What brought you to the Catholic Church

Experience: Wolfgang F., transferred in 2011

I had to be 66 years old before the Holy Spirit "caught" me. Baptized as a Protestant, but for a long time an “avowed atheist”, I finally became a Catholic - and I surprised not only my family and friends, but myself as well. In fact, it was probably a long process that led me to take this step. I just didn't want to admit this hesitant change, I wanted too much to see myself as the skeptical, somewhat cynical “pagan” I so gladly presented myself to the outside world.

This included the fact that for a long time I resolutely refused to even enter a church, regardless of denomination. I did not even do this to the baptisms of my own children. And it was actually the first visit to a trade fair, which has become inevitable out of politeness, that "loosened" me up a bit. The Catholic part of my relatives then brought with it that I "had to" attend baptisms, confirmations or weddings again and again - and, among other things, I was able to find that Catholics are actually quite reasonable people. But it certainly "happened" to me even more during these increasingly numerous church services, during conversations, when getting to know people who are uncomplicated but firmly rooted in their faith and their church.

Still, almost 20 years had to pass before I was ready to jump over my shadow: My wife and I were hiking in the Alps with our brother-in-law and sister-in-law and came across a sign saying “Drinks and Harp Music”. Whereupon I spontaneously escaped: "If that is true, then I fall away from the faith." My answer: "Well, then I will approach faith." That was said flippantly, of course - and yet I felt very clearly that I was serious about this sloppy saying. I wanted to take a serious look at this subject that I had been skulking around suspiciously for so long.

That was not a decision for the faith and certainly not for wanting to become a Catholic. It took a lot of conversations and, above all, books (especially those of a certain Cardinal Ratzinger) to get me there. I remember well how often I sat in my armchair and laughed at my reading - not because the text was so funny, but out of the sheer joy that I had understood a little more about "God and the world" again . To make it short: A faith course followed and a good six months later I was accepted into the church on an Easter night and confirmed - by the way, not as the only one and also not the only one my age.