Personal testimonies about our journeys to Orthodoxy
A Life Searching For God
In short, I did not convert to the Orthodox Church: I found it.
I was born into the Catholic Church, baptized and confirmed along with catechism classes twice a week from 1st grade through the 3rd grade. I was enrolled into the Catholic schools from the 4th grade through 12. I received a wonderful education and was ingrained into the Catholic Church dogma and
teachings. Then along came Vatican II. Many things I believed in and were taught suddenly changed. I guess the church felt it needed to take a different
approach to keep up with changing societies. The infallibility of a Pope really became an issue with me.
Eleven months after graduating from High School I found myself in Vietnam. After my second tour there I came home. I came home faithless and even
doubting the existence of God. From 1970 to 2011 I went to church on and off trying to seek out answers to what makes this world we live in tick! There
really wasn’t much order to anything and twenty two years in Law Enforcement confirmed my belief that there is no hope for humanity. Yes, there is always
good in a lot things but it seemed the bad outweighed it all.
I searched and studied all Christian religions looking for some answers. I discovered that all were created hybrids of the basic and original Christian
faith that began with Jesus Christ in the first century. Where did that original faith go? I always was taught that the Catholic Church was the one true
Church but I discovered that it wasn’t… not by a long shot! Neither were any of the Protestant faiths I looked into. I won’t even go into Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witnesses. I even went to a Buddhist Temple while stationed in Thailand and visited with some monks several times many years before.
I met my wonderful wife Barbara about seven years ago and joined her in attending the Anglican Church. It was nice, kind of like “Catholic Light”. It
evolved from the Episcopal Church with two factions, one that accepted homosexuality and the continuation of law suit after law suit with the faction that didn’t and a priest who presided over now Anglican Church who couldn’t wait to leave it so he could become Catholic Priest. We both became disenchanted and briefly explored trying to become Catholic again. One meeting with the Catholic priest cured us when we discovered that letters from ex-spouses were a requirement along with a hefty fee to enter into Catholicism.
Finally one day while gassing up our car at a gas station, Barbara and I met a young Priest who was doing the same. We talked with him briefly and accepted an invitation to attend his church. That’s all it took, one visit to Mass at St. Benedict’s Orthodox Church and our search was over. We came
Here’s why: The Orthodox Church, our Church, was established by Jesus Christ himself. It is the original Christian Church that has not changed since
Christ came into himself with his beginnings as the Great Teacher, the Son of Man. His teaching, the gospels, his miracles and suffering and death at the
beginning of the first century still stand unchanging today. The Apostles carried on with the word of God, never ending their dedication and devotion even when subjected to Martyrdom.
The worship of the Church is beautiful and is heaven on earth. It’s always the same shape from place to place. The doctrine is the same. The whole
Church confesses one creed, the same in every place, and has weathered many attacks. The government of the Church is recognizably one everywhere, and
this one Church is the Orthodox Church. The Roman Bishop broke off from the original Church and formed the Catholic Church. All other Christian Churches reformed, broke away, or otherwise changed their individual beliefs to suit their own thoughts on what they thought Christ would consider.
THE ORIGINAL CHURCH, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, STILL STANDS as the true witness of Christ’s teachings, and has never faltered.