Monday, December 08, 2008

On This Day in History

Three years ago, I walked into an RCIA class room at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC - still a head strong, independent, sola scriptura Protestant (not that all Protestants are head strong but I was). I always knew that Mary would stand immovable between me and the Catholic Church but I was curious. Still, as much as I hated Mariology, there was some part of me that knew deep down that some aspect of Mariology contained just what I lacked.

I am under no delusion that it was by chance that my first RCIA session fell on the feast of the Immaculate Conception - the most deplorable Catholic dogma of them all. Either God has a peculiar sense of humor or the Devil isn't thinking things through real well. Yes this frog was tossed into a pot of water already boiling.

The deacon gave the homily that evening (mass preceding Inquiry as it was) and he trumpeted the suspicious Catholic apology "we don't worship Mary, we honor her". Oh brother. What did I get myself into?

An hour later, I received some less than convincing reasons to be at ease with Mary and a certain inquirer also present that night later confided in me that he was sure he'd never see me again. No, that very night I bought a rosary for a few bucks on the internet although it would be another year before I was comfortable using it. In fact, I used that same cheap rosary this morning.

Immaculate mother Mary, pray for me and for all separated brethren. May we receive you as our mother that Christ may truly be our Lord.


Tiber Jumper said...

What a momentous day that was indeed .
God bless you fiddler and Amen to your prayer that the Blessed Mother would become the Mother of all our sep brethren. She already is, they just don't know it yet!

Kim said...


Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...


Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

Mary is the mother of our faith, for all those who profess Christ have Mary as their mother.

For he gave her to the Apostle he loved, "Son, behold your mother! Woman, behold your son."

Mother of the Church whom all generations shall call blessed Pray for us.

Rene'e said...

Happy Anniversary Tim,

I still have a difficult time excepting that you were a former PCA member. The reformed position and Catholic position seem to be polar opposites, I would think converts from the PCA to Rome are rare. I think it shows testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit in leading people to the Church.

As a side note: I had an encounter with a older baby boomer co-worker yesterday. I was defending the Tridentine Mass over the Novus Ordo. You would have thought I personally insulted her, by her reaction. I was taken back by her emotional defense of the Novus Ordo. It surprised me.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Thanks for the comments all.

Renee - I don't think the Reformed are as far away from Rome as they seem and there have been quite a few Reformed > Catholic conversions (or at least several well known ones)
Peter Kreeft, James Akin, Scott Hahn etc... Taylor Marshall (also Reformed at one time) has a long list somewhere on his blog "Canterbury Tales".

Tim A. Troutman said...

Renee > but you're right it definitely takes the Holy Spirit's work to go from Reformed to Catholicism.

Rene'e said...

“I don't think the Reformed are as far away from Rome as they seem and there have been quite a few Reformed.”

Yes, I agree. Some of the difficulty lies in perceptions of different views on important theologies I think. I, being a Cradle Catholic have been trying to step out of my box, and learn more about others beliefs outside the Catholic Church. The Reformed Calvinist position intrigues me most of all. They seem to be fundamentally different from Catholicism on many more issues, then say Lutherans or Anglicans, other PCA (USA),and Christian denominations. But, then again, they seem closer to Catholicism than the others.

I would think PCA members would have many more obstacles both personal and theological to overcome to cross the Tiber as some say. Many of their arguments for their position can be valid, as can Catholicism’s arguments on the same subject. It difficult to see, that sometimes we are agreeing on something, but in different ways for different reasons. It is the reasons we have and the details that make the difference and obscure the uniting truths which exist in both camps.

George Weis said...

Or maybe the Devil was working especially hard in a sort of backward way? HAHA!

Interesting little tid bit that you went and bought a rosary that same night. I don't know what to make of that. The reasons were not convincing, and yet you thought "what the heck I'll buy myself a rosary"? You sure are a funny guy brother :)

God Bless you Tim!


P.S. And God bless us, everyone!

Tim A. Troutman said...

Well, I had no intention of using the rosary for prayer. I'm not sure I could tell you all the reasons why I bought the rosary and not sure I could tell you why I came back to RCIA even though I didnt like their answers.

I like to think it was the Holy Spirit.

Rene'e said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene'e said...

George designed both Rob and I, beautiful one of a kind personal Rosaries for our birthdays. Not only that but he personally had them blessed, not one, or two, but three separate times, by three separate Priests. George creates beautiful Rosaries.

Now….that’s what I call, the power of the Holy Spirit.

(I deleted the above post , typo.)


George Weis said...


That's funny ma! :D

Well, I must say that it was quite a fun experience. Strange thing when a Protestant is eager to get a pair of rosaries and get them blessed, I guess it was the fact that I was eager to put a smile on your faces :)

Oh Tim, if you want to let the cat out of the bag now on the rosary site feel free. I'm taking it to another level now, since I can actually design the pieces from scratch and have them manufactured...whoopie...goldberg...yall!


P.S. ok, so I'm in a strange mood...

Rob said...


Happy anniversary, glad you came home.
The rosary is such a powerful prayer. One of my favorite saints Padre Pio called it his weapon, and I think he was right. A daily rosary should be said by all. Remember a rosary a day helps keep the evil one away.

God bless

Gretchen said...

The Rosary is so, so powerful. I remember talking to the faith formation director right as I started the RCIA process and saying, 'Oh the Rosary. Yeah. That doesn't interest me at all. I wouldn't get anything out of it.' Hahahaha.