September 2012 Evangelization Exchange – Why Catholic?

Why Catholic?

Two parishioners share about what attracted them to the Catholic Church.



I completed RCIA at St. Elizabeth Church in Aiea, Hawaii, with Linda Cacpal as our leader. I can truthfully say that my experience in RCIA and my conversion to Catholicism has changed my life. The spiritual direction from Fathers Mike Dalton and Bob Maher, the prayers of Sister Rosario, the knowledge and dedication of Linda and the RCIA Core Team, as well as the wonderful spirit of the people of the parish have made a lasting connection for me to the islands and the Catholic Faith.

I was raised in a very devout evangelical home, full of love and faith. As an adult, I studied and lived in Europe and was drawn to the narrative of the Catholic Church through very tangible signs of its 2000 year history throughout the continent. I love the connection between the teaching of the Apostles who walked with Jesus, the beliefs and practices of the early Church, the faith of the martyrs, the builders of the great cathedrals, the missionary spirit of the Jesuits, and, ultimately, my own spiritual journey. I always recognized that the celebration of the Eucharist was profoundly different between the Catholic Church and my evangelical brethren and I had a great attraction to experience it for myself.

As I have grown in my Catholic Faith, I have come to consider the Eucharist as the center of my spiritual connection both to my Heavenly Father and to those faithful saints and witnesses who have practiced their faith before me. I am so very thankful to the Holy Spirit who has guided me along my way to St. Elizabeth’s and trust that I will continue to grow in my knowledge of my faith and my Church as time goes. May God bless you.

John Belchic

Even as a young pre-teen Jewish boy I was interested in Catholicism.  Christmas and all its trappings, adornments, and meaning fascinated me. I remember my first Christmas away from home; 1964, 18 years old and I had just enlisted in the Air Force 2 months earlier. I attended midnight Mass in San Antonio, TX at what looked to me like a cathedral– my first midnight Mass and it was in Spanish. Fast forward to 1992; I married a Catholic woman who was from the Philippines. She didn’t know how to drive, so I took her to church every Sunday. I attended with her. As time went by, I felt more and more the presence of Jesus Christ in my life and a desire to be nearer to Him.

In the Fall of 1998, at the age of 53, I entered RCIA expecting to be baptized at the 1999 Easter Vigil  But, at the last minute, an impediment prevented my being baptized. I remember the telephone call from Father Bob that night informing me that I could not be baptized. I cried and cried.  It was then that I realized how much becoming a Catholic really meant to me. I continued with RCIA for another year and was baptized at the Easter Vigil in the jubilee year of 2000. Words could not adequately express the joy in my heart. And every time I witness a baptism, especially at the Easter Vigil, I relive my baptism all over again and experience the same elation in my heart as I did that joyous night on April 22, 2000.

I live in a small town named Box Elder in South Dakota and am a member of St. Isaac Joques Parish in Rapid City, South Dakota. By the way, there are many Native Americans in our parish and our patron is Blessed Kateri Tekawitha who will be canonized on October 21.