Saturday, February 18, 2017

Coming Home to Holy Eucharist: Rob's Testimony

The most powerful witness to a Christian's faith is his/her personal testimony. Personal testimony is probably the most effective way to bring Christ to others. Rob's testimony is one of many I have heard, and he is enthusiastic about sharing it. So much so, in fact, that he requested I use his real name in this post.

Rob Gwisdala was born to a Catholic father and a Protestant mother in a time when the Church had started to focus so heavily on ecumenism that it practically forgot about catechesis. Education of the faith, and preparation for the Sacraments, after all, is primarily the role of parents. But in an age when the Church was offering these faith formation classes to young children, it forgot to emphasize to parents the primary importance of teaching the faith at home. Parents figured the Church would take care of it, and the Church assumed parents were doing what parents were supposed to be doing...and by the 1990's, droves of young Catholic adults left the Church because they knew practically nothing of the faith in which they were supposed to have been raised. Yet, Rob didn't even get that far in his youth.

"I am supposed to be Catholic, after all", recounts Rob, recalling the faith of his father. "My parents married outside of the Catholic Church. They divorced after 5 years of marriage [and] my mother raised me Protestant. Unfortunately, My father never insisted on raising me Catholic." Instead, Rob grew up in a series of protestant traditions. "I was United Church Of Christ before 1996, but I was not baptized and not involved in my faith.  From 1996 - 2001, I was United Methodist, and it was during that time that I was baptized by sprinkling in June 1997. I prayed the "Sinner's Prayer" and I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior in May 1997. I was Baptist from 2001 - 2011 and was baptized a 2nd time by immersion in May 2002. I did not practice my faith from 2011 - 2014. I started researching the Catholic Church in 2014 and I started practicing my faith again. I used to be VERY Anti-Catholic. It is by the Grace of God that my eyes were opened to the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit called me to the Catholic Church."

I asked Rob if there was anything in particular that made him want to look into the Catholic faith, given his previous anti-Catholic view. "I just started studying the Catholic Church on my own. The main reason is the Holy Eucharist. It is an actual means of Grace. It is not a symbol. I was so blind for many years and I finally found the truth." Rob continued, "I was digging in the Bible and on the Catholic Answers website. The evangelical/fundamentalist beliefs and doctrines do not hold water. I found out that Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are false. I also found out that the sacraments are God's means of Grace. I also did research on the CatholicBible101 website." After much study, he came to the realization that "Jesus Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in Holy Communion."

Rob concluded his comments with a request for prayers from all his Christian brothers and sisters: "I am currently in the RCIA program at my local parish that is in communion with the Pope. I hope to be received into the Catholic Church in Easter 2017. I am a former United Methodist and a former Baptist. Please pray for me. I am so happy to be coming home to the Catholic Church in Easter 2017."

Rob, you bet we will pray for you, and I hope you pray for me, too!

Photo of the Eucharistic Miracle in Argentina.

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