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Kyle Adkins wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am writing today because I am at a crossroads in my faith. I was born and raised in a Southern Baptist family but, to be really honest, I have never been to a church service.

I wasn't forced to go to as a kid and, since then, I haven't really been involved in church.

My question deals with my faith as well as my kid's and my wife's faith. I married a woman who was raised in a Catholic home and still believes but she hasn't been to church since our marriage either. This has been a cause for a lot of division between our families, mainly on her side, because we didn't baptize our kids.

  • I have been reading a lot both from my Bible and hers
  • have done extensive online study, and
  • have been asking others their opinions.

I believe God has put a desire on my heart to make a journey and become a Catholic, even at the expense of what my family thinks, not just for me, but to strengthen our family and for the lives of our children and for my wife. The problem is I'm unsure if the Catholic Church will accept me because I'm already 30 and I would need so much education to learn the faith and Her teachings. If I am going to covert to Catholicism I don't want to go in inept and uninformed. I want to become an active member who can grow and learn so I can lead my family in the proper direction.

I just don't know how to go about this.

  • Can you make some recommendations for me?

Thank you for taking my question.

Kyle Adkins

  { Do you have tips for a non-practicing Southern Baptist drawn to being an active, faithful Catholic? }

Bob replied:


You are a good man for taking this bold step and doing this for your family and yourself. You are never too old and you will be happily accepted into the Catholic faith.

Normally people take an RCIA program at a parish and are received into the Church at Easter time. You should check in with a local parish and talk to a priest about joining. If it is too late for this Easter, the parish would likely start another program in the fall.

In the meantime, check out some good books that you could read on your own. Making a departure from a Baptist tradition will certainly be tough for some of your family, but if you are well-versed in understanding the differences between Catholics and Southern Baptists, and develop a knowledge of authentic Catholic teaching, you will earn their respect, if not, their understanding.

Check out Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Karl Keating as some good writers. Catholicism and Fundamentalism is a good book that deals with much of the anti-Catholic stuff you could encounter (by K. Keating), Rome Sweet Home is the first book by Hahn and tells his conversion journey from Protestantism, but his has many other great books.

Just try perusing a Catholic bookstore (if you can find one near you) and talk to the folks there about some good books.

Basically, read, talk, and ask questions, like you did here and get a dialogue going.
You will find it a great journey, and your family will be the better for your leadership.

Feel free to write us at anytime and God bless you.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Kyle, —

I just wanted to add a bit to what Bob has said.

To be a faithful Catholic with a solid foundation, you want to become a Catholic for the right reasons. As my colleague Eric has said in the past:

The right reason to become Catholic is not because Catholicism lines up with your personal beliefs but because the Catholic Church is the truth-telling Church.

In other words, as a Catholic you should believe that your beliefs should align with Catholicism, and not the other way around.

You will be asked, as a convert, to accept whatever the Catholic Church teaches to be revealed by God — now and in the future, known and unknown. You should choose the Church because She tells the truth and always will, not because what She teaches agrees with your opinions.

That said, I admire your willingness to learn and know the faith ahead of time.

These web pages may help:

Seeing you may be preparing to take RCIA classes in the near future, I would encourage you to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.Also check out these pages:

Hope this helps,


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