So I went to mass today at a diocesan parish, and please don't get angry/upset, but it was the New Mass. But it was reverent. The parish was mostly Filipino and Korean immigrants--no T-shirts, shorts, flip flops--the stuff I've seen in many, sorry to say, white American NO parishes. I spoke with the father and he seemed surprised that I wanted to be Catholic; pleasantly surprised. He is a monsignor and was very kind. He has offered to counsel me in my journey, and I am grateful, as I've been so afraid to speak to a priest for nearly 5 years and had finally worked up the courage to do so. You must understand that the Catholic church for a non-Catholic who does not know any practicing Catholics in real life (not online) can seem very distant, monolithic, and impenetrable. All that I have learned from Catholicism so far has been from books, and the few Catholics I do know were raised Catholic, no longer go to mass, and know less than me about their faith. I have not had the privilege of having someone I could ask questions to or speak to, so the sheer act of speaking to a priest was daunting. I come from an evangelical tradition and people there are very welcoming and it's much easier. Probably one of the reasons they have been successful at welcoming new members. But I digress.
We spoke for over an hour about how I came to the faith and what I had been reading. I told him I was currently reading the catechism. He presented me with a "modern" Catechism. I leafed through it briefly, and the Eucharist as "communal meal" was there and as a former Protestant, I found this alarming. I want to be Catholic, not a hybrid Protestant/Catholic, if that makes any sense. The Eucharist as communal meal sounds Protestant.
But he spoke about the Latin mass with reverence and devotion and we spoke of the real presence, and I believe in that and told him so. He respects Dorothy Day (I do, too) and we spoke of her and her work. He works with drug addicts and alcoholics and holds mass at prisons, and I respect all this very much.
He suggested I go to a certain parish nearby with a young adult ministry. I will go to RCIA there. As Benno suggested, I will become Catholic first, study much on my own, and then find a parish after I've become Catholic, just so there aren't any problems with documents later on.
I'm sure there are people here on this forum who will NOT agree with my course, but this is where I have been led. I will continue on in studying my faith, and will have faith in the Church's teachings and Magisterium before what any one person tells me, including the RCIA counselor.
Thank you for your prayers, and God bless.
I'm glad you've made a decision to become Catholic. Obviously it's the right decision and you won't regret it. But I caution you not to make the mistake of assuming that the SSPX or other traditional groups can't or won't make you Catholic. Take care not to jeopardize your soul by exposing yourself to the modern propaganda of the RCIA just to stay "official."
Oh, to clarify, this is the course I took because no ICSP or FSSP parish even remotely near me. I would go to the SSPX but am concerned about documents for when I get married, etc., as one poster pointed out.
Thank you again and God bless.
This is not a good enough reason to stay away from the SSPX.