By Judy Ferguson
For many of my 65 years my “life” verse was this:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28 NAB) Until almost five years ago, I never thought “good” could mean my becoming a Catholic.
I was raised as an Anglican (Episcopalian), and eventually found myself in the PAOC (Canadian counterpart of the Assemblies of God). But still something wasn’t sitting quite right.
About five years ago I began buying things on eBay for our children’s ministry and through that was invited to join a prayer group called Christian Sellers United. Because of this I met Jerry Kohlbrand, (BroJer) who printed a daily devotional for Catholics and sent me some books to give out. I didn’t know any Catholics to give them to but decided to take them to a Catholic book store which I knew was located in the Procathedral, handed them to the woman in the store, told her they were devotionals for Catholics and I wasn’t Catholic, then beat a hasty retreat.
In the meantime Jerry would send out some quotes from the devotional to our eBay prayer group which really spoke to me, and somewhat in spite of myself I started reading this book every day. Often it seemed to be addressed, “Dear Judy”! Jerry had also talked about Fr. Al Lauer’s influence on his life and I started listening to Fr. Al’s radio broadcasts on the website, then downloading some of his brochures and found myself emailing Jerry with question after question. After more emails, IM’s, Skype calls, than I care to count, and infinite patience on the part of Jerry, he suggested I read Scott Hahn’s book, “Rome Sweet Home”.
In it I saw myself again and again, so closed to Catholicism that I never checked out what Catholics really believed, and until I started reading the devotional, believing that Catholics never read the Bible, just believed what the church hierarchy told them to believe.
Well, I went back to the bookstore for a catechism and a rosary. I asked the woman if she knew a Catholic Church I could go to and she invited me to St. Alphonsus Liguori in Callander where she (Alana) and her husband (Kas) attend. I went to my first Mass there and found myself in tears because I felt that in not being able to take part in the Eucharist I was missing the purpose for which God had drawn me there. I went to see Fr. Jim who was leaving to go to the military as a chaplain in a few weeks and explained my situation. He began to ask me many questions about Catholicism and I had been so deep into reading and researching I was able to answer all of them. Because I had been baptized in the Anglican church it was just a question of confirmation and he told me that if I was sure, he would confirm me on the last Sunday in May, his last Sunday in the church.
So on May 28th, 2006 I became a Catholic and for the first time was able to take part in the Eucharist. There are no words to express how much that meant to me! I KNEW that this was the real presence of Jesus!
I am forever grateful for all the emails, IMs, Skype calls, and that box of devotionals that BroJer sent, that literally opened the door of the Catholic Church for me.