I have just been received and confirmed into the Catholic Faith at this years’ Easter vigil.

The whole experience from making my decision to my confirmation has had a profound experience on me and I wanted to share my story.

I was bought up in the Anglican Church, confirmed at age 12 and trotted along happily for years, however, as an adult things change.

I was having some difficulties with my faith after loosing several close relatives, and the difficulties of life in general. At around this time I was lucky enough to become part of an expedition with one of our Catholic Secondary schools to Leshoto and South Africa. The trip was to take place in October 2012, approx a year away.

Part of the preparation involved spending a great deal of time with the School and pupils. I attended some services and events and was immersed in the experience. We went on a pre expedition trip to Edale and this in itself was an important event, also during this preparation I met Mgr John Ryan, the person who would play the biggest part in my conversion although neither of us knew it yet.

In October 2012 we set off for our adventure, one of the visits we made was to Cape point, this is an amazing place. We climbed a steep incline to get to the base of the point, the view was incredible, the climbing, tough. There was a further climb in order to get to the lighthouse, I did not believe I would make it that far and decided to wait for the group at our current location. I took in the view, it felt like the edge of the world , It was peaceful and truly beautiful, a moment passed and a small bird joined me on a nearby branch, it looked at me and sang his song. In that moment something inside me changed, I felt like my soul was singing too. I climbed to the lighthouse, was met with a smile from Fr Ryan, in that moment my life changed.

Upon returning home I had a persistent voice inside – a desire to explore Catholicism more, I didn’t know why I was being called to this path but I knew I had to follow it. I made contact with Fr Ryan and he agreed to support me on my journey. We met several times before I was able to join the next Journey in Faith group.

I have learned so much about myself, my faith and my path, I have enjoyed every minute, and despite my nerves my confirmation was amazing.

The moment Fr Ryan placed his hand on my head to receive me into the church I knew I had done the right thing. At that exact moment I’m sure I was with God and there was certainly no more doubt just a great deal of Faith.

Thank you – Fr John Ryan. The most patient kind and understanding priest I have ever met, and to my sponsors Sue and Trevor for guiding me on my journey and continuing to do so.

Catherine J.
St Bedes Rotherham
June 2014

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