Why I became Catholic at a time like this

B.C. Catholic, Archdiocese of Vancouver

April 25, 2019

By Kasey Kimball

A cradle Anglican, Kasey Kimball grew up in Newburyport, Mass., moving to Vancouver in 2014 to attend Regent College. In 2018, she graduated with her MA in doctrinal theology and was received into the Catholic Church this Easter. She shared her story of conversion at St. Mark’s College April 7 with the talk “The Body of Christ Suffers Together: Reflections from a Convert to a Church in Crisis.” This is a shortened version of that testimony.

Trying to tell one’s own conversion story is a bit like trying to express the ineffable. Yes, there are important moments, important revelations, and important books to mention, but the work of grace is also inherently mysterious. Every time I tell this story, I get more insight into that work of grace, and am newly amazed by it.

Last August, I attended Mass at a small outdoor chapel in Lake Tahoe, Calif. At that time, I was deep in ecclesiastical no-man’s land. I’d flunked out of RCIA a few months earlier (by that, I mean I attended all the classes and went through all the rites but could not in good conscience become a Catholic at Easter).

* * *

When the priest came out, he spoke directly about the McCarrick scandal which had broken that week. He acknowledged the horrors of the abuse, the need for accountability and reform. I appreciated his directness, the refusal to maintain a chain of silence.

I also found myself feeling unexpectedly drawn to the Church. The impression I had in that moment was that if the Catholic Church was the body of Christ in a particular way (and that was still a big if), then I needed to move close to her in this time of crisis. If you find this a strange reaction to the revelation of yet another instance of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up, I did too.

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