I Became Catholic For Love


One woman converts to Catholicism to connect with her husband.

It was my first Easter Vigil in the Catholic church and I was sick with an awful, knock-you-down-for-days stomach bug. But I was determined to make it through the three hour-long mass. That evening, I was being confirmed into the faith after months of classes and preparation. And, most importantly, I had my fiancé by my side. 5 Famous Interfaith Couples

When I tell people that I converted to Catholicism for my then-fiancé, I get polite, yet confused looks. “Oh, that’s nice,” people will say. Or, even, “Why would you do that?” I didn’t grow up in a religious home. My family belongs to the Armenian Apostolic church and we never went to mass growing up because they tend to run for upwards of three or four hours every Sunday with most of the mass conducted in Armenian. Since we don’t speak the language, my parents understandably didn’t bring their three kids to church.

My childhood was a good one—we had fun, I did well in school, and there was never a shortage of love. We just didn’t go to church. While I felt free to explore religion, I didn’t want religion pushed on me. You, Me And God: Interfaith Relationships

I dated someone for a while who told me that if I ever wanted to marry him, I would have to convert to Catholicism. It was as though I didn’t have a say in the decision, and at that point I was so confused about religion in general that I resented the fact that in that relationship, I had no real choice if we stayed together long enough to ever get married. Eventually, we broke up and the issue of being forced to take someone else’s faith was out of my mind.

Then I met Matt, the man that I would eventually marry. Matt is Catholic and has a wonderfully warm and welcoming family, and he never once pressured me about religion. We had a long-distance relationship for a while before we lived in the same state. When we would visit each other on weekends, he would always ask if I wanted to go along to mass with him, or if I was more comfortable sitting it out. I went every time simply because he put the choice in my hands. The Secrets To An Interfaith Relationship

Matt and I knew fairly early on that we would get married. There was never a conversation where he told me that I had to become Catholic; in fact, Matt had assumed that we would get married in the Armenian Church because that was where I was baptized. However, shortly after we were engaged, I decided that I would take the adult confirmation class and convert to the Catholic faith so that we could get married in the church and I would be able to take communion with my husband at our wedding

To some people it might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was incredibly important that we could share that together on our wedding day. I chose to convert because Matt never asked me to, never pressured me, and never assumed that I would do it for him. His faith is something that’s important to him. It’s the touchstone for his family. For my in-laws, their religion is a way to stay centered as a family unit. I really love that. Matt’s faith is also what, in part, got him through his 15 month deployment in Iraq. He had a number of close calls while he was there and wasn’t sure that he’d make it home, but his unwavering faith and his prayers along with everyone at home who was praying for him got him through Iraq unscathed.

It seemed unfair to ask him to marry in a church that I had no significant ties to when his religion was such an important part of his life. So after six months of once-weekly classes at the church and some soul-searching to determine if this was really what I wanted to do, I became Catholic at Easter Vigil this year. I was sick as a dog, but I wouldn’t have missed that night for anything. My family and Matt’s family supported my decision and they all came to celebrate with us. While I love my Armenian heritage, I didn’t understand the faith. With the Catholic Church, I can appreciate the mass and all the rituals. And beyond that, sharing a faith brings me and my husband closer together in our marriage. Kneeling at the altar on our wedding day was all the more meaningful for us. I had gone from being the girl who was wandering spiritually, trying to find something to hang on to, to the woman who had made a life choice for the man she loves.