Congratulations to Jeffrey Steel, a clergyman in the Church of England, his wife and their six children who have " jumped into the Tiber to swim across".
"I realise that I do not come to the Church making demands. I come offering my life to Jesus and to the Church as I seek his will for my life."
Jeffrey gives a humbling account of his spiritual journey on his blog, De Cura Animarum: humbling because those of us who are 'cradle Catholics' can often completely underestimate the struggles, fears and the 'not knowing' of which way to go, which often accompany adult conversion.
e" In my heart, I knew that I had grown to love and believe the Catholic faith as it was taught in the Catholic Catechism. On my final day in Rome on 17 April 2009 I went to the tomb of S. Peter and knelt and prayed for quite some time. I knew in my heart I was a Catholic and asked what it was that was keeping me from converting. All sorts of fears ran through my head and I felt very restless there and at times just knelt quietly asking S. Peter to pray for me because I didn’t know how or the way to go. At the end of this time I went over and knelt at JPII's tomb and asked him to please pray for me as I was scared to make a journey like this with a wife and six children not knowing how God would provide for us."
And it's a wonderfully moving story because, conversion involves a profound change brought about through seeking the Truth and being open to God's Will.
"After praying with JPII, I got up and went to S. Peter’s tomb again and there with conviction of heart signed the Roman Catholic Catechism stating ‘This is the Faith of the Church and this is my Faith’, and signed my name with the day's date. Before leaving the Basilica I walked over to the statue of S. Peter with the key in his hand, rubbed his foot, and said, ‘I am going out to find the way, open the door and make this happen and pray for me as I make this journey."
Conversion changes most obviously the one who has converted, yet it also brings great blessings and real joy to the faithful in the Catholic Church.
I hope, pray and trust that Jeffrey and his family will receive a warm welcome in the One True Church for which they have made great sacrifices.
Thanks to Fr Ray