOTheos

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Conversion Issues
« on: June 08, 2019, 12:55:04 PM »
Hello all, this is my first post on this forum so I apologize if I neglect to follow any rules in the making of this post.

I have spent the last 8 months coming to the realization that the Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ and am now at a crossroads. I am a cradle Roman Catholic and, while I have every desire to convert to Orthodoxy, I am in college and financially dependent on my parents. I expressed my wishes to convert to Orthodoxy and have received a less than desirable response. While they are not opposed to my conversion, they are threatening to stop paying for my college education if I do not wait to begin catechesis until after I have received my college degree. I am well aware this is something I will need to discuss with a priest before I decide to do anything. I'm looking to see if someone here has had to deal with a similar situation and has any wisdom to provide in this predicament. Please respond with anything you think would be helpful, thank you!

Online Luke

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 01:04:21 PM »
Welcome to our forum.  I have not been in your situation, but I would say keep good relations with your parents.  Would you be able to learn about the Orthodox Church without being in an official catechesis? Perhaps you could visit services and meet with a priest?

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 01:30:50 PM »
Welcome.  :)
I will pray.  It sounds like a tough spot.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 03:15:27 PM »
Been there.  Get a job and soldier on.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 03:30:49 PM »
Get a job.
Catechesis? DIY for now and then join later.
For what? Arresting me for what? I'm not allowed to stand up for myself? I thought this was America! Huh? Isn't this America? I'm sorry, I thought this was America.

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 03:37:24 PM »
What do you hope to find in Orthodoxy that cannot be found in the Catholic church?
You say you are a cradle. Why throw that away?
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus fortis, Sanctus immortalis, miserere nobis.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 03:47:58 PM »
What do you hope to find in Orthodoxy that cannot be found in the Catholic church?
You say you are a cradle. Why throw that away?
Lepanto, please review the Rules regarding interacting here as a non-Orthodox poster, and refrain from dissuading inquirers, particularly in the Convert Issues section.  It is often a rocky road, and others trying to sway the inquirer to this or that "side" is an unnecessary burden.  If you are concerned for them, prayer is always a viable course of action.  Thanks.  --Ainnir
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 03:48:32 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Online platypus

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 05:33:51 PM »
I was in your shoes not all that long ago. I decided to convert in my senior year of highschool, but knew my Roman Catholic family would be pretty devastated. I knew that as long as I remained their dependent child, as opposed to their adult son, then I owed them my obedience. So I stopped relying on them financially after graduation.

Here's a few alternatives to having your parents fund your education:
- Get a job, and go to school part time. There is no rush. Also, you can often knock out prerequisite classes at a community college for cheaper.
- Join the military. You'll get the GI bill, and if you're smart you can pick a job that's transferrable to the civilian world. This is what I did.
- Skip it entirely, and learn a trade. This is an especially good financial idea if you're currently majoring in something with little or no economic value. Many of my enlisted peers have degrees in things like business or psychology, and now they work side by side with highschool dropouts and ex-cons while they slowly pay off their student loan debt. They could've learned a trade and started making good money by the time they would have graduated college.

For someone reason there is a social stigma amongst many in the middle class against paying for your own college, enlisting, or working a blue collar job, which can make these options seem frightening. But then you meet other people who did the same thing you did and it starts to seem pretty normal.

Best of luck, and you'll be in my prayers.

"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline AgiosOTheos

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 03:20:09 PM »
What do you hope to find in Orthodoxy that cannot be found in the Catholic church?
You say you are a cradle. Why throw that away?

Deeper and more meaningful spiritual practice, correct theology and continuity with the Church Fathers. The alternatives (SSPX and Sedevacantism are the only remotely respectable alternatives to V2 Modernism, in my opinion) are not sustainable and are intellectually dishonest in the constant mental gymnastics they commit. Everything about Orthodoxy is rich and established in the teachings of the Church Fathers, not invented and then challenged by their own constituents (like every major theological innovation by the Roman Catholic Church [i.e Papal Infallibility, Immaculate Conception, etc.]).

Among other reasons, that is why I cannot, in good conscience, remain a Roman Catholic.

Offline Zephyr7

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 03:40:00 PM »
Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Don't be upset or discouraged! Obstacles are sometimes put in our way for us to better understand ourselves and get closer to God.

If you want to be an Orthodox, there are only three things you should do:

1) find a priest - and officially initiate your conversion process
2) pray a lot. Start a praying routine (morning and evening prayers)
3) attend liturgy and services

Getting a job will make you financially independent from your parents - but you want them to accept your ways, not to get separated from them!
The problem will still remain - I know it so well as my father has never accepted the fact that I joined the Orthodox church.

But if you have to sacrifice something to God (your money, your youth, education, career) - God will reward you! Just try and see.

In the past, some Saints were persecuted, tortured and killed for becoming followers of Christ.

Taking a student loan or working part-time in McDonalds is nothing compared to what they had to endure!

So, cheer up and go, find the priest!



Offline AgiosOTheos

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 03:47:07 PM »
Welcome to our forum.  I have not been in your situation, but I would say keep good relations with your parents.  Would you be able to learn about the Orthodox Church without being in an official catechesis? Perhaps you could visit services and meet with a priest?

Welcome.  :)
I will pray.  It sounds like a tough spot.

I was in your shoes not all that long ago. I decided to convert in my senior year of highschool, but knew my Roman Catholic family would be pretty devastated. I knew that as long as I remained their dependent child, as opposed to their adult son, then I owed them my obedience. So I stopped relying on them financially after graduation.

Here's a few alternatives to having your parents fund your education:
- Get a job, and go to school part time. There is no rush. Also, you can often knock out prerequisite classes at a community college for cheaper.
- Join the military. You'll get the GI bill, and if you're smart you can pick a job that's transferrable to the civilian world. This is what I did.
- Skip it entirely, and learn a trade. This is an especially good financial idea if you're currently majoring in something with little or no economic value. Many of my enlisted peers have degrees in things like business or psychology, and now they work side by side with highschool dropouts and ex-cons while they slowly pay off their student loan debt. They could've learned a trade and started making good money by the time they would have graduated college.

For someone reason there is a social stigma amongst many in the middle class against paying for your own college, enlisting, or working a blue collar job, which can make these options seem frightening. But then you meet other people who did the same thing you did and it starts to seem pretty normal.

Best of luck, and you'll be in my prayers.

Get a job.
Catechesis? DIY for now and then join later.

Been there.  Get a job and soldier on.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Don't be upset or discouraged! Obstacles are sometimes put in our way for us to better understand ourselves and get closer to God.

If you want to be an Orthodox, there are only three things you should do:

1) find a priest - and officially initiate your conversion process
2) pray a lot. Start a praying routine (morning and evening prayers)
3) attend liturgy and services

Getting a job will make you financially independent from your parents - but you want them to accept your ways, not to get separated from them!
The problem will still remain - I know it so well as my father has never accepted the fact that I joined the Orthodox church.

But if you have to sacrifice something to God (your money, your youth, education, career) - God will reward you! Just try and see.

In the past, some Saints were persecuted, tortured and killed for becoming followers of Christ.

Taking a student loan or working part-time in McDonalds is nothing compared to what they had to endure!

So, cheer up and go, find the priest!




Thank you all for the insight. I'll provide a little bit more information for those of you still wishing to provide the wisdom you have gathered over the years.

I am currently a Junior in College (finished Freshman year in Highschool and only had to pay for Sophomore year last year), so changing majors or dropping College altogether is not an option. I'm currently studying Chemical Engineering, something with high demand and ever increasing economic prospect. I currently have a job as a USSF Grade 7 Soccer Referee and make decent money but it's not enough, sadly, to pay for all of college so I'm using that money to pay off student loan debt while my parents pay the difference. Military is out of the question, I have asthma and other health issues that prevent me from joining. I suppose I could take up a second job but I think I can wait, seeing as I've already waited this long. Thankfully my parents aren't barring me from attending the Divine Services, they just don't want me starting catechesis. Prior to my realization that Orthodoxy is True, I had spent a year and a half attending a Uniate Parish. Due to that, I am familiar with most points of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality.

For those of you praying for me, please feel free to pray for me by name: Trevor.

Offline CarolS

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 04:26:37 PM »
I hope you can be patient.  There are instances in the lives of some saints who had to wait a period of time because the parents would not give their blessing before undertaking something they wanted very much such as joining a monastery.

Conversely, I have known people who took a major step in their life, such as marriage without the parents blessing, and it can cause years worth of bitterness. Parents usually have in their minds an imagined course that they think their children will take, so rejecting that, whether career, marital state, or religion can be a big disappointment. Some parents will view that as ungratefulness and a rejection of their love and care for you.

While you are dependent on them, you must respect some of their choices for you.  In the mean time, there is no limit to what you can do on your own time in private, such as begin to follow a simple prayer rule, and reading of Orthodox texts.  Many church services also can be found online, both texts and video.

When the time comes and you can demonstrate that you are able to manage your own life independently as an adult, if they are reasonable people it should go OK for you to convert. Just be careful not to preach at them as if know what is right and their way is wrong. Be humble and not act like a know-it-all when you are just a baby in the Faith.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 04:27:58 PM by CarolS »
Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 05:35:19 PM »
Welcome to our forum.  I have not been in your situation, but I would say keep good relations with your parents.  Would you be able to learn about the Orthodox Church without being in an official catechesis? Perhaps you could visit services and meet with a priest?

Welcome.  :)
I will pray.  It sounds like a tough spot.

I was in your shoes not all that long ago. I decided to convert in my senior year of highschool, but knew my Roman Catholic family would be pretty devastated. I knew that as long as I remained their dependent child, as opposed to their adult son, then I owed them my obedience. So I stopped relying on them financially after graduation.

Here's a few alternatives to having your parents fund your education:
- Get a job, and go to school part time. There is no rush. Also, you can often knock out prerequisite classes at a community college for cheaper.
- Join the military. You'll get the GI bill, and if you're smart you can pick a job that's transferrable to the civilian world. This is what I did.
- Skip it entirely, and learn a trade. This is an especially good financial idea if you're currently majoring in something with little or no economic value. Many of my enlisted peers have degrees in things like business or psychology, and now they work side by side with highschool dropouts and ex-cons while they slowly pay off their student loan debt. They could've learned a trade and started making good money by the time they would have graduated college.

For someone reason there is a social stigma amongst many in the middle class against paying for your own college, enlisting, or working a blue collar job, which can make these options seem frightening. But then you meet other people who did the same thing you did and it starts to seem pretty normal.

Best of luck, and you'll be in my prayers.

Get a job.
Catechesis? DIY for now and then join later.

Been there.  Get a job and soldier on.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Don't be upset or discouraged! Obstacles are sometimes put in our way for us to better understand ourselves and get closer to God.

If you want to be an Orthodox, there are only three things you should do:

1) find a priest - and officially initiate your conversion process
2) pray a lot. Start a praying routine (morning and evening prayers)
3) attend liturgy and services

Getting a job will make you financially independent from your parents - but you want them to accept your ways, not to get separated from them!
The problem will still remain - I know it so well as my father has never accepted the fact that I joined the Orthodox church.

But if you have to sacrifice something to God (your money, your youth, education, career) - God will reward you! Just try and see.

In the past, some Saints were persecuted, tortured and killed for becoming followers of Christ.

Taking a student loan or working part-time in McDonalds is nothing compared to what they had to endure!

So, cheer up and go, find the priest!




Thank you all for the insight. I'll provide a little bit more information for those of you still wishing to provide the wisdom you have gathered over the years.

I am currently a Junior in College (finished Freshman year in Highschool and only had to pay for Sophomore year last year), so changing majors or dropping College altogether is not an option. I'm currently studying Chemical Engineering, something with high demand and ever increasing economic prospect. I currently have a job as a USSF Grade 7 Soccer Referee and make decent money but it's not enough, sadly, to pay for all of college so I'm using that money to pay off student loan debt while my parents pay the difference. Military is out of the question, I have asthma and other health issues that prevent me from joining. I suppose I could take up a second job but I think I can wait, seeing as I've already waited this long. Thankfully my parents aren't barring me from attending the Divine Services, they just don't want me starting catechesis. Prior to my realization that Orthodoxy is True, I had spent a year and a half attending a Uniate Parish. Due to that, I am familiar with most points of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality.

For those of you praying for me, please feel free to pray for me by name: Trevor.

I once lived in a similar situation and wound up waiting. Before I became Orthodox, I reconverted to Catholicism from Methodism. But I wanted to return to Catholicism when I was about 14 years old, the age when a lot of people begin to start thinking for themselves. The reason for leaving Catholicism to begin with was simply because I started living with my father (around age 11), who since my parents' divorce, became a Methodist pastor. When I told my father and stepmother that my intentions for Catholicism remained despite years of argument and threats of being kicked out of the house (I was now 16), they caved somewhat and accepted my intentions, but dictated that I would have to remain Methodist and attend Methodist services until I graduated high school and moved out. I did just that, only to eventually convert from Catholicism to Orthodoxy at the age of 22. You're circumstances are unfortunate. But as someone who has been through something similar, I think you are making the right call to just wait until you finish your degree. That way, the only significant barrier will getting them to accept your conversion, although from what it sounds like, they already kind of have, but are imposing a time table on you as a last measure to make sure you really think it through. If anything, it sounds like your parents really care deeply for you.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 10:50:00 PM »
Welcome, Agios.  8)

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2019, 08:13:54 PM »
Hello all, this is my first post on this forum so I apologize if I neglect to follow any rules in the making of this post.

I have spent the last 8 months coming to the realization that the Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ and am now at a crossroads. I am a cradle Roman Catholic and, while I have every desire to convert to Orthodoxy, I am in college and financially dependent on my parents. I expressed my wishes to convert to Orthodoxy and have received a less than desirable response. While they are not opposed to my conversion, they are threatening to stop paying for my college education if I do not wait to begin catechesis until after I have received my college degree. I am well aware this is something I will need to discuss with a priest before I decide to do anything. I'm looking to see if someone here has had to deal with a similar situation and has any wisdom to provide in this predicament. Please respond with anything you think would be helpful, thank you!
Yes, twice. First with my parents 25 years ago when I was in college and leaving the Roman church for protestantism. Then 25 years later with many loved ones when I was leaving protestantism for the Orthodox Church. I could write you a book, but that won't solve anything for you at this point. So just two small pieces of advice I hope can be helpful.

First, just because they're not Orthodox does not mean they are not your parents. They still love you and want what is best for you. They may not understand all that it is in your heart, but often times parents are the last to do so. This may be because of the fact they are concerned about their child's external needs (in this case college/career) and may not immediately assess their child's spiritual desires (in this case Orthodoxy.) As they will always be your parents, follow the Lord's commands on how to treat and love your mother and father.

Second, I believe Orthodoxy is of the heart first before it can be anything else. It sounds as though you have Orthodoxy being firmly planted internally. The external expression will come in time. You have shared your desires with your parents and they know what you believe. Belaboring the point can only cause more issues than are necessary at this point. Even as Mary and Joseph had to address Christ when they found Him in the temple, Mary pondered all that she was learning of her Son in her heart. As you ponder Orthodoxy in your heart, your parents will also come to ponder in their hearts all they continue to learn about you.

I will pray for you.
"While we fight about words, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulty in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ." - Hilary of Poitiers (367)

Offline Rubricnigel

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Re: Conversion Issues
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2019, 09:38:53 PM »
Hello all, this is my first post on this forum so I apologize if I neglect to follow any rules in the making of this post.

I have spent the last 8 months coming to the realization that the Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ and am now at a crossroads. I am a cradle Roman Catholic and, while I have every desire to convert to Orthodoxy, I am in college and financially dependent on my parents. I expressed my wishes to convert to Orthodoxy and have received a less than desirable response. While they are not opposed to my conversion, they are threatening to stop paying for my college education if I do not wait to begin catechesis until after I have received my college degree. I am well aware this is something I will need to discuss with a priest before I decide to do anything. I'm looking to see if someone here has had to deal with a similar situation and has any wisdom to provide in this predicament. Please respond with anything you think would be helpful, thank you!

They are your parents, who wish and want the best for you. Thats why they are paying you to further your education (not all parents do that, be very grateful). You dont say if you live at home or not, so ill assume you are. Under your parents house, with them supporting you i wouldn't push the issue so hard as to create problems that affect life, as they arent your enemy.
Sit down and talk to them, respect them. Bring them to divine liturgy,  let them meet your fellow orthodox. Get them a book, watch some youtube shows (orthodox bootcamp is good) podcasts, alot of info out there to help.

Your options are to teach them everything so they make an informed decision, force their hand to see if they will not support you, or support yourself and go it alone.

Hello, nice to meet you btw. Ill pray for you. God bless
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 09:40:28 PM by Rubricnigel »