Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just another conversion story, but this one means the world to me, because it's my brothers story.

My brother Bill has been a Catholic for a year now and he sent out a letter with his parish bulletin promoting the RCIA program.
I would like to share with you the journey that I have experienced in the last year and a half. I know it is just another conversion story and you have probably heard many of them, but each conversion story there will always be at least one person that it will touch their heart and soul forever. If God has chosen me to complete this task, then maybe it is you that God wants me to touch and if it is you, may we praise God forever and ever.

I have always been the quiet one that always stays to myself and doing things on my own. My thoughts on church was “I believe in God, I do not need to go to church” Church is not about believing in God, it is about fellowship and family, it is about the community support and love. I have not gotten along with my family for many years. I moved to Colorado, I got married and lived my life the best that I could.

I truly believe in my heart that we must hit rock bottom to understand the plan that God has in store for us. I came home from work on February 15th 2008 and my wife and step son up had moved out after almost 10 years of marriage. I was devastated; I truly felt that my entire world had came tumbling down on me, I was destroyed and even worse I no longer had hope. She refused to talk to me at all or attempt to fix this situation. I was abandoned by her and her family, and I did not have a place to turn.

I decided to attempt to find my sister, who I had not seen for over 18 years. So I found her on the internet and called her. We spoke almost every day for about 3 weeks, she explained how important the Catholic Church was to her, and how it has given her and her family the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity (Love), something that I desired but did not know how to obtain since this was a foreign idea to my family. My sister sent me a link from Kansas for Our Lady of Loreto, she sent a letter to Father Ed to introduce me and asked him to help me anyway that he could. She also sent a letter to Shirley (RCIA director) to try to explain my situation to her. I kept giving her excuses of why I did not need to go to church and by the grace of God, I decided to just do it, and with a little persistence from Shirley I decided that we needed to meet.

When I met Shirley, she stayed well past her time of going home, she was the most kind, caring and loving person that I have ever met at this point in my life. This really surprised me, a total stranger that she didn’t know that she was showing so much compassion to. I was lucky enough to start going to church during Holy week, I was able to see and experience many things. The more Masses that I attended the more I craved, I would leave church and go home and research on the internet. I would find answers to my questions either by my sister, Shirley or the internet. I would go to the Adoration Chapel at 2:00 in the morning so I could talk to Jesus one on one. If you have never tried this, please do, it is an incredible gift.

I began attending the weekly RCIA classes and I am happy to say that the more classes that I went to, the more my heart was changing. I was a person that wanted things, the best of everything, then the more masses that I attended, the less I desired things, and I desired the community of the Church, the fellowship, and the friends that I was making each and every time that I went to church, and I was growing because God wanted me to. My heart was changing from stone to flesh. I began caring and helping others. My parents and I were talking again. I was also informed that they had converted to the Catholic faith about 5 years ago, and that I was the last one in my immediate family to take this path, and I just kept thinking to myself may the last be first and the first be last.

I have never in my life had people that have loved me unconditionally for me, that want nothing from me except my friendship. I have the most wonderful God parents that a person could ask for. They have given me the ability to love again, the ability to see good in others and to appreciate everyone for whom and what they are. I do not know the future, I cannot see where my path will go, but thru prayer and discernment God will show me the way.

I do hope that I will always be able to help in some way the RCIA ministry, because if it was not for this group of loving and caring people. I would not be here today. If you have ever have had questions, or wanted to learn more about the Catholic faith, please come by on a Sunday, see for yourself what we learn and how we grow. Learn about your faith, research your faith, and most important embrace your faith.

During this time of learning and growing, God has been my taxi cab driver, taking me to the places that I need to go to. It is up to me to open the door and get out and do the things that I need to do. And with so many people that care, love and support you here at church, it is actually pretty easy to do. I thank God everyday for this change, and for the peace, happiness and joy that this journey has brought into my life.

I am happy to report that my sister and I actually attended Mass at Our Lady of Loreto last weekend together, the glorious circle finally came to a close. We were able to share communion together, as a family what a glorious day it was. God knew from the beginning when he started that taxi cab up over a year and a half ago, how it would turn out and which roads I would take. He knew the choices I would make and the doors that I would open or drive right on by. And every time that I needed more help when I just didn’t think I was going to make it, there was someone there at church ready to help me and guide me and lead me right back to the taxi cab to continue on with my journey.

By the grace of the God, I am Catholic, and I am proud of it and it will never be something that I will take lightly. Embrace your faith, Embrace our God and thank him everyday for the life that he has given us. I am so grateful for everything he has done for me and my family since this journey began, and I am excited for the many opportunities and challenges that God will have in store for me in my future.
God bless you and keep you forever
William Benson

* The above postcard is of St's Peter and Paul Catholic church in Booneville Missouri. It's the church that our great, great , great grandparents helped to build.

His name was Adolph Hilden and he was Born in Longerich Germany, on August 15, 1811, and immigrated to Booneville ,Missouri in the 1830's.
Before the towns parish was built , Adolph and Ursula and their three sons had Mass said in their home for their community.
( Catholic cemetery , Boonville , Missouri.)

Many of our other relatives are buried across the street in the city cemetery and also 20 minutes away in Lone Elm Missouri .
In that town they were also buried across the street from one another in the Lutheran and Baptist cemeteries.
Ursula Ueh Rheinileld , (Adolphs wife) was born on December 1805 , in Germany. Died April 4th 1879, in Boonville Missouri.
Bury me in Booneville On the CATHOLIC side of the street !!!


Texas Mom said...

What a beautiful testament to God's mercy and love -- and the bond of a family. Thank you for posting this.

Rachel, a Catholic Mom in Dallas

Melody K said...

That's beautiful Belinda! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations to you and your family!

Unknown said...

This is Love-- <--if you don't want to read please watch the free videos. We only do this because we love you. This will prepare you for what is to come that the so called Christian world is not telling you. This is truth in its fullness. Please take a moment of your life to read or watch.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee... seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Many reject truth and follow after the ways of the world where they mix paganism with Christianity and such. This is open compromising with the Law of God. It is written in the book of Matthew 7:14 “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Jesus loves you. Free movie for those that are SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. --) This is your opportunity to receive truth.

belinda said...

I think it's foolish to try to convert a person who is also saved by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
While it is true that most people do go to hell when they die ,you and I are in no position to decide who that will be, so please don't assume that I am hell bound.
Besides even if I do go to hell- which I so richly deserve I will give thanks and praise to God for all that he had done for me in this life and I will be grateful to him forever...even in hell.
Your blinded by your religious predujudice. Who started your religion anyway? The foundation of our church, "our church creator" was Jesus Christ himself, not a human proclaming their version of truth.

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," "Pentecostal Gospel." "Holiness Church," "Pilgrim Holiness Church," "Jehovah's Witnesses," your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.

If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.