March 25, 2008

That's My Church! - Easter Edition

Vatican Seal.png

Yes, indeedy. On Saturday, March 22, 2008, during the Easter Vigil, I was received into the Roman Catholic Church, the most recent and surely one of the least of her members. After twenty-odd years of dithering, Robbo the Llama Butcher is now an O-fficial Catholic.

The ceremony itself was magnificent, with all the smells and bells, chant, Latin and 17th Century musick you could wish. (Plus, I nearly set one of the priests on fire with my candle while kneeling at the altar!) For my poor wife and mother, who bravely attended and patiently sat through the whole thing seated behind me, I expect that the proceedings dragged for what seemed like an eternity, but for me, the nearly three hours seemed to go by in a flash.

So the million dollar question what? At the moment, of course, I'm still getting used to the idea of being an RC and will probably take some time just to get into the swing of things. But I already sense that I didn't finally chuck myself into the Tiber just to go to Mass once a week, get a couple coo-el Saints' names and not eat meat on Fridays - there's some higher purpose to all this (I hope) and once I've had a bit of a rest, I'll need to sit down and start figuring it out.

In the meantime, enormous thank you Yips! go out to all of you who have followed along on this little adventure. The outpouring of good faith, even from those of you critical of my move, has been extremely gratifying. And the notes and gifts I've received from some of you have been quite overwhelming. (Individual thank you letters will be going out this week, of course.) As I may have mentioned before, although the Anglican implosion and Dad's death last year certainly propelled me to making this move now, six months' worth of pondering has made me realize that they were not the reasons for my switch, and furthermore that I would have done so at some point anyway. This is something that has been a looooooong time coming. The upshot is that I go into it with none of the bitterness, axe-grinding, and how-do-you-like-me-now rebounding characteristic of some converts, because in the end I'm not fleeing anything, but instead - as so many people have put it over the past few days - simply coming home. And I can't tell you just how happy that makes me. And I'm also glad that so many of you - even those who have absolutely no desire to follow - are happy on my behalf. As I say, thank you.

Posted by Robert at March 25, 2008 09:46 AM | TrackBack

Allow me to be publicly spiritual here: I can't be happier for you! God has a plan for all of us, and this is obviously where He wants you to be; the fact that you "go into it with none of the bitterness" tells me that.

I wish you nothing but happiness and peace! I have to say, I'm proud of you!

Posted by: GroovyVic at March 25, 2008 09:02 AM

Welcome aboard!

Posted by: Jordana at March 25, 2008 09:05 AM

Welcome to the club...

Posted by: kmr at March 25, 2008 10:00 AM

I've been meaning to e-mail you and ask how how confession went.

I am so very excited for you, and so very happy that we are now united more closely in the bond of charity through that Sacrament of sacraments, the Holy Eucharist. God be praised!

Posted by: Christine at March 25, 2008 10:13 AM

It's good to read about it. I think you're exactly right in your attitude. not fleeing something but rather heading to something is a great way to put it.

Posted by: Silk at March 25, 2008 10:57 AM


Higher purpose? From our point of view, there is no higher purpose. :-)

From His point of view, I'm sure He'll reveal it in time. He always does. Sometimes gently and with a sense of humor. Sometimes more directly.

And from Mother Church's point of view, I'm sure you'll soon get a letter from the assassin monk training program . . . the descendents of Mary Magdalene aren't going to snuff themselves, now, are they?

Posted by: The Abbot at March 25, 2008 11:50 AM

welcome home.

Posted by: quasimodo at March 25, 2008 01:25 PM

Congratulations, and welcome!

Posted by: Nice Deb at March 25, 2008 01:50 PM

I'm so glad to read your post, Robert. Even though I am one of those who have no desire to follow you, I am happy for you and more so that you are not going into this with bitterness, but with the sense of God's love in your life.

And yes, we want to know how the confession went ... ;-) Hey, YOU opened that can of worms here ...

Posted by: keysunset at March 25, 2008 01:53 PM

Glad to hear your reception into the Church went well. I look forward to congratulating you in person sometime soon.

Posted by: Father M. at March 25, 2008 03:28 PM

And Happy Easter!

Posted by: Dan. at March 25, 2008 04:21 PM

How was the musick? We had a nice run-up with good stuff on Thursday and Friday. We got in a few "ringers", and pulled off a Mozart "Gloria", some lovely handbells, the Litany of Saints (although they refused to throw in Santa Monica ora pro nobis...pheh, everyone else in there). We did Vaughn Williams "O Taste and See" on Thursday, which was nice. Overall a good service, with two RCIA "tweens", it looked like. Couldn't include them in the litany of Saints, either, because there is no Saint Allison or Saint Grayson(!).
My thoughts were with you, and I'm glad to hear it went well. Welcome to the Tribe.

Posted by: Monica at March 25, 2008 05:55 PM

Congrats. Now you can get buggered by a priest!

Posted by: Alice Ghastly at March 25, 2008 06:25 PM

Okay, was going to make some snarky remark back at Ghastly Alice, but you know what?

The heck with it.

Congratulations and welcome, Robert. Glad to have a new brother!

Posted by: Fuinseoig at March 25, 2008 07:38 PM

At mass at my church Sunday morning, during his homily, the priest said "there's three kinds of people who go to an Easter vigil mass:

1) those being welcomed into the Church
2) the 'liturgical groupies' who really live for the whole three hour service, and
3) the people who think that by going to the vigil mass, they'll get out early and have their whole Easter day ahead of them... and leave at the end wondering 'what just happened?'"

When he said it, I thought he was exaggerating about the three hour service! Guess not.

Anyway, congratulations and welcome!

Posted by: ChrisN at March 25, 2008 07:51 PM

Welcome to the fold. I started out as an Episcopalian and by a very circuitous route ended up a Catholic as well. I made the mistake of bringing my six year old daughter to the Easter Vigil and she cried most of the way through...

Posted by: gail at March 26, 2008 07:10 AM

Welcome! My wife sang at vigil this year and my son served, so we had full participation. I lit a candle for you!

Posted by: the gripping hand at March 26, 2008 08:35 AM

You priest is very insightful. I would definitely listen to him.

Posted by: Father M. at March 26, 2008 09:07 AM

Congratulations. I am very glad for you and look forward to reading more about your voyage. May the Peace of Christ be with you.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader at March 26, 2008 08:16 PM

I wish you well.
While you've walked towards... I've walked away.
I was born Catholic but am no longer a believer.
I am happy, though, when others, in all sincerity, find their own way to their own version of God.

Good luck.

Posted by: snuffyny at March 27, 2008 04:29 PM

I'm happy for you, Rob, and I hope you find what you are searching for. We miss you here -- the candle is in the window and the door is always open. Love from pnutqueen...

Posted by: pnutqueen at March 29, 2008 12:17 PM