By Michel Bertram
I’ve known a few things about Christianity but was never really interested in it. You could say I lived an average agnostic life believing in a higher power. My spiritual journey started in 2012 when my girlfriend took me to a nice little church in Bullsbrook. When I stepped into this church for the first time, I remember like it was just yesterday, I was amazed and shocked at the same time.
Onslaught of the Senses
It was the first Catholic Mass that I witnessed and my senses were thrown into a foray. Why is everyone kneeling? Why is everyone saying “Our Father…”? Why is Jesus on the Cross and why is he staring right at me, like I’m the only one attending this Mass? What is the Eucharist? Is it really the Body of Christ? Is Jesus really present in this sacrament? What is a sacrament? What does it mean? Questions were just swirling in my head.
Why is Jesus on the Cross and why is he staring right at me, like I’m the only one attending this Mass?
Quest for the Truth
Like I said before, I had known a few things about Christianity but was never really interested in it, but after witnessing the first Catholic Mass, I was intrigued. I needed answers to all those questions and more. I was curious to know about Mass and as to what happened at Mass. I remember asking my girlfriend and her mum a thousand questions about Catholicism. Vigorously, my quest for the truth began within the Catholic faith.
I realized it was that first Mass that I witnessed that made a huge impact in my conversion. It brought me a step closer to the Catholic faith but the penny dropped after I read “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”, a book about St. Pio. Padre Pio’s devotion to God, Jesus and Mother Mary truly inspired me. In and through St. Pio’s blessed life, I was introduced to Jesus’ mother and to the Rosary. It was one of the first prayers I learned to say off by heart. It was Mother Mary’s words to Pio “with this weapon you will win” inspired me to wear or carry a Rosary ever since.
It was Mother Mary’s words to Pio “with this weapon you will win” inspired me to wear or carry a Rosary ever since.
I was actively taking part in the liturgies regularly. My girlfriend then introduced me to Eucharistic Adoration. While I was in the chapel, I questioned Jesus and wanted to know if he was with me in the chapel. With this thought in my mind, I raised my head from the book that I was reading and to my surprise, the rosaries were moving one by one, as if someone was walking past, touching them. This was my first true sign and later did I realize that Jesus answered my unspoken question.
Attending Church on a weekly basis was not always easy, but praying to Our Lord and Our Lady helped me tremendously. Last year I had to undergo surgery and healing time took close to three months. It weighed on my shoulders physically as well as spiritually. There was also a time when I did not want to get baptized.
Things were moving too fast, but a Gospel passage stood out to me: Mt. 14:27 “Courage, it is I, do not be afraid”.
Attending Church on a weekly basis was not always easy, but praying to Our Lord and Our Lady helped me tremendously.
Final and Ongoing Conversion
I am glad these words from the Gospel struck me as I have become truly devoted to Jesus and his religion. I have learnt and experienced a great deal during my time in RCIA. Mid last-year, for all these reasons and more I decided to become Catholic.
It takes courage to do what I have done, but there is no reason to be afraid. I trust in Jesus and I seek nothing but the truth. I know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and he died for all of us. Other religions came and went but only the Catholic Church remains the true Church to eternal salvation because Jesus and the fullness of his religion is here. This was my reason to be baptized and receive the Sacraments.
I trust in Jesus and I seek nothing but the truth.
I received the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil in this beautiful parish of Good Shepherd.
Before I end, I thank my sponsor Succorin and the RCIA team for guiding and preparing me in and for this life-changing event; a special thank you to Fr. Francis, Fr. Victor and Fr. Joe for their guidance, and thank you to the parishioners for praying for all the catechumen.
Michel is a parishioner at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Lockridge.