I am a Catholic convert, drawn to the Church since I was a girl because my granny, whom I loved dearly, was Catholic.
Her daughter, my mother, was too, but she married the wrong man when she was young, almost immediately got a divorce, and married the right man, my father. They were married for almost 60 years and were friends for more than 70. Because of this ‘error,’ my mother was told that she could not receive communion in the Church again. She left the Church, or, rather it left her. I was raised as an Episcopalian, attended Quaker schools and meetings, and spent many years believing in not much of anything at all.
As a result of some hard years and a spiritual awakening, I became Catholic in 1999. I was active in my Washington DC parish as a Eucharistic minister, volunteer to the sick and elderly, and RCIA sponsor. I felt called to ministry and gave up a career in magazine journalism to get a Master of Divinity. Instead of the ministry I thought I would engage in, I kept on studying and gained a PhD in literature, theology and the arts. I realised that I am still very much a writer and editor. I teach at a Catholic university, but ironically I now find myself feeling not at home in the Church that once felt so much like home. My mother’s story stays with me. I remember that she, too, felt unwelcome. She was a seeker, and perhaps that was her greatest gift to me, for I have become one too. I am on the threshold of the Church, unclear which way I shall go.