In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys are joined by Keith Nester, a former Protestant Pastor who gives practical tips on discerning and converting to the Catholic Faith.
In this episode, we will discuss:
• How to know you are ready to convert
• How to tell your family you are converting
• What is the process for converting to Catholicism?
• 5 Things you should do while converting
• Which books should read to help you?
• What things you should avoid when converting to Catholicism
• and much more
Show Notes & Links
Keith’s Website: https://www.keithnester.com
Keith’s Podcast: https://www.keithnester.com/catholic-feedback.html
Keith’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCIcOC_ats_S_qCAnvwzunw
- The Convert’s Guide To Roman Catholicism
- The Baltimore Catechism
- The Catechism of The Catholic Church
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
5 comments on Tips On Converting To Catholic From A Former Protestant Pastor
Welcome to our church Keith! It is always amazing to me that our God is such a personal God. I find it hard to maintain dozens of relationships in my life yet God maintains billions. Never doubt that God didn’t personally call you to convert. I am going to call up your podcasts. These guys have 100 for you to check out. You have the same sense of humor they do which makes you appealing too. Who says Catholics don’t have a sense of humor! God has a wicked sense of humor according to an old time actress, Maureen O’Hara, and I agree.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
Stay safe and healthy
Hello Gentlemen, this was a great episode! As I was, myself, in the process of converting, Mr. Keith Nester’s YouTube videos helped me to understand some of the nuanced parts of Catholicism that cradle Catholics take for granted. His delivery is relevant and engaging.
Points to add from a protestant looking in, from a lady’s perspective:
1) Childcare during Mass is rarely available. I had always attended churches that had nurseries for the babies. Many of them had class for the pre-school aged kids. And those that did not have classes would often usher the kids out during the sermon for “children’s church”.
I was a mother of 4 (ages 2-7 when I finally joined), and my husband’s occupation includes a lot of weekend work. So I was looking at attending Mass with all of these kids that did not know how to sit still through a service, without any help for over half of the time. It was intimidating! This is one of the active reasons I dragged my feet to join the church.
Note: Once we began going, yes, my kids squirmed and didn’t know what to do (I myself was clearly a noob). People looked at us like I had a bunch of hooligans. And I spent a lot of time pacing the foyer and holding crying children. But! It really didn’t take that long for them to get used to the rituals. If nothing else, they’ve learned to sit mostly still, with hands together. Parenting where we have to be respectful of others’ worship has helped foster a greater patience and tempered approach with my own children.
2) Every Catholic church I have attended, the people are out the door as fast as possible, there is little opportunity to chat, socialize and feel welcomed. After Mass, the kids are dropped off at their CCD classrooms and then the parents go grocery shopping or to take care of other chores. Formerly, after the worship service, the women go around hugging and chatting everyone they know, welcoming any new faces. The men hang out near the door acting like they are annoyed about how long their spouses are socializing while they themselves chat about the goings on of their own lives. For anyone who is new to a Catholic parish, they need to actively insert themselves into a group, you cannot sit back and hope someone will see a strange face and think to introduce themselves (midwestern and southern experiences here). This conversion journey has helped teach me to be more bold and take matters into my own hands, though I’m still nervous about approaching the priest (he knows my sins!!! this is a bit of a joke, but it is a hurdle to face).
3) Not necessarily a feminine problem, but your spouse/family member might not have the same level of enthusiasm as you. I wanted to start a family rosary, discuss the saints and all of the differences and struggles I was going through. My husband didn’t see the need. He believes, he prays, he supported me, but he just doesn’t have a desire to really discuss theological issues. And the Church Fathers just don’t interest him that much at this time.
4) Show support for those who are converting for the right reasons, but their families and friends are hating on them. This is one of the main reasons to not make a Facebook announcement. People will see it as an opportunity to rip you up and down. You might also get a lot of support, but just one negative comment can plant a huge seed of doubt and regret.
5) For those who are teaching RCIA, please include at least 1 class where you go over the gestures and behaviors in Mass. When do you kneel? When are we praying or bowing? What direction and why? For how long do we kneel after receiving the blessing or Eucharist? How do I know if we are doing prayer A, B, or C? Newsflash, different parishes within the same diocese may choose different tunes/beats for the Gloria, some recite the Nicene Creed in unison, and some use it more as a responsorial contract, and some beat their breast during the Penitential act and others do not. (I’m still learning these differences)
A tour of the church, and maybe a field trip to the nearest cathedral, would be fantastic to teach about the purposeful designs.
6) Seek to always be learning. However, know that with the Catholic church, it’s not like a semester class where you learn everything you need to know in 4 months and have then mastered it. Once you think you are getting the hang of something, there is more to learn. It’s like maturing. When you are young, you think you know everything, but as you age, you become aware of everything you don’t know.
I hope this makes sense. Keep up the good work.
Note, I’m not complaining about children being with me in Mass. Initially, it was a drag. But it is beautiful for kids to see and learn their faith along with everyone else. And as with manners and many other lessons they need, they won’t learn it if they aren’t exposed to it. As of yet, I’ve attended 1 Mass without the disruption of kids.
Do not throw up your hands and quit just because it is hard. I did that for the first few years of being a mom and it was very selfish of me. Give the kids time to learn. It is hard because it is worth the effort.
While I’m a cradle Catholic, I find your insights and recommendations truly helpful, especially the one about visiting a cathedral. There are truly many opportunities for enriching the catechesis experience of catechumens.
Thanks for sharing.
It is nice to hear Keith talk about his experience! I had similar experiences when I left my role as an Anglican Priest to become a Catholic layman…there does not have to be a great culture shock.