Hello World! My name is Matt Shewell and I am a recent convert to the Catholic Faith. I was received into The Church on July 31, 2010 and have been trying to learn as much as I can and figured maybe a blog would help to open a dialog with others.
First, a little background. I am a 39 (soon to be 40) year old Electrical Engineer who lives in the metro Detroit area with my wife, and catalyst for my conversion, Emily. I lived most of my life as an atheist/agnostic constantly wavering between “there is no God” and “there might be some kind of higher power, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the God of any religion”. Emily, on the other hand, was a baptized, never confirmed, non practicing Catholic. One day after being married for a little over two years, Emily and I are sitting in the living room and she tells me “I want to bring our marriage into the Catholic Church”. I actually agreed pretty quick, as long as I didn’t have to become a Catholic to do it. I “knew” some things about the Catholic Church, and I knew that I wanted no part of it. Emily asked me why I would not become Catholic, and I started listing some things that I knew:
- The Church does not allow for any form of birth control
- The Chuch says that no abortions can be performed, even in cases of rape and incest.
- Catholic Priests have been abusing children for years because The Church forces them to live an unnatural lifestyle that causes perversion
- The Church wants 10% of all your money
Emily’s response – “No one actually believes any of that”
My response – “Exactly, and that is the problem”
So, Emily made an appointment with a Deacon at our local Catholic Church and I agreed to go. I found out that I was going to need to get a declaration of nullity, I had been previously married for a very short time. And, if we wanted to become Catholic we would need to attend RCIA starting in the fall. I wasn’t too thrilled about any of this, but I agreed because it meant a lot to Emily. However, I told Emily that I couldn’t go through with the RCIA part because I knew that I would not become Catholic. I told her I could not “join” a church that I did not believe in, and I was never going to believe. She said that she was going to attend the RCIA classes and receive the sacraments and would like for me to do the same, but she understood if I could not. So I made a promise that I would look into the Church and make an honest effort to figure out why the Church teaches what it does, but I could not become Catholic if I could find fault in any of the teachings. One bad/All bad. That I knew in my heart.
Much to my surprise, the more I tried to shoot down the Catholic Church’s teaching on things like contraception, the more I learned that they were right. Not only on that but everything that I investigated. Abortion, marriage, celibate priesthood, donating to the Church, pretty much everything. I had come to the conclusion that if there was a God, and if Jesus Christ was His Son, then this was his Church. Only one problem…I still didn’t completely believe in God, or that Jesus Christ was His Son. Of course, I knew that Jesus existed, the historical record proves that beyond any shadow of a doubt. But the Son of God? That was going to take a bit more convincing.
Needless to say, through some major life changes that occurred along the way, I did come to believe in God, Jesus, and the One True Church. I won’t get into the entire story here, but as the blog goes along I’m sure that everything will come out eventually. All I know is that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I’ve never been happier than since I turned my life over to Him and His Church. The Church that is currently governed by an 84 year old man in Rome.
Thanks for reading, and more to come later.