• Former Protestant minister embraces the truth of the Catholic Church. But How?What would drive a Protestant pastor to give up his ministry, to wander in spiritual darkness for a time and eventually follow God’s call in a new direction?For Steve Dow, it was the truths of the Catholic faith that, despite his best efforts, he ultimately couldn’t ignore.HIS GREATEST CHALLENGE.I started realizing that a lot of the things that I’ve heard about and thought were crazy (about the Catholic faith), there’s actually good reasons for some of the things these Catholics believe and practice, and I kind of felt drawn towards it.“At the same time I’m thinking, ‘I’m a Protestant pastor. If I pursue this direction, I lose my ministry. I lose my source of income. How will I provide for my family?’”I found myself questioning everything, questioning my faith, questioning God’s existence. I became more of an atheist, so for integrity’s sake, I had to leave the ministry,” he said.DID HIS WIFE SUPPORT HIM?His wife Amanda, herself a former Catholic, found the transition difficult. The couple, who met and married during Bible college, had gone straight into ministry after graduation, Dow said.“So that was the kind of life that we have known all our life he said. “It was very hard on her, very hard on our marriage. She continued to believe and continued to go to church sometimes, but with me not going and supporting it, it was hard on her.”HE TAKES THE BIG STEPS.I remember just breaking down and weeping, realizing there’s a lot more to life,” he said. “It started waking me up to faith again.”With that, he started praying and reading, “devouring Catholic literature,” Dow said. He began using the Catholic prayer and meditation app “Hallow,” which encouraged him to pray the Rosary.Dow also began viewing St. Patrick Parish Masses online, and heard about upcoming RCIA classes.( Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) .Then, last September he took the plunge.HIS FIRST OBSERVATION IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.I always thought that Protestants were the ones that took the Bible more seriously or more literally, and I was shocked at realizing that’s not really true,” Dow said.“When it comes to things like the real presence in the Eucharist, when Jesus says ‘this is my body and this is my blood’ … Catholics are the ones that are taking this more literally and more straightforward, and not trying to explain it all away.”FINALLY RECEIVED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.Eventually stepping out in faith and trust in the Lord, he responded to God’s call and was finally welcomed into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil, April 16 2022 at St. Patrick Church in O’Neill, Nebraska.And Dow’s wife, who had been raised Catholic and received the sacraments as a youth but had left the Church along with her family during her teens, returned to the Church.Having attended RCIA classes with her husband, she decided during Holy Week to rejoin the Church by going to confession, then received Communion during the Vigil.“That made it very nice too, for us to be able to do that together,” Dow said.And following the Vigil, their marriage was also sacramentally blessed by Father Bernard Starman.Their 22-year-old son, who had begun attending Mass with the couple, has expressed an interest in Catholicism. The Dows also are considering baptism for their two youngest children, 8 and 11, who, in line with common Protestant practice, went through a dedication ceremony as infants but had not yet been baptized.The couple now prays and reads the Bible together as they had in the past, and can now participate fully in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.May God’s word continue to penetrate our hearts,Amen.Source: CNAPhoto: Recent convert Steve Dow and his wife, Amanda, pose for a photo with Deacon M.J. Kersenbrock, left, and Father Bernard Starman after the Easter Vigil April 16, 2022 at St. Patrick Church in O’Neill, Nebraska./ Courtesy of the Dow family.

Sources: Augustine Mario

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