Mr Marco Speaks of His Reception

We can’t call him Fr Marco any more. Or Pastor Marco as I knew him. He’s just plain old Mr Marco, Catholic (unemployed) layman. We have welcomed him and Penny already in a blog below, but I would like to draw you to his simple but firm statement on his blog here. Although he denies that what he has been through is a “conversion” (in this he is in harmony with many of us “converts”), yet there is an element of conversion involved. As Marco puts it:

Baptism – the first act of God in our life – calls for a response: faith. This faith, however, needs an object. My baptism calls me to completely surrender myself to Jesus. I am called to move from hearing to listening. My personal and individual response of faith outside of the context of God’s Church is bond to become subjective and based on emotion. Faith requires a context, the Church. My surrender to Jesus requires that I listen to his voice in the world, his Church.

Becoming a Catholic is a conversion of heart toward listening to Jesus speaking in his Church. It is an act of trust and faith–naturally only possible by grace alone–whereby one ceases to listen to the voice of the Catholic Church with an “hermeneutic of suspicion” and instead learns to listen with an attentive and docile heart, a heart willing to be taught, corrected and confirmed. To have a heart like this is to have the heart of Mary, and to have the heart of Mary is indeed to be converted.

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6 Responses to Mr Marco Speaks of His Reception

  1. Past Elder says:

    Some random thoughts.

    Unemployed? Huh?

    Seems like clergy from a non Roman denomination always end up in some sort of church position, and rarely learn a trade or profession and live like average laymen.

    Too bad it wasn’t Orthodoxy. Clergy, at least Lutheran clergy, who convert to that generally end up as priests.

    Lots of pix of Benedict in the header. None of Christ.

    The claim of the Roman Catholic Church to be the fulness of the church founded by Christ was once argued credibly, whether one agreed or not. The claim of the post conciliar church to be either the Roman Catholic Church or the church founded by Christ must be rejected outright as fraudulent.

    The last reception I attended, in which I regretably played a part in bringing about, did not include Confirmation as the person was confirmed as a United Methodist and that was held valid with no need to repeat the sacrament.

    FWIW, my confirmation name was Patrick. Confirmed by Edward Fitzgerald, Bishop of Winona, just before the Revolution, er, Vatican II.

  2. Schütz says:

    Orthodox Chrismation is accepted as a valid confirmation, but no other “confirmation” of any other Church or Ecclesial Communion.

    Even Lutherans reconfirm other Christians as part of the rite of reception.

    Confirmation is a sacrament of concrete connection with the Bishop, and it is therefore the sacrament of ecclesial communion. For this reason, it is necessary for the sacrament to be conferred upon all who are received into communion with the Catholic Church (Orthodox excepted as pointed out).

  3. Past Elder says:

    Yeah I know. But the “Roman Catholic Church” did it anyway.

    Oh well, at the other reception in which I regretably had a part in bringing about, it was done, by the priest standing in for the bishop (though it was the cathedral parish).

    Catholic is as Catholic does. Maybe I can find my old Dutch Catechism aroung here someplace. Probably stashed with my Moltmann, Bultmann et al from Benedictine university days. I bailed before McBrien started writing. Still know where my Teilhard is though! Sitting right between Sheed and Derrida, Aquinas to the left and something called “The Acting Person” by a guy named Wojtyla to the right, followed by some Sandmel, Herschel and “The Path of the Just”. Since you’re into my bookshelf.

    Anybody read Copleston any more? The person who wasn’t confirmed gave me a “Jerome Biblical Commentary” for my lamentable role. That still used, or has something else come along?

    That’s the bookshelf I don’t bother with much anymore. You can probably guess what’s on the one I do, except for Hertz’ “Pentateuch and Haftorahs” which I still use regularly for study. Absolutely fabulous!

  4. Christine says:

    Well I was certainly confirmed at my reception into the Catholic Church ten years ago.

    And in America at least, we have had Anglican and Lutheran clergy who have converted ordained to the priesthoold. In fact, one of the most well known is an Anglican-use parish in Texas, whose pastor is married. The parish is known for its beautiful church facilities and liturgy. Wish I could remember the name offhand so I could post some photos.

  5. Tony Bartel says:

    In response to past elder:

    Marco can obviously speak for himself, when he gets his iMac set up, however, I believe that it is his decision not to pursue priestly ordination in the Catholic Church.

    In response to Christine:

    The American bishops seem to be much more supportive than their Australian brethren of former Anglican (and even Lutheran) clergy being ordained as priests. There is no pastoral provision here and some former Anglicans who are now ordained have had a rough ride.

  6. Christine says:


    Thanks for your comments. When I lived in Australia (three years in the early 50’s) it was as a Lutheran so I’ve not had a chance to keep up with Catholic developments there over the years.

    The Catholic Church in America has seen the flowering of some wonderful lay movements from Christians who have come in from other traditions such as the Coming Home Network, run by former Lutheran pastor Marcus Grodi, who now assists other Protestant clergy who convert.

    I just remembered the Anglican use parish I referred to, it is Our Lady of the Atonement in Texas. I have to run now so don’t have time to post more but if you google it you’ll see some wonderful pictures of the beautiful church building and info on the liturgy/ministries there.


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