My Conversion Story
I apologize if my story reads more like a list of events, but what I felt during and after my conversion of heart was much more poignant than I can ever put into words.

  I don’t really know how to start this.  I’m an adoptee from S. Korea.  As soon as I landed in Queens, NY right from JFK at 8 months old I was brought to a beautiful Catholic Church and baptized late at night.  My dad wasn’t messing around.  My brother, previously from S. Korea as well, is six years older than me.  Because of the age gap, I didn’t see him much in my high school years as he went on to serve in the United States Navy.

  I was the first picture my parents saw when they were searching for a second child-didn’t look through any other photos and they chose me.  In hindsight, I’m astounded at how God was ever-present in my life.

  I had a wonderful childhood, filled with God’s peace, warmth, and scrumptious hearty Italian food. I attribute it all to my Italian parents.  I was raised in the Novus Ordo.  We went every Sunday, and my parents were Third Order Franciscans.  I thought they knew the Faith.

  Fast forward to my last year in middle school, things started to get odd after they adopted another child, my sister, via the US system.  She came much older and already set in her ways. 

  Fast forward to my junior and senior year of high school.  What a mess.  Satan really got ahold of my mom and she succumbed to his lies.  I was a freshman when she decided to go to college and part of this decision was to help with the finances, so we were told.   She was preparing to become “part of this world”.  College and these “new friends” were morphing her into some woman I’d come to refer to in the future as J, not mom.  I’ll refer to her as J going forward.  

  Just before I graduated, she and my dad had a conversation and then she left.  She left my dad and her children.  She walked out and abandoned her family.  She took herself out from under his protection and guidance and danced off with satan and all his minions, literally to disgusting “clubs”, parades, parties she went. 

  It was the first time I ever saw my dad sob and mourn.  And it shook me. 

  I didn’t know what to think or how to feel and after a while when I remained in contact with her, I let her “guide” me.  She was my mother.  To justify her behavior and thinking she would tell me things like, “if you were on an island with the person of the same sex, then you’d eventually fall in love.”  What?!  (I didn’t know about SSA and how it is a dysphoria until I discovered FishEaters.)  She became dysphoric inside a dysphoria and I was getting trapped in her madness.  (The LGBTQ world is nuts. It's where Satan's playground is.) Yet, I still felt like I had to be loyal to her though, and so, I “accepted” her and her lifestyle.  I tried to balance being there for her and being there for my dad. After the divorce, dad was laid off from Grumman after many years of service.  He then accepted a job at EB in CT.  I tried to keep close, but it was difficult.   We were separated by distance, but he offered to take my sister and me with him.  My sister and I eventually chose to stay near her.  He would make the drive from CT to NY every weekend to food shop for us. 

  Our family was blown up from the inside and it scattered everyone everywhere. And because of this, everyone was in pain, so no one had an ounce of emotion to spare.  So, with everything going on with J, being 18, completely free and not knowing how to handle freedom, and well just not caring about anything anymore, I grew a big mess for myself.  I was so far away from God, let alone the Church.  I was such a mess inside and out.  Very painful years.
  Fast forward to late 2004, I was holding a good job, had a child out of wedlock, and was renting space from J.  She became very jealous every time I would go to see my dad in CT.   That year, I planned to have my son’s first haircut with his Grampy.  When I got back to NY all hell broke loose-over a haircut.  Her partner was trying to keep the peace between us, but J wound up kicking us out in the pouring rain the night after Thanksgiving.  A local friend took me in until I could fulfill my last two weeks at my job.  I called my dad and my stepmother and they took me in.  We made the move to New England and every single year since has gotten better and better.  God is so good. 

  My stepsister got me a job where she worked at the time.  I settled in in a local housing authority and raised my boy for a bit.  Just before he was about to turn five, I started dating a man I met a work.  On our first date we knew we were the ones for each other.   In 2011, we had child and in 2012 we got married in an Anglican church.  In 2013, we had another child. 

  While I was on my maternity leave with my last son, my dad who had now been awake to the Faith for a little while, would try to talk to me about the Gospels every time we would visit him.  And my attitude was, yeah, yeah, ok, and I’ll look into that. My ears wouldn’t let me hear and my mind wouldn’t even let me think about it until one day, I happened upon the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  I resolved to watch it.   Once it was finished, I remember feeling stunned, startled.  Something punched me, lit a fire under my arse, inflamed me, woke me up.  A significant scene for me was when the agnostic attorney found the locket with the initial C and later reveals her middle name is Christine.  My first name is Christine.  The hairs on the back of my neck went stiff.  The second scene was when Our Lady appeared to Annelise (I forgot the name of the character who played her in the movie).  (Much later, when I shared my conversion story with my dad, he told me that he had consecrated my brother and me to Our Lady.  It was special because I really lost two mothers; birth and adoptive.  Yet, I was given to Our Mother.  Our Lord saved the best for last.  All this would really sink in a few years later). 

  Still reeling from watching the movie, I remember holding my son, this baby in my arms so peaceful, and hearing you have a choice to make.  I knew exactly what it was too.  It was I either choose God or choose evil.  From that moment, I searched for the nearest Catholic Church.  I started going to Mass (didn’t receive the Eucharist) and took my oldest with me.  I ran to the Sacrament of Penance and started going regularly.  Our first experience was a Novus Order church, whom the priest called up the Eucharistic Minister and referred to Jesus as take-out.  I was horrified.  We never went back.  Trying to grow stronger in the Faith, I searched Catholicism and found FishEaters.  Scales fell, jaw dropped, and faith made stronger.  Thank you, Vox.  I was introduced to the Traditional Latin Mass because of FishEaters.  I’m forever grateful.  So, I searched for the nearest one and we have been attending since 2014.  I wrote a letter to the church I previously attended and gave the priest my two cents and asked him to bring in the TLM.  With all the information from FishEaters, I was able to introduce the Faith to my husband and in 2015 he came into the Church.  We were then able to have the children receive their remaining sacraments in the Traditional Rite.  My husband adopted my oldest and that was a beautiful day.  

  We are under the guidance of a good Trad priest and are waiting to have our marriage blessed.  It’s been a long bumpy ride in between.  It’s extremely risky to go against the current., in my opinion.  In my case, all the mess I made I was committed to try to undo. And I believe because I tried, Lord Christ (I find myself using this title when referencing Jesus per Vox’s advice) restored and made all things new for me again.  God’s laws and the Church’s teachings are there for a darn good purpose.   

 All that I love and know now about the Faith, 90% of it is because of FishEaters.  Here I was about to explode with joy and I had no one to guide me, to talk to about Traditional Catholicism, which stands in stark contrast to the Novus Ordo.  (When we entered the TLM church for the first time, it was my oldest and me.  We walk in, his head turned up to the ornate vaulted ceiling and he says, “Whoaaa, mom…”)

  During this time, I was trying to get my husband to join us and well, he thought I just lost it.  I was trying to piece everything together on random sites, which did more harm than good.  I don’t know where I’d be without Jesus through FishEaters.  For the first time in my life, I feel whole.  I’m not always happy, but I always have this underlying joy because of Christ’s love. It was quite an experience and I don’t know how to do it justice with typed words.

  I consecrate all my pain to Our Lady of Sorrows especially when the devil likes to toss it in my face now and then. 

  The road is still long for me and my family.  And I’m not sure if that is good or bad but, I’m staying on it.  I’m not sure how I’m doing with trying to be a good Traditional Catholic while trying to raise my children to be.  I came very late to the game, but I’m trying.  One thing I remember going through was doubt after my conversion.  I cried a lot in stores, in the bathroom, and one afternoon in the car I found myself talking out loud asking God if I was on the right path.  Soon as I got onto the highway, I looked up and there was a cloud in the shape of a bird whose outline looked like it was blazing.  It was significant to me, and breathtaking. And I stopped crying.  Every time I see Our Lord lifted into the air, I stop doubting.   I was so blind and stupid and selfish.  Yet, He never gave up on me.  Christ renewed the gifts that I received at Confirmation that I made dormant all those years.  I’m forever grateful. 

  In your charity, would you say some prayers that my husband be inflamed with the fruits and gifts of the Holy Ghost that he received at his baptism?

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story and I’m always praying for you all.

[Edited by Vox for formatting purposes: to add paragraph breaks]
[-] The following 8 users Like ActusFidei313's post:
  • antiquarian, dahveed, Fionnchu, HailGilbert, jack89, Julia Augusta, SeeTheLight, VoxClamantis
Holy mackerel, what a story! And I feel like you're practically family because you're a Korean raised by Italians: I'm Italian American with a Korean sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, great-nieces/nephews, etc. (All the Koreans I know are stupendous people. Those of the right age who were raised in Korea know a lot about suffering and the evils of Communism. You should hear my Sister-in-law tell the story of her family's escape from North Korea into South Korea when the Commies came into power. Absolutely harrowing...).

God apparently has His eye on you -- whew. Enduring what your Mom, or J, if you prefer, put you through must have been Hellish. Your Dad sounds like a Prince though... In any case, you've come far! And I'm glad FishEaters was able to help you along the way. Praise God for that!

Glad you're here, Actus. Thanks for writing your story out like that Smile
T h e   D u d e t t e   A b i d e s
[-] The following 2 users Like VoxClamantis's post:
  • Fionnchu, HailGilbert
Thanks for sharing your story. It's always good to hear people finding the faith.

I wish you the best and I'll say a prayer for your husband, and you and your kids as well.
[-] The following 1 user Likes jack89's post:
  • HailGilbert
Thank you and thank you again for providing the opportunity. I'm still a little shocked, in a good way, that I'm here, at FishEaters...communicating with you and all these good people.
And lol to feeling like family. 🙂 What a coinky dink. My husband says I'm the most Korean Italian he's ever met. 🤣. I started to get gray a little earlier than most and it's a running joke that I get that from my dad.
I can't imagine what it was like for your sister in law going through all she did. When my folks were going through the adoption process with my brother they picked him from a picture as well. He was about 4 yo, and he was in the horrific orphanage system. He was so malnourished that his belly was distended. They poured gasoline on his head and all of the children's heads to kill lice. The stories are heartbreaking. He spoke baby Korean, so there was a language barrier. But, when they brought him over he was so hungry he ate everything from chicken bones to crayons. And the end result of the crayons, was let's just say, colorful. Lol.
So while he had some developmental issues, he managed to graduate HS and go through the Navy and came out a Gulf War vet. Praise God!
When they brought me home, it was a bit easier. J tried to suckle me and I bit her. I like to think my baby self knew something was up with her. Lol!!
I pray for her and have forgiven her and communicated that to her. I just can't be in contact with her as long as she's "practicing" that lifestyle.
But looking forward to posting more here and building Catholic relationships. Because while being Catholic is such a gift and joy, it's difficult to live out with others. I wish I could find Catholic friends for my children to play and grow up with as I'm new to homeschooling this year.
And even Catholic friends for myself. 🙂
Nonetheless, I'm just super excited and honored to be a part of the tank!
[-] The following 2 users Like ActusFidei313's post:
  • Fionnchu, HailGilbert
(12-31-2019, 05:07 PM)ActusFidei313 Wrote: But looking forward to posting more here and building Catholic relationships.  Because while being Catholic is such a gift and joy, it's difficult to live out with others.  I wish I could find Catholic friends for my children to play and grow up with as I'm new to homeschooling this year.
And even Catholic friends for myself. 🙂
Nonetheless, I'm just super excited and honored to be a part of the tank!
I joined a few months ago, AF313, for the same reasons, after having lurked a while. I first found FE when searching for e-books, and I was amazed at the breadth and depth of resources. I admit being hesitant in diving into this tank, and I've already got sprayed blowback, this being cyberia. I too live apart from Catholics, even in my family me as the oddity, the "revert," in an urban sea of blue-state "progressive" secularists. (And like your parents, I am a Secular Franciscan, still in formation; our sponsoring parish has a separate Korean fraternity.)

However, I have found this forum helpful in finding like-minded (well, most of the time) fellow searchers who found our way back to the TLM. What I am getting used to are all of the concomitant doctrines and practices and mindsets. As I was in diapers during V2, I grew up "liberally."

P.S. BTW, that note of you and your brother being "found" in photos enchanted me...let's say I can relate profoundly, even if I'm not Korean...
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people may hear today (Francis of Assisi); Win an argument, lose a soul (Fulton Sheen)
[-] The following 1 user Likes Fionnchu's post:
  • HailGilbert
Fionnchu, that's wonderful. We are in a deep blue sea state too. Ugh. Our parish is wonderful and we are friendly with some families but it just seems so difficult to make a genuine connection. Everyone is so busy.
My dad found an order and he has been in his element.
Sounds like you are doing well on the path in the TLM. I found it to be life changing. It's funny but when I had to find my baptism cert, I looked up the church in Queens and it looks exactly like the parish we are in now.
I find it fascinating that you and Vox know more Koreans than I will probably ever meet. I used to order so much Chinese food just to be in contact with other Asians. Lol. It was that and I spent a lot of time talking to myself in the mirror. Lol! I would joke with my brother that he was half Japanese because he has eyelid folds and I don't. Haha!
It's comforting to know some of your story and how we have some commonalities. 🙂
[-] The following 2 users Like ActusFidei313's post:
  • Fionnchu, HailGilbert
I’m Chinese-Filipino, and grew up in Manila. I attended Catholic school all my life. During my teens my mom fell for the women’s liberation propaganda and stopped going to church. I fell for it too but since I was still in Catholic school, I had to go to Mass with my classmates. After high school, our family emigrated to America. That’s when I stopped believing in God. In 2017, after 40 yrs away from the church, leading a worldly sinful life, unhappy most of the time, I came back to the Catholic Church through a miracle. You can read it here:


Within a day of online research on how to come back to the true Faith, I found traditional Catholic websites such as FE, as well as trad blogs and podcasts. I like to think that the Holy Spirit was guiding my Google searches. 

I live in Kyoto, Japan in spring and autumn. There is no Latin mass. Only when I travel (to Singapore, the US, UK, and continental Europe) do I manage to go to a TLM. 

You are fortunate to have a Latin Mass close by.
Hi Julia Augusta,

    What a wonderful conversion story.  Smile  It amazes me how most conversion stories happen with a "bang" like yours and mine and how Our Lord is always with us even in our stupidity.  

    I used to think well if I did this or that then I'd have become better.  But, I'm reminded that that's the devil's voice, not God's.

    I pray for the restoration of the Faith through the TLM for Japan.  Those folks' culture fascinate me-how they put so much care into all they do.  I'm not sure if this is true as I read it from a commenter on another blog, that the Japanese were so inspired by all of the bowing at the TLM they adopted it into their practices.  Pretty cool, if true.
Your bumpy road is an absolutely beautiful conversion story. God never gives up on us. God Bless you and your family and thank you for telling us your story.
"The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; it signifies love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life." -St. Thomas Aquinas

“To be tempted is a sign that the soul is very pleasing to the Lord.” St. Padre Pio
It was a bumpy road, but God love you for all you had to endure.
Vivat Jesu Rex!
Ave Maria!
Da pacem, Domine. In diebus nostris.

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