I was born in a Jewish family, great-grandparents, all Jews. My paternal grandmother was Polish and came before the war to Argentina because the poor conditions that were there in several ways.
I had a life and a childhood always happy. Full of love. I never lacked anything either material or emotional.
I was raised with traditional, family values and about religion was mostly a matter of belonging and tradition.
I always went to a Jewish school, elementary and high school. All the people around me were Jewish, in the club, school, and friends. I think I hardly knew people who weren’t Jewish.
I’ve always followed traditions, festivities Jewish New Year, Passover, Day of Atonement, I sang Jewish songs, and also did my Bat Mitzvah (which is what Jewish women celebrate at 12 years-old and the first time they read the Torah. This happens in the non-orthodox Judaism, since in the more religious, only men can study the Torah)
When I grew up, I started going out and meet people, from other religions or no religion in general. I was always very interested in these contacts, talking about other issues, college kids, who spoke of new things for me that I loved: philosophy, psychology, religion, etc…
At 19, I met who is now my husband. He’s from a Catholic family. Completely. Even hir sister is a nun today. His parents went to Church every Sunday, he did too. If he missed mass it was a matter of “teenager laziness” but it was part of his life and customs.
I was raised by my parents always under the tacit premise that “I should marry a Jewish boy.” But they were never closed-minded and knew before that the main thing was love and that whoever was to be my husband should be a good person.
I always kept my mind open in that sense, but when I thought I could be with a guy who wasn’t Jewish, I never imagined being with someone Catholic, that is, with a latent and so present religion.
The first time I went to his house, it surprised me the images they had. I always think, I was so in love with him that I could overcome all the “cultural shocks” that I had: hanging crosses, a photo of the Pope, images of the Virgin … It was all so different from the places and homes that I had been.
Through his family, I met an excellent example of the Catholic religion. Not in their ways and customs, but in their daily practice. My mother in law is a simple, good woman, who lives religion in its real sense, an excellent example of a good Christian.
Beyond this, it never interested me that religion. I was dating this guy, “despite” his religion.
We always chatted about different topics, of God, His Truth, etc. But I didn’t want to speak of Jesus. That was something a Jew shouldn’t even go there. The “other”, the “out-of-bounds”. They didn’t explicitly teach me that in my Jewish education, but it is something that is transmitted and I don’t know how. Today, I really do understand that it is a divine matter, God does not allow it, God put a veil over the Jewish people, and will only allow to some people that this veil gradually “fall” and can see the Truth… so they can read the scriptures with an open, sincere heart, and find there the answers they always sought.
After years together, we got married and eventually had our first daughter. As we talked about when we were engaged, our children will be raised in both religions and traditions; we would make baptism and circumcision if they were males.
It was time for the baptism of my first child, and so we did. It was a difficult time for me. All I ever saw in others, on TV, as part of another culture, I was living it with my own family. My parents, present at all times, witnessing an equally difficult time for them (although they asked to be present because that moment was to be part of their granddaughter’s life, and didn’t want to miss any part of her life, although it has nothing to do with their eigenvalues)
The joy of my husband’s family made the day a little better because I was happy for them and I love them.
The next day my husband and I, had a long road trip and he insisted on listening to an audio of a “Catholic Jew”; (Which at first, I thought was something strange and incompatible, and didn’t generate in me any interest, I didn’t want to seem so closed-minded to say no, so I had no choice but to listen to it).
In this audio, this person was telling about a “supernatural” experience he had had, a communication with God, and a year latr with the Virgin Mary. It’s a very interesting story but quite long to detail here. (This person has nowadays many books and audios in which tells his story: his name is Roy Schoeman). This audio I heard that day was only his testimony, didn’t speak at any time of arguments about what the truth is, but telling only about the supernatural experience he had had.
What has this to do with me? That at that moment, just hearing his testimony, (Again, where there was no argument or anything, but he saying what had happened to him and how today he lived his life as a full Jew, Jew who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah and the Church as a transmitter of his ideas and doctrine), the “invisible” veil fell from my eyes, my heart, and I believed in everything in a second. I don’t understand how it worked, but it was as if they were transplanted into a new part of my brain, full of knowledge and understanding. Not only I believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but that the Church was the true transmitter of truth, the virginity of Mary, the infallibility of the Pope and all that doctrine teaches. At that moment, I believed forever, and also became aware of the role of my existence.
I always knew I had a mission, as everyone does, but I didn’t even know what was mine. And at that moment, I also understood that my mission as a Jew was “embrace” this faith and transmit it to my environment and others.
This was 8 and a half years ago. And what happened since then? While such “conversion” was instantaneous as to my inner life, wasn’t as fast as my outer life. With my husband, we talked a lot about the subject and began to research. I contacted the person of the testimony I’d heard, Roy Schoeman and I started researching and reading rational arguments on the subject.
Meanwhile, I had an inner dilemma, if I believe in this I must be consistent with that – and Jesus not only gave amazing and wise teachings but also said things that one should do .: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” … the baptism, the communion… it was all too much for me at the time. The family issue was very difficult, what would my family say? How will this hurt my parents? And I couldn’t carry out this process in secret. If my mission is to pass on this, how could I do it in secret? If one day, I would have to tell them, it was better to tell them before I took the Catholic Sacraments.
This is just a summary of what was going on my mind, during the 5 and a half years after that one moment. Of course, I also continued with my routine, my work, my daughter, and then another daughter who was also baptized.
This internal process was mine, I read stories of others Catholic Jews, and read about the prophecies. But there it was. I didn’t progress on the subject, fear paralyzed me. At the same time, all that began to diminish inside me.
5 years after this, and now almost three years ago, something incredible happened that really changed my life and my soul. A regular Sunday, I accompanied my husband to Mass. I really didn’t want to go but that day I had no excuse not to go with him and was better to go with him because after that we had to go somewhere else, and from there we could go right away.
So I sat beside him, waiting for the end of the ceremony, a little distracted. But something happened. At the Consecration time, and especially when people came to take Communion, I felt in me a deep love and union with all the people who were taking communion. An inner transformation that I couldn’t understand what it was. At that moment, was as if the most powerful magnet in the world had installed in my soul, a magnet that always feels attracted, every day, by the Eucharist. I believe, and I know that God is present there, it’s there.
Since that day, not a day goes by that I don’t feel the need to go to Mass. From that day, my heart turned to God. My inner life took an inexplicable twist, a different deep love for everything that I ever felt. (And I was and I am surrounded by love all my life).
Since that Sunday so special, the next day I asked my husband to go with me to Mass. He looked at me strangely … “a Monday? I already went yesterday, Sunday”… he had no choice but to go with his Jewish wife to Mass. How could he say no to such a request?
On Tuesday, the same … “Let’s go to Mass,” I said. And so every day of the week. I couldn’t think of anything other than the time to go to Mass. That the priest raise the host and say those words for the consecration. I watched masses on EWTN on TV and felt envious of the people who were there witnessing it.
The second week my husband said, “I love you but if you want to go to Mass, go by yourself…” J
But I never would have thought of going alone… Me? A Jewish? In mass by myself? One thing was to accompany my husband and quite another to go on my own… with no “excuse” if someone saw me. But what I felt was so strong that of course, I started going every morning. After leaving my children at school, there I was, every day.
At this stage, I also had other feelings and such a strong connection to God at all times. It was like He was at my side, really close to my head. At times, I felt such a strong energy that I could only mourn, cried and cried. It wasn’t sadness nor joy; it was like my soul overflowed with such a sense of God. Feeling that everything I had ever heard was true, that God really existed, and not only that, but He provided for us, as a whole. And He is present and knows us, knows me and decided not to wait for me anymore, and shook me and filled me with His love. So great and so different Love to what I knew.
All this, at that time of my life, was the impetus I needed to carry out what I knew I had to do for years. Talk to my family, baptized and take communion.
It’s a long story, how everything happened, its difficulties, nerves, thoughts, tensions. But in the course of fewer than 3 months, I could do all that for 5 years I didn’t dare: telling to some of my family members, and then baptized, take communion and confirmation.
From that time until today (some days more than others), every time I go to Mass, at the moment of communion, my heart beats, even if sometimes I lose contact due to life’s daily occupations, one days more than others; in that moment, my heart beats as if it acted independently of the rest of my body, as if it saw what my eyes can’t, as if it perceive what my senses can’t. If it were not for my duties and responsibilities, I would go twice a day to Mass to feel this profound presence of God. Receive Him is to feel a hug from Him that feeds my soul.
Although not all of my friends and family know about this part of my life. Little by little, I am telling to certain people.
Currently, I’m starting to tell my story and I’m putting itogether a personal blog with thoughts and writings for people interested in this topic and people who may feel doubts, fears and needs to share it with someone.
In no way, I would say this is a story of conversion. I call it a story of “fulfillment” because I didn’t convert to another religion. I am Jewish and I recognize the true Messiah of Judaism that God sent, which is Jesus. And He conveys his ideas, sacraments, doctrines, through the Church. That’s why I follow Catholicism. This Church has the Eucharist, God present, really present in every Mass.
Also, I do not lose my roots, nor stopped having my traditions. My daughters are Jewish and Catholic. They go to a Hebrew school, and they also will do the rituals and take the Catholic sacraments. These two “religions” are the perfect communion, wholeness, fulfillment, the perfect union. Two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly and none, ever, would eliminate the other.