The following is a brief story of my liturgical journey in a numerical list. It certainly hasn’t been a color-by-numbers life.
1. 1953-1971-Born and raised as a Protestant in Washington State. (My grown children say I shouldn’t say “Protestant” now; so to my non-Catholic Christian friends: I’m not calling you a Protestant, only me, back then, as that’s what we called ourselves then.)
2. January 1971-July 1971-Decided (with the help of the prayers and explanations of my best friend) that I wanted to be a Catholic. I attended Mass, prayed the Rosary, read The Imitation of Christ, read The Autobiography of St. Therese. And I fell in love with all things Catholic.
3. July 1971-October 1971-Fell into a cult, an ultra-traditional “Catholic” group, run by a man named Francis Schuckardt in Idaho. I was baptized Catholic, while there, by a retired, missionary priest who was just visiting. Left the cult (with the help of the prayers and explanations of the lady who instructed me in the Faith)…but regretfully left my best friend behind (though we are again close today).
4. 1971-1975-Attended the traditional Latin Mass of various priests who were retired or had permission to continue to say the Latin Mass.
5. 1975-1982-Grew to love the Byzantine Catholic Mass (or “Divine Liturgy”). Met my husband, who was also a refugee there from the Latin rite, and we were married in a Byzantine Catholic church. We had our first two children baptized there.
6. 1983-1993-Attended the traditional Latin Mass offered by a retired priest in California whose sermons instructed us in how to live the Gospel.
7. 1993-2003-Attended the traditional Latin Mass at a Society of St. Pius X chapel in Ohio, where we met many of the people who are our dear friends today.
8. 2003-2006-Attended my very first “novus ordo”, or Mass of Pope John Paul VI, at a graduation. I found that, to me, it wasn’t the travesty I thought it would be; instead I felt very much at peace, and found it contained the same essential elements. Attended this Mass occasionally after that, but now went each Sunday to both the Society chapel and to an Indult (diocesan) Latin Mass in Kentucky.
9. June 2006-Present time-Moved to Baltimore, where I now attend both an Indult Tridentine Latin Mass in Baltimore (about weekly) and the Mass of Pope Paul VI at my local parish (about monthly). At either Mass I enjoy being in the Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ; offering myself to God in union with the Holy Sacrifice; and receiving Our Lord in the same Holy Communion. I like to say now, “What’s not to love about the infinite Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Mass?”
Note: This is only my own story and does not in any way reflect the views or choices of other family members; although we live very much in peace with one another. Also, this is only an outline. I could probably write a whole book about each phase of my journey.