There’s a New Catholic on the Block

Last week was a big week in the Squirrel world—Mr. S became Catholic!  After years of thinking and months of planning, this was such a huge evening for us.

vigil

Mr. S was baptized and raised as a Christian, but kind of hopped around churches growing up. As an adult, he had a strong relationship with God, but he wanted a faith community as well. Being Catholic has always been a huge part of my life. After we had been dating for a while, Mr. S started going to church with me on Sundays. I never put any pressure on Mr. S to convert. Faith is such a personal thing and I would never ask someone to do that for me. I just wanted to offer my support as Mr. S explored his own spiritual journey.

As time went by, Mr. S slowly started becoming more invested in the Catholic church. I think it was a combination of him getting comfortable since he was attending church regularly, but also our discussions about our future together. He began to paint the picture of us getting married in a Catholic church, tucking our children in after reading from the colorful children’s bible and going as a family to church together.

One day it just felt right.

Mr. S contacted the religious education office and so began nine months of Catholic 101 (which is really called RCIA—Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Together we went to weekly meetings where Mr. S learned about the Catholic Church and I supported him as his sponsor. Like many of you, we attended a Pre-Cana retreat. This was a nice retreat, but it didn’t hold a candle to the weekly RCIA meetings. Every week after the meeting we would have a Panera lunch date to decompress and discuss how the week’s lesson was relevant to our lives. It was so refreshing to have that weekly reminder of the big picture. It is far too easy to get caught up in the wedding and forget the marriage.

FINALLY, the Easter Vigil rolled around and Mr. S had his big night. First he professed his faith in front of the community. Since he was previously baptized as a Christian, he didn’t need to be re-baptized as a Catholic. (Minor letdown…I would have loved to see him take a dive in that baptismal font).

He then got confirmed…this was my favorite part. What is supposed to happen is:

The priest

1. First says Mr. S’s saint name

2. Offers a blessing

3. Makes a cross on Mr. S’s forehead with oil

After this is completed, Mr. S is supposed to say, “Amen.”

Well, as soon as the priest said Mr. S’s saint name, the eager Mr. S loudly proclaimed, “Amen!” (without waiting for the blessing or the oil). I looked a the priest, wondering what he would do…

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We both think it is a little funny, and the good priest starts to bless him anyway.

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At this point, I was cracking up. Looking at the pictures, both the priest and deacon are also pretty amused. Mr. S is oblivious…hah shocker. I giggled all the way back to the pew and it was only then that I could tell Mr. S about his very minor faux pas.

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I’m just glad my sister was sitting at the perfect angle and could capture the entire progression of giggles.

Mr. S ended the night by getting his First Communion. Overall it was an incredible evening. It was pretty exhausting both emotionally and physically, as Mr. S had all of these sacraments jammed into one four hour service. Yikes! (It ended at midnight.)

I am so proud of Mr. S for taking this step. Although I didn’t ask, he did it not only for himself, but also for me and for our future. At our wedding, one of the first things we will do as a married couple is receive communion together. I know this blog is all about weddings, but the Easter Vigil made me so excited for our marriage. This journey has provided us with such a solid foundation which we can rely on during the bumpy times of our marriage.

How has faith played a role in your wedding planning? Has anyone else converted during the engagement?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Squirrel

Location:
Tampa, FL
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Guest
    Ringarosie, Guest @ 6:13 am

    congratulations on your fiancé s conversion, its good to see people making a choice according to their convictions.

    And as a married girl I want to tell you: the wedding is nice and all, but compared to the feeling of having a child together, of knowing yes this is my partner for life…

    I wish you all the best!

  2. Member
    Mrs. Lemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 6:16 am

    Congratulations, Mr. Squirrel! This is very exciting for him and you. I think it’s really touching that he saw this as important for not only him but for your future family and raising your children together.

    By the way, that is a lot of work to go through to become a Catholic! I had no idea!

  3. Member
    lisaelanna 517 posts, Busy bee @ 7:12 am

    Congratulations! My husband also recently converted (from being a Baptist) and was confirmed as a Catholic in December. After many relationships that failed because my boyfriend couldn’/didn’t want to deal with me being a devout Catholic, I made sure at the very beginning of our relationship that he knew what he was getting in to and my husband was really sweet about going to Mass with me every week since we started dating. We’ve been going to Mass together for quite a while, but I really think it has deepened our relationship since he was confirmed. Its gone from something we do every weekend to something special that we share between us and I think it has made our marriage even better too. I hope you’ll experience the same sort of thing and will say a prayer for your and Mr. Squirrel tonight :)

  4. Member
    VioletSky 944 posts, Busy bee @ 7:18 am

    Congrats! I converted to Catholicism before my wedding too, it was a very meaningful experience and I feel our shared faith has given us a great foundation for marriage : )

  5. Guest
    BulldogBride, Guest @ 7:37 am

    Thank you for this post this morning! As silly as it sounds I feel it to be a sign. My FI is catholic (He will be confirmed this Sunday:) Divorced parents when he was young played a part in him to not being confirmed when he was a teenager) and we will be marred in the Catholic church. I was baptized Christian but never went to church on a regular basis growing up. When it came time to pick where we wanted to get married I told FI it was important to me that we be married in a church and he chose the Catholic church. Since we met with the Father we have attended mass each Sunday. I never thought of converting until we started talking about our future children. We decided they would be raised Catholic but then I had so many questions for myself: how can I tell my child they have to do all of this when I didn’t? Wouldn’t this bring us closer as a family if I was Catholic too? (going to church has brought FI and I closer). Is this something I am really ready to do? FI has never pushed and has said it was always up to me. I was still going back and forth on contacting the church about what I would need to do. I think your post may have been the sign I was looking for to make that move. Thank you,

  6. Member
    vanessa7 400 posts, Helper bee @ 7:39 am

    So beautiful!

  7. Member
    Mrs. Treasure 1638 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:50 am

    Congrats, Mr. Squirrel! Welcome to the Church! What saint name did he choose? I always love hearing which saints people chose for their confirmation name. Mine is Elizabeth, after Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. I loved that she used her privilege to help the poor.

  8. Member
    LondonLover 41 posts, Newbee @ 8:47 am

    My fiance just turned catholic too through RCIA, I loved reading this post!

  9. Member
    Mrs. Squirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 8:57 am

    @Ringarosie: It is so sweet to think about!
    @Miss Lemur: Thanks!! Yea, It was definitely a commitment, but so worth it :)
    @lisaelanna:Thanks! You have such a great story, I can already relate to what you are talking about!
    3788156″>VioletSky: Congrats to you too! Very exciting!

  10. Member
    Mrs. Squirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 9:00 am

    @BulldogBride: That is so exciting! I am sending you some serious love and good vibes! It is definitely a big decision but it sounds like you have done come serious thinking! Good luck! Please let me know if you have any questions :)
    @Mrs. Treasure: St. Philip Neri! Mr. S liked him because he relied on humor in his day to day ministry. St. Elizabeth is a great one too!

  11. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:09 am

    How exciting, congratulations (to both of you)! I think it’s nice to think about the impact on our marriage and future family as we go about wedding planning. How great that Mr. S was willing and able to take this next step, and that you both get to share the journey and the faith!

  12. Member
    pocketfox 677 posts, Busy bee @ 10:23 am

    Congratulations to Mr. Squirrel!
    Although I’m not engaged, I have converted to Judaism for our future marriage and for our children. It’s interesting how almost identical the process is. We also had weekly classes that SO had to attend as well, although it was history+practice+Hebrew all rolled up in one three hour class once a week. And as part of completing, I also picked a Hebrew name.

    From first hand experience, I know the process of conversion is a long one with a lot of work, so congratulations once again to him, and to both of you!

  13. Member
    Mrs. Bicycle 619 posts, Busy bee @ 11:19 am

    What an amazing thing for you to have done together! Mr. B and I recently completed a Bible study combined with a running group (Run For God) and it definitely brought us closer together. We look forward to continuing to come together in faith.

  14. Member
    Mrs. Toadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:56 am

    This is a big step for your marriage. I know interfaith marriages are as successful as any other, but I do think that similar faiths (and religions) are a very strong point in a relationship and when starting a family. Congratulations!

  15. Guest
    TMar, Guest @ 2:28 pm

    LOVE THIS!!!! Blessings to both of you! =))

  16. Guest
    Banannamaid, Guest @ 2:37 pm

    Mr. S sure looks sharp in his suit! The progression of photos is perfect. That face of the Deacon is priceless. Congrats to you guys! Before you know it you’ll be getting your first child baptized!

  17. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 5:03 pm

    This is so great! Way to go Mr. S! My FI and I both are Christian, just different “branches” if that is what you want to call it. Neither one of us really wants to change nor do we want the other to convert either. So in the end we decided to do a non-denominational ceremony.

  18. Member
    MexiPino 5412 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:53 pm

    Aww! Congrats to the Mr.! My dad runs RCIA & Adult Confirmation for our parish so I know how much dedication it takes to go through the process. How exciting for both of you!

  19. Member
    mordantmaxim 103 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:55 pm

    I was two months away from completing my conversion to Judaism when I met my now-fiance. (c:

    Now, looking back, I am really, really glad that he got to see me complete the process that I started 10 years before I even knew he existed. As I’ve figured out how to live my life as a Jew, he’s been right by my side, offering input and guidance. I’ve listened to him, and we’ve negotiated what our home will be like. I can’t wait until we can put some of this into practice with our future kids too. Like I really want to see him outside building a sukkah with our kiddos, and I can’t wait to see him bless them each week during Shabbat.

    I’ve always admired the Catholic conversion process because it reminds me so much of the Jewish one; it shouldn’t be a surprise given the value of tradition in both faiths!

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