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The second week of college I had an appendicitis attack. I was 18 years. old, several states away from home, and experiencing the worst pain I had felt up to that point in my life. Lying in the infirmary in the predawn hours, I was scared and felt to terribly alone. At some point waiting for the doctor to arrive, I either fell asleep or drifted into that unknowing zone where pain takes you. I woke to find a nurse standing over me, holding my hand. “You’re Catholic, aren’t you?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “How did you know?
The nurse’s answer surprised me. “Because you were praying the Hail Mary.”
That nurse’s words have stayed with me in the many years since they were spoken in 1970. Though raised Catholic and educated in Catholic school, my life journey took many paths some of which did not include the Catholic Church. The seeds of faith my mother had planted, however, were ever present. As I made my way in the world, I always prayed, read the Bible more as a non-practicing Catholic and learned to praise the Lord like the psalmists. But even with all of that, when I was away from the church of my childhood for any length of time I would find myself feeling unsatisfied, missing something, and those words spoken by a stranger would come back to me like I was hearing them for the first time.
What I was missing was the Holy Eucharist. And as I contemplated the experience of unconsciously praying the Hail Mary in my agony a simple question came to mind: What does the opportunity to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus every single day have in common with praying the Hail Mary? The Catholic Church. And with that answer, I started my journey home.
—Patty Marzilli, Apollo Beach, FL
I am 85 years old, a cradle Catholic, and I believe that Jesus is my Savior. The Catholic Church's teachings are true and the way to my salvation.
—Frances Ehrhart, Escondido, CA
I was born Catholic 85 years ago, and I've had the good sense not to leave.
—Ed Ehrhart, Escondido, CA
I was not raised Catholic, but when I encountered someone who explained patiently the true teachings of the Church, I realized this was where I belonged. Thank you, Fr. Charles McMillin for helping me see that my journey of faith was leading me home to the Catholic Church.
—Patricia Trejo, Sulphur, La
I wanted a large family all around me wherever I go that shares the same faith. I chose in 6th grade.
—Paula Stone, Naperville, IL
I am Catholic because I believe that the Catholic Church has the fullness of the Truth. If you look at the nutrition panel on the side of a box of Total Cereal, it states that its product contains 100% of one's daily RDA's for many vitamins and minerals. The Catholic Church contains 100% of all of my RDA's for living: The Mass, the Eucharist, Confession, the grace of the other sacraments, mercy, the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the powerful witness and prayers of all the saints in heaven and in Purgatory. It was founded by Jesus who told us that he is "the Way and the Truth and the Life" and built on the apostles and the blood of the martyrs. It has stood for the last 2019 years...I am involved in my parish; I teach Theology in a Catholic junior/senior high school -- grades 7, 9 & 11. I am a published author of some 26 articles about our glorious Faith. I am finishing my Master of Arts in Ministry. There is nothing else that compares or even comes close to the great Beauty and Truth of the Holy Catholic Church.
—Cindy Trainque, Leominster, MA
Thank you to our donors for helping to support seminarian education! Here’s a note from Abundio Colazo Lopez from the Diocese of Tucson, studying at St. John’s Seminary in California. @catholicnewsaz pic.twitter.com/xeJiOjIH3C— Catholic Extension (@CathExtension) January 17, 2019
As a cradle catholic who left the church for a while, I can honestly say that other denominations of Christianity lack what Catholicism has. The sacraments of our faith are #WhyImCatholic. This is life in the Church. The alpha and omega, God is with us from birth to eternal life.
—Howard Coughlin, Tulsa, OK
Steven Pohorsky's full submission:
I am Catholic because I love God, fear God, and want to please God. In the book of the prophet Daniel God foretold when the Messiah would be born. Many of us know the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. God wanted us to recognize the messiah when he was born. Jesus fulfills the prophecies about the messiah.
Jesus made a prophecy about the church. Many of us know that prophecy, that the gates of hell would Not prevail against the church. In our times we might be deceived into believing that hell is prevailing. Saint Paul tells us to walk by faith not by sight.
God gave us promises in the Scriptures because he knows we need something to hang on to in times like these. The prophecy of Jesus about the church is one such promise for our times.
Jesus wants us to remain in the church that he founded. Jesus wants us to follow him and to be faithful to him and to be ready for him when he returns.
Saint Paul tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we do that, that enables us to let Jesus live in us and love through us. Let us ask for the graces for ourselves and for our priests, bishops, and the holy father to do so each day of our lives.
I prayed to Mary for a baby. One day, the agency called and said they had a little boy named Gabriel. (You know, like the angel who told Mary she was going to be a mother?) The cherry of top of this story: My sister's name is Gabrielle. #WhyImCatholic #NationalAdoptionMonth pic.twitter.com/h7IwXYX0vK— Holly Fournier (@HollyPFournier) November 18, 2018
Because through reading the early church fathers (like the apostles and their direct students) I came to understand that what the Church teaches today (& always has) is what Jesus taught them. In short, because it’s TRUE, regardless of any bad Catholics #WhyImCatholic https://t.co/hN55S2XnbS— Becky Giardina (@RebelOrthodoxy) September 22, 2018
#WhyImCatholic I'm Catholic because nothing made sense til I believed the Catholic Faith.Then the world the universe everything, made sense— Catholic State Crew (@LaCatholicState) September 24, 2018
Sister Yolisa Rosario in Orocovis, Puerto Rico, shares her #WhyImCatholic story: When I first saw this post I thought: "That's a good question to ask ourselves." And I did. Why am I Catholic? First of all, I owe my faith to my family, my Puerto Rican culture. I am really grateful that I grew up surrounded by the values of our faith, with people that cared about transmitting it. That was the beginning. But... Why am I still a Catholic? And a nun, for that matter. I am Catholic and a Salesian Sister because I "met" God. To me, God is not a fictional idea or a philosophical or psychological comfort. To me God is real. I don't have a scientific way of proving it, but I know, because His interventions in my life are not fictional. I have lived them myself, nobody needs to tell me. Why Catholic? Because I believe in Jesus Christ and His Word. I believe what we can find in the Bible: the leadership of Peter, the intercession of our Mother Mary, the mystical and beautiful reality of the Eucharistic Presence. Those are gifts given to us by Jesus himself and, who are we to question him? I am Catholic because that is what my life is made of... and I wouldn't change it for the world.
"I became a Catholic because my parents had me baptized and raised me in a faithful home. I'm Catholic now for the only reason any adult should be - because it's true. It's true that the Son of God became man, founded the Church, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. That was a painful and difficult time for the early Church. They shared their stories of faith, hope, and love, and the seed of the Church sprouted, bloomed, and flourished amidst persecution, heresy, corruption, war, ignorance, intolerance, and demonic attack. Those forces are still present in our world - even inside our beautiful Church. When I am confronted by doubts, I remind myself that our faith is not just a long history or a list of beliefs or a set of rituals - it's about a person - Jesus Christ, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." I'm Catholic because it's true."
“I love the self-sacrificing love that Jesus exemplified and encourages us to follow.”— Catholic Extension (@CathExtension) October 1, 2018
Thanks, Nancy Mann, for your beautiful #WhyImCatholic story!
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From across the pond! Share on your own social account or submit to our site: cathext.in/2xBRxtE #WhyImCatholic “I was a communicant member of the Anglican church, but as such believed in all the Catholic faith teaches. When they ceased to do so I left them and was received into the Holy Catholic and Roman Church; I felt at home immediately—the Mass rite was the same (I had been in that part of the Anglican Church that used the Roman Rite) and the other Catholics were as my wife and I had known them, so it wasn't as such the wrench that it could have been. What I think is the glory of the Catholic Church though is her internationalism. A few years later I was helping at the local city university in their Catholic Society, and there I found Catholics of many nations, each group with their own faith traditions, but all united in the same sacraments under one pastor (as the old prayer for Christian unity has it). I remarked to the German wife of a visiting professor how wonderful it was to see; she replied that this is what it meant to belong to a truly Catholic church. We here in England have had our share of scandals that have rocked the Church and have caused some to question their faith, as is happening in America now. All I can offer is prayer, but linked with that I would ask you to realise that you are not alone—the whole Church is praying for you. The love of Our Lord Jesus Christ has spread across the whole world; hold on to Him because only in Him can true peace be found.” —Mel Harwood, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Submitted by Charlie Hallett:
"Today, many find it very difficult to remain Catholic amid the atrocities and abuses brought about by those who we may have always thought to be loving, close to Christ and perhaps most importantly of all, trustworthy. Many victims have been robbed of this idea, and consequently, many have been robbed of their faith.
So why am I Catholic? I am Catholic because I believe the teachings of Catholicism to be true. I believe that Jesus Christ is begotten of the Father and is fully Divine. I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus for my sin. I believe in the grace of the sacraments. I believe that Jesus founded His church on Peter, and that through apostolic succession, the Catholic Church founded then is the same Catholic Church we know now. This horrible sin that we see within our Church is not the Church itself, but it is evil within the Church that Christ founded. We need justice for victims, and we need healing in our Church. I believe the Church belongs not to the abusers or to those who cover up abuse, but to Christ. That is why I am Catholic."
Because Jesus is really present in the Eucharist and I can only live my best life with him fully present #WhyImCatholic— Michelle Ross (@mcross90) September 22, 2018