Converts: tell about your conversion story
I'd like to hear people who chose the Faith.  Why'd you do it?  How long did it take you to get interested in the Church? Was there someone in particular who was an inspiration? Did anyone outright ask you to convert?

What's your story?
I knew that I wanted to be Catholic ever since I was little. I was originally a United Methodist, but even way back then, (and thanks to my dad, who used to be Catholic), I knew more about Catholicism than I did about Methodism. It's difficult to explain, other than to say that it was a true calling to the Faith. I've never regretted joining it; on the contrary, I've been majorly blessed.

That's my story in a nutshell.
Well I was kind of raised Catholic, but for arguments sake we'll say I wasn't. My parents proceeded to send me to Catholic school around grade 7 because the quality of education is above and beyond any of the crap you get in the public schools around here. Anyways, in grade 10 I had a solid 27 year old guy teaching religion class. This wasn't some old fart lording doom 'n gloom crap over us, he was more or less "cool" like us and his arguments for everything were so logical you couldn't back out of them. For example, I remember walking into class and he said, "ok kids we're going to learn today why contraception is so evil." I was floored. Do you have any idea how normal I thought contraception was before that day? That would literally be like walking into a class and the teacher says he's going to convince you that water is evil. Literally. That's how far flung, even at 14, I was into the hedonistic depths of society, and looking back on it, it sucks, and I'm still battling bad habits formed when I was so young, but God's slowly working his magic. Anyways, an hour and a half later when his contraception speech was over I was 100% convinced. And it went pretty much like that for almost every topic he taught that year, and I was so convinced of the Church's authority that I didn't have the slightest shred of doubt ever, and just took it all in.
Then my conversion to the Tradition came from studying history. I have a natural aversion to all the fluffy hoohoo crap that goes on in the NO, so that was part of it, and studying history led me to the TLM, as did FE ( I think I found the TLM and FE basically at the same time). I could tell you exactly when and where I was when I realized that Tradition is the way to go.
That's it and that's all.
I was leading a sinful life and I realized that I didn't want to live that life anymore. I thought about the most "at peace" person I could think of, and he was an Army officer I served with in Bosnia. He was a strong Catholic. I was his personal guard and on long trips, he spent his time praying and reading the Bible. So when I remembered him, I immediately began studying Catholicism and agreed with everything that I read. Despite all of the people around me urging me not to convert (especially my father), I did it.

I found traditionalism because I attended RCIA at a very liberal parish that contradicted everything that I had learned while reading the Catechism.
For me, it happened after spending two years learning about the Faith, mostly on my own. I already had a concept of a visible authority speaking on matters of faith because I had been a practicing Mormon for a time. From there, Tradition seemed natural, especially since I had learned the Faith on my own rather than during an RCIA program. To clarify, I was allowed to study on my own because I had transportation issues. Virtually everything Catholic I know was learned independently.
Where's SoCalLocal......
Both of my parents were anti-religious. They were both VERY liberal and made it very clear that they didn't like the idea of God. Growing up I met a few religous friends and somehow learned about God. I always had a strong urge to pray...and I prayed quite a bit, especially when my dad passed away.  I remember when I was 18 I prayed to God to send me a good man...a husband.

A few weeks after praying for a husband I met a guy named Chris. We started dating and he brought me to church right away (something he had NEVER done with his past girlfriends). I remember my first mass. It was beautiful. It just felt right. I had been to many churches and this is the first one that seemed "real". There was no obnoxious singing...screaming Hallelujah with arms waving around, or people dropping to their knees "speaking in tongue"  I was hooked. We were married 20 months later.

*Apparently when I had prayed for a husband, Chris was at a retreat the very same time and was praying for a wife....

And that's how I converted....
I am descended from Catholics who all managed to fall away from the Church before I came into the world.  I was raised Southern Baptist...and only knew 1 Catholic family while growing up.

After high school, I joined the Army.  When I got to basic training, my range buddy was a Catholic from San Antonio.  She invited me to first ever...which I loved.  I was struck by how beautiful and reverent kneeling in church to pray is.

At the Army language school in CA I was in a small Polish class...only 2 other students, which included Scipio (who was Catholic, albeit at the time not practicing) and our sgt (who was also Catholic).  All of our professors were Catholics (all were native Poles)...and of course, the most famous Pole in the world at that time was Catholic (JPII).

Scipio's dad would send him copies of the National Review magazine, which I enjoyed reading.  One day, while browsing college materials at a local bookstore, I ran across the National Review College Guide.  They only recommended 4 colleges in Texas, and the closest to Dallas was the University of Dallas...a small, Catholic university.  I applied and was accepted.  So, you see, at this point God was basically hitting me over the head with signs.

After we married and Scipio's enlistment was up, we moved back to Dallas so that I could attend UD.  While at UD's Rome campus, I began to flirt with the idea of converting.  Father (now Bishop) Conley talked with me and gave me a Baltimore Catechism and rosary beads.  I learned to pray the Rosary.

When I got back to the states, Scipio and I attended Mass regularly, and I began RCIA classes.  After deciding that RCIA wasn't going to work, I contacted the FSSP priest in Dallas.  He agreed to oversee my catechesis, but he was reassigned before we finished.  We eventually left the FSSP parish and joined an SSPX parish, where I finished up my catechesis and was baptized.

I was drawn to Catholicism for its beauty and logic.  I found her history interesting and I am fond of Latin.  My maternal grandmother's steadfastness to her marriage vows even after divorce greatly impressed me with the deep regard that Catholics have for matrimony.  Rome also contributed greatly to my conversion, and is a place very close to my heart, as it made me feel connected to my faith.

In the end, if I had chosen to remain unconverted, I think I may have fallen into despair.  Catholicism has taught me to see suffering as redemptive, and to realize that I am not beyond God's forgiveness.  So, there ya have it.
Fascinating and meaningful thread.

I will say more in time - but for now I will indicate that I was 1000 per cent New Ager for nearly twenty years of my life.

I had lived at the Findhorn Community in Scotland - which the Evangelical Protestant Constance Cumbey author of The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow has called the Vatican City of the New Age movement.

When I found a book called Meditations on the Tarot.

This is the book Bl. John Paul II is meditating on in another thread on this site.

Totally submerged in the New Age as I was, I doubt whether  I could have found my way into the Church without this book ...

And in a world ever more dominated New Age-ism this is why Bl. JPII, BXVI and their associates are not only meditating on this book but as I argue in that thread supporting it ...


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