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Thomas Dickerson wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am not of the Catholic faith but I am strongly thinking of converting. I was baptized and confirmed into the Methodist faith as a young boy. I regret saying, I have not been to a church service in at least three to four years.

I was going through a rough patch in my life and my best friend's mom knelt beside me and prayed the Rosary. While she was praying, I never felt so calm and at peace. I want to have that same calm peacefulness and love she says the Catholic Church has.

  • I am 20 years old now and would like to know where I start.

Thank you so much.


  { How does a 20-year old start the process of becoming a Catholic so I can have that same peace? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Thomas —

Thanks for the question.

The best place to start is by finding a few local Catholic parishes in your area.

Since the Holy Spirit has clearly guided you up to now, let Him guide you in evaluating the various Catholic parishes in your area and go with one that you think would meet your spiritual needs and that you feel comfort with. Ask friends and family or even parishioners from the parish what they think about each parish. Call the chosen parish and tell either the secretary or pastor that you're interest in becoming Catholic and ask if you could set up an appointment with the pastor or a priest. This will given both of you a planned time where you can talk over nuances of your spiritual journey as well as finding out what ministries they have that you can participate in.

Most, if not all, new members go through a RCIA program. It allows possible new member to learn about our faith and make that final decision on whether they want to become Catholic or not.

It's important to remember, we should not become Catholic because Catholicism lines up with our personal beliefs but because we believe the Catholic Church is the truth-telling Church on issues of faith and morals.

I used to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics. Once you have read the Catechism, you will probably have questions.

To resolve issues you run into, I would recommend a few sources:

You may also find some interesting articles on my Favorites page:


Mary Ann replied:


Say the Rosary also. It is easy, and Christ's Mother will guide you to His peace.

Mary Ann

Eric replied:

Hi, Thomas —

We are pleased to hear you are investigating the Catholic faith. As my colleague mentioned,
the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is a good start, though you may want to start with YouCat, a Catechism designed for youth and young adults, a little splashier and more contemporary. Or, read YouCat and use the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a reference.

Reading conversion stories may help you. A good series is called Surprised by Truth, edited by Patrick Madrid. There are three books:

  1. Surprised by Truth
  2. Surprised by Truth 2, and
  3. Surprised by Truth 3

Other good conversion stories are:

You are welcome to attend a Catholic church; that might be a good thing to do. You won't be able to receive Communion until you are received into the Church but you can otherwise participate in the Mass. You might also try Eucharistic Adoration, if they have it at your local Catholic Church. Put briefly, we remember that the disciples worshiped Jesus in his human nature, and we believe that the Eucharist becomes the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, not only sacramentally, but really present, and so we display and worship the Eucharist as the disciples worshiped Jesus in his human nature. You may be moved by this form of worship if you try it. Many saints have commended it and testified to its power.

If you are at college, you might want to contact the Catholic Newman Center or chaplaincy and try to find some Catholics your own age to hang out with.

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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