Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

From Catholicism to Protestantism and Back

Raised Catholic. Baptized as an infant; had my First Communion when I was 7. I must have missed Confession. Barely gave any of this a thought.

Then in Grade 9 (14 years old), my girlfriend Jennifer got me interested in the Bible. She attended an Alliance church. How I loved reading the New Testament. I memorized 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I loved tuning in to the "Bible Answer Man" on AM radio.

At the University of British Columbia, I joined a Christian club called the Navigators. I spent hours in their little library reading The Message, Brother Lawrence, and the Topical Memory System. I went to the University Chapel Evangelical church a few times. But my roommate Victor invited me to join him at St. Mark's for Catholic Mass. "I don't get much out of Mass," I told him. He replied, "We don't go to get something out of it; we go to pray to God, right?"

Joined the choir at St. Mark's. After university, when I returned home to Victoria in 1999, I joined the choir at Sacred Heart Parish. Immersed myself in the church library: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales, St. Augustine. Learned about Catholic teachings on the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Started going to Confession. More reading: Thomas Merton, St. Alphonsus Liguori, the Catechism.

I'm happy to be in the Catholic Church. I'm grateful for the strong moral leadership of Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI. This ancient faith gives me keys to understanding the meaning of life and the purpose of suffering.


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