Just before I travelled to share my conversion story for the first time, someone asked me if I was joining "The Circuit." I knew what he meant.
Did I think that I might become one of those Catholic headliners? Did I really think that I would join the ranks of Scott and Kimberly Hahn?
Perhaps it was time to get over myself.
I could tell by the way he said "The Circuit," he thought I was taking myself too seriously.
I remember feeling a little irritated. No. I’m no Kimberly Hahn. I’m just a convert who can’t shut up about the greatest joy in my life.
What do I hope to accomplish?
I simply want other Catholics to realize that the country could sure use a few people like Lori Wyatt, who invited me to my first Mass. She was only in 7th grade.
The country could use someone like Bob Johanns who challenged me, saying “I don’t get why you aren’t Catholic. I mean, all of the saints were Catholic and look how holy they were.” After I told him that his saints weren’t my saints, he tossed out one more challenge. “Yes, but look at the long line of Popes. There has always been shepherds who took the place of those first disciples. Your church history doesn’t go back to Jesus. I just don’t get it.”
Bob was a junior in high school when he defended the Faith - and he was just the son of a layperson, and I was the daughter of a Protestant preacher. Yeah. If he can defend the faith, you can, too.
The Church needs religious who will eagerly share the good news – like Brother Roger and Fr. Larry. I had questions, and they presented me with the answers to those questions. They didn't see the end result. I didn't convert right away. But they planted seeds. They tended the garden and let someone else watch it grow.
The world needs RCIA leaders like Shawn Mueller who didn’t let me off the hook when I wanted to convert without accepting my most difficult Church Teaching. “Either you believe that Mother Church is terra firma, Denise, or you don’t. If you tried to embrace this teaching and you simply don’t know how you can do it in all sincerity, then ask Mary to show you. Place a petition before her and let her do what she does so well… lead you to the fullness of Truth." I took up the challenge. Mary came through. And today, I'm blissfully, enthusiastically, ecstatically, courageously, unwaveringly, thoroughly, contentedly, gratefully Catholic.
No, the world doesn’t need more Catholic headliners.
But God could sure use an army of Catholics who aren’t afraid to tell their own little stories of conversion to anyone who will listen. The world could sure use a host of Catholics who don't care about becoming headliners; they just want to share their faith.
I don’t care if you are in 7th grade, 11th grade, a religious or a member of the laity – YOU HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED!
It’s the Year of Faith.
Time to join the Catholic Circuit.
If you take the challenge, leave a comment and tell us when, where, and how you shared your love for Jesus Christ and His Church.
Your story will encourage and inspire others to do the same thing.