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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Why I Joined RCIA by Anonymous Holy Name Cathedral Chicago, IL

In retrospect, it's hard to say what made me walk into RCIA in the first place. There were plenty of reasons why such a thing should never have occurred to me. For one thing, I'd been an atheist since the age of eleven; for another, I prided myself upon being empathetic and logical, two qualities that I thought stood starkly at-odds with organized religion in general, and the Catholic church in particular. I clung to this notion despite the significant presence that Catholic institutions had played in my life. Not only did I earn my Bachelor's degree from a Jesuit university, but the only reason I could afford to attend graduate school was because I won a scholarship reserved for graduates of parochial universities. Because I thought that I knew exactly what I was, I never stopped to ask myself what any of this meant. Even though I loved reading the philosophy and theology I'd been assigned at that Jesuit university, I told myself that mine was a thoroughly secular appreciation. As I read the works of theologians, and allowed my beliefs about the world to be shaped by their teachings, I remain staunchly convinced that I couldn't plausibly be a Christian. That wasn't for people "like me." Even now, I don't know what changed. But the more I read, the less reason I saw to stay away from church. I first began going as an experiment, to see if I would "feel" anything -- and then I kept going, and kept going, and kept going, and was eventually unable to stay away. Instead of causing a complete transformation, RCIA made me realize that many of the things I'd valued about life were best reflected and expressed in the Catholic Church. 

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