I became Catholic to be part of the extended body, to belong to the Church and to deepen my bond with Jesus.
My bond with Jesus developed only when I became Catholic.
I identified with God and I always had faith in Him but I didn’t have as close as a relationship with Jesus as I do now.
I am married with three children and work as a bookkeeper.
I was born in England and we emigrated to South Africa in 1975 when I was seven years old.
My family was Church of England but never really religious.
As a youngster, I got offered the chance to be confirmed in the Anglican faith but chose not to because I was lazy.
My father didn’t like going to church so we didn’t go as a family.
Interestingly, I did attend a Catholic high school because it was the only private high school in the area and somehow I still had faith.
My sister and I went to Masses at the Catholic church occasionally and we both felt this pull towards Catholicism although we didn’t know why.
Despite that, I remained Anglican for many years and was very comfortable attending services as an adult.
In my mid-20s, I decided to be confirmed in that faith.
Over the course of time I began experimenting with different churches, mostly Methodist.
I got married but later divorced and my ex-husband’s family was Methodist.
They would take my daughter Amber (now 17) to their church and I thought perhaps I should be going to the same church with her so as not to be confusing, which I did but in the end I found that I couldn’t integrate into that faith.
Along the way I got remarried. My husband Russell is Catholic and so are my stepchildren, Megan (15) and Luke (11).
Russell wasn’t really practising and his mother was very Methodist and had a close relationship with her church.
So at some point we started going to the Methodist church again and we were very happy in this church with a lovely minister.
This continued until we moved to Australia in 2008.
We intended to return back to the Anglican Church and enrolled our children in the local Anglican school.
However, after attending a couple of local Anglican churches we both felt something was missing.
In the end, we attended our local Whitford Catholic church, Our Lady of the Missions.
It was during this time (2012) that Russell and I were experiencing a difficult time in which our private business collapsed.
I found God spoke to me in a way I had not experienced before at Our Lady of the Missions and eventually I became interested in becoming Catholic myself.
My sister and I began attending the RCIA. In retrospect, her wanting to convert with me was a turning point but at the time I was still not fully committed to Catholicism.
I even continued attending an Anglican church for a while because I felt like a traitor to my upbringing.
However, half way through RCIA I began feeling Catholic and that converting was something I really, really wanted.
During this Easter the April services at the Church crowned those emotions.
The whole process of what being Catholic is and the celebration of Jesus was just beautiful.
There is a time during Easter when there is no mention of Jesus and I was just devastated because he was dead. I actually felt it. I lived it. It was soul destroying.
That was another turning point for me becoming completely Catholic.
I had never celebrated Easter like that before. When I returned for my next session at RCIA I asked the leader, Ann Cunneen, to talk about Jesus so I could bring Him back into my life.
My sister and I were welcomed into the Catholic Church in May 2013.
When you hit your 40s it is all about you and what you want so it seemed that the time was finally right. It felt like getting married.
Although my perceptions of what being Catholic is haven’t differed that much, the stereotypes of Catholics themselves has changed.
I didn’t expect the family feeling, the sense of community and belonging to such an ancient organisation.
During our hardship in 2012, I felt such a pull back to the Lord and the Church.
I wanted to cement this new relationship I had with Him. I didn’t know at the time what a journey it would be. I feel peace, love, a sense of direction and acceptance.