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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saga of a recovering Catholic

Hi, I'm Jenn & I'm a Cath-o-haulic...

Before anyone gets all mad at me - I WAS raised in the Catholic church.

I don't bring up religion or politics anymore, because I piss people off, sorry.

Today, I'm putting it out there in my very Jenn way :)

First, I want to say - I am Christian.
I genuinely hope that statement isn't shocking to anyone.  I also hope that even though I don't always properly walk the line - I haven't ever said or done anything that would prompt someone to say SHE IS???  I am admittedly a work in progress.

I was raised in the Catholic religion.  Catholic school & all...  And like most Catholic school girls - I rebelled!  The priests were none too pleased with me when my friends and I, in the 4th grade, formed a posse of "why aren't there any altar girls??"  Yeah, that went over like a lead balloon in the 70's!

I did it all though, I was a good little Catholic girl; church every Sunday, confession once a week, penance.  I did as I was told & tried to obey the rules as they were set before me.  Partially because I truly believe in God and wanted to make him happy, but also because I was scared to death of the nuns!  Man, those women were brutal!!  A classmate who sat next to me in grammar school was left handed.  That poor thing got slapped across the knuckles & was forced to write with the other hand.  I also remember a public school kid (the horror, lol) being slapped across the face during communion practice because he was nervous & laughed.  Holy crap!  Yeah - I was scared, but I survived.

I also sent Kyle to Catholic school - because that was best, right??
I didn't even question my religion until I went through my divorce with Kyle's father.

During that time, the rose colored glasses were literally ripped off my face.  The second I became a "divorcee" - the other mommies held on to their husbands a little tighter and avoid me like the plague.  They stopped calling me for lunch, stopped including me in PTA events & stopped having my son for play dates.  I couldn't believe that during such an awful time I was abandoned by the people I looked to for support - so I went to talk to the Pastor.  He wasn't much help.  I asked for help with Kyle, nope.  I inquired about an annulment & was told I could not have one, because I had a child of the marriage - BUT if I filled out the paperwork & paid the $1600 fee they would take it under consideration...  REALLY??  That along with other incidents, which I won't go into - were the beginning of the end for me.  Suddenly the Catholic church wasn't looking so shiny & bright to me.  It looked shallow, unkind & mean spirited.  I abandoned all faith.  I quit going to church & felt lost.

It was an incredibly dark time in my life.

Then I met my husband.  He also went to the Catholic church, but came from a family who converted to Evangelism, so he was DEAD SET on NEVER switching his religion.  No problem - you do your thing, I'll do mine.

After a while, he & I became closer and married.  I knew there was something missing in my life.  I started to explore other faiths, other churches - anything.  Then my cousin told me, "Jenn, just go find a good Bible teaching church."  (Thanks Cathy)  I always admired the cute white church on the hill.  So, being the internet geek I am, I emailed the pastor and asked of the church's beliefs.  We attended a service and that has been our home & family ever since.  The pieces all fell together & finally fit!

And gasp, it's not a Catholic church!

Stan & I regularly have banter (usually after a few cocktails) with regard to the teachings of the Catholic church compared to the teachings of our church.  There's no winner.  We both believe that Jesus is our Lord & Savior and we believe in what the Bible teaches.  That's usually where it ends.  He understands my struggle and I respect his line of thinking as well.

There are many things that will stick with me forever, like the terms "mortal sin" and "purgatory".  Heck I even had my daughter baptized in the Catholic church (when I was no longer Catholic) because I was still brain washed into believing that if I didn't run out and have her baptized immediately, if something awful happened - her little soul would stay in purgatory because she wasn't cleansed of the original sin.

No offense to my devout Catholic friends ...  Some of you have a wonderful experience - and I am happy for you.  This is MY experience.

Personally, I'll forever remain a recovering Cath-o-haulic.

Thank you for reading my blog!


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