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Catholic Convert & Seminarian: The Catholic Journey of Kyle Richard Thérèse George

Ever wonder what draws a high school student to the Catholic Church? In a world of fake and false facades, is it the Church's authenticity that attracts people? If so, how do young people come to know the authenticity that only the Church can provide?

A friend of mine, a Catholic seminarian, recently celebrated his Tenth Anniversary as a Catholic. His name is Kyle Richard Thérèse George. He was kind enough to share with me his remarkable journey to the Catholic Church.

I hope by reading his story, stories such as these will become commonplace.  

Interview with Kyle Richard Thérèse George:

Ten years and eighteen days (3673 days) ago, I became what God had always wanted me to be: Catholic. What began twelve years ago in mid-February to March 2006 was the beginning of a journey to my first fulfillment, that is the decision to become Catholic. 

What did you convert from?

When people ask me how I became Catholic it is always a question of what faith I converted from, but the answer is “none.”

I did not convert from any Christian faith. I never formally converted from anything other than being an unbaptized Christian who was not affiliated with any faith. I did not desire to be unaffiliated though, I desired to affiliate myself with a faith rooted in a singular truth. One with structure. Order. One that is universal, but unitive in Her truth binding all together toward unity with God and man. I believe with my whole heart that the Catholic Church is that very Church that I wanted to belong.

In short, my testimony is this ...

I was an unbaptized believer in Christ who by reasonable understanding grew to desire to become Catholic. Desire gave way to a longing to know the faith that I soon fell in love with through learning Her beautiful truth. This love brought me into the waters of a covenant that I made March 22, 2008. I became what I was always supposed to become.                

What were your parents' religious backgrounds?

I grew up in a mixed-faith household. My mom is a United Pentecostal and my dad a non-practicing Catholic. They made the agreement that my brother and I would attend a Catholic School, and that we would attend whatever church my mom decided to attend according to what fit her ideals. 

We sought many churches, but we never stayed in one for a long time. We couldn’t find one that fit the truth that we were looking for nor did time really afford us the ability to remain in a church long enough. It even seemed like when it came time to really become initiated into a church, something prevented it. 

My parents eventually did find a Church they felt comfortable with joining, but it was not one that I felt was good for me.

What about your Catholic school education?

Most of my understanding of Christianity was based on what I had learned in Catholic school. 

I remember being taught about reverencing the Tabernacle when entering the Church because Jesus was present. I did not understand the concept, but I did believe it. I had no reason not to believe it. In fact, most of doctrines besides purgatory, confession with priests, and praying to saints and Mary, were all things I had no real good reason to reject. 

There had even been times I asked to be baptized Catholic, or to participate in the Liturgical activities, but I was not allowed. I even went to Confession when everyone made their First Confession. I remember that I couldn’t receive absolution, but the Priest seemed delighted that I was there. 

Though in my heart, I wanted absolution. I wanted to receive the Eucharist, but I would never do that as a non-Catholic because I felt it was highly disrespectful to do something against another person’s faith. Even if it meant not receiving this precious gift. 

I still believed it was exactly what the Church said it was because I never had a reason not to believe it. (You see a theme here?) I had this notion of always accepting a fact or truth that was most sensible so long as there was not objectionably rational argument against it. Of course, as I have gotten older in my faith and have received a Theology Degree that’s been slightly amended.

When did your curiosity turn into a desire to actually become Catholic?

The big movement towards becoming Catholic was when I was in eighth grade. It was when each of my classmates were preparing for Confirmation. 

I remember being judged for not being Catholic at the time, but for some reason I held it in my heart that I would never be Catholic. In fact, I started to question the faith more verbally. Even argumentatively questioning it in classes because I wanted to receive the answers that I desired. Not because I wanted to know the truth, but because I felt that I could break it down.

Did you succeed in "breaking down" the Catholic Faith?

What a foolish thing. Who could possibly break down 2000 years-worth of wisdom and tradition? Not even Luther in all his idealism could have done that. 

When I went to high school, I tried to be a bit more defiant in my desire to tear down the faith. I remember asking my religion teacher if I could opt out of taking classes for a faith that I disagreed with, which is something he never had been asked before from anyone. 

Fortunately for me, my silly desire was not fulfilled. It was not until tenth grade that this motion against the faith ended its very short fight. 

I spoke to my mom about how I no longer wanted to take a class about a faith of which I wanted no part. She told me to take it like a subject, and simply listen. I finally accepted that as my only solution. 

I decided to stop trying to teach the class, which I was rightfully accused of by several of my classmates, and tried to listen, instead. 

What did you hear when you started to listen?

My teacher was teaching about how the canon of the New Testament was decided by the Catholic Church. In my silent listening, everything suddenly began to make sense. The Church soon became the most sensibly beautiful thing I had ever learned about. 

The more I learned, the more that desirous ache thumped into my heart. I began to ask a question: “If this Church makes sense, then it must be true. It would be crazy if I became Catholic.”

It was a thought I rapidly rejected in that moment but tucked it away to examine later. 

Did you test your idea on others?

I asked my parents about it to see how they would respond. I tested their answers not because I wanted them to say, “yes,” but I wanted to see their reasoning. 

I made sure to ask them very carefully, “what would they think if I became Catholic.” I did not ask them if I could become Catholic. (I know, I was quite the shrewd questioner.) They gave me the usual reasons why they did not want me to become Catholic from the rejection of the praying to the saints to other usual issues. 

But, it was to my dad that I asked about the process of becoming Catholic. I knew he would not really object to the point of my conversation. I told him I could not easily become Catholic because I was a part of another religion. He made it known that I was not affiliated with any actual faith because I was not baptized. 

That was my way in. I know it does not seem like much to you, dear reader, but it meant everything to me. I did not want to betray a faith that my mother had initiated me into nor did I want to betray anyone affiliated with it by changing into another faith. I know that this seems ridiculous, but at the time it was not. Knowing that I was completely unaffiliated meant that I was free to fully embrace whatever Christian Faith I desired without any attachments to another one.

Was this the point you actually began pursuing becoming Catholic? 

I chose with reckless abandon to pursue the Catholic faith. Long before this decision had even become a concept, I was told by my brother that I couldn’t choose my faith because I was not old enough to have the freedom of religion

In many households, it is the belief that rights are not fully present until a person reaches the age of eighteen. And, when I told my parents that I wanted to become Catholic, and that I was starting the process, my dad told me it was not an adult decision. 

Did your parents make you wait to become Catholic?

I waited 2 years (I was 16 at the time) until I was 18, an adult, to become Catholic.  All the while, I was growing in strength and wisdom in the faith that I longed with a deep ache to join. 

Before I began this process, I was asked by my High School Chaplain (now my Spiritual Director) why I wanted to become Catholic. At first, I was worried that I would not be allowed to become Catholic if I did not have a reason. 

I told him what I felt was the best answer: It makes sense and God wants me to. That is the reason that I became Catholic. It made sense to be Catholic. My very existence makes sense as a Catholic because God not only wants me to be Catholic but chose me to be.

Tell us about the Big Day!

On March 22, 2008, I was Baptized into the adopted family of God as one of His beloved sons. When I received the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, I took St. Thérèse of Lisieux as my new name in Christ, sealing myself as His witness of this faith that I love. 

I had finally completed my entrance into this fullness of truth to which I longed to belong. I received First Communion into the Body of our Lord, Jesus Christ, so that one day I shall be with Him in Heaven through the power of the Holy Spirit forever with the Father.

Did you enjoy reading about Kyle's journey into the Church? Do you have any questions for Kyle? Please comment below and share!

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  1. Good day, this is the first time I have been on your blog. I am a disabled US Veteran (former US Marine) I am learning much of the information you write. I was taken by scoprisse on the video you explain on the Virgen of Fátima and Her following by the Muslim people. I am very interested on learning by taking the course you offer on the Holy Virgin. I appologize if I have the title wrong, the course is about 200 plus but I can not afford it. Do you offer any military or Veteran discount??

    I would very much like to learn more on the Virgen Mary. Anyway if you can't, I will understand.

    Much success and thank you for spreading the wise word of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

    Thank you,
    Carlos J Zaldivar

    1. Hey, Carlos! Thanks so much for your service! Sure, I think a disabled veteran discount is very much deserved - I'll email you.