In this section I tell only a little of this very special path and the most important thing that happened to me in my life.
My name is Luciana Rogowicz, I was born in a Jewish family, grandparents, great-grandparents, were all Jewish. My paternal grandmother was Polish, and came to Argentina before World War II because of the bad conditions there in many ways.
I had a life and a childhood always happy. Full of love. I never lacked anything, neither materially nor emotionally.
I was raised with traditional, family values. As for the Jewish religion, in my family we lived it more than anything else as a matter of belonging, identity and tradition.
I went to a Hebrew school, both in elementary and high school, and my whole environment was Jewish: in the club, in school, in all my friendships. I think I hardly knew any people who weren’t Jewish.
I always followed the traditions, Jewish New Year, Pesach (Passover), the Day of Atonement, I sang Jewish songs and also spoke hebrew. At the age of 12 I celebrated my Bat Mitzvah (which is what Jewish women celebrate at the age of 12, and the first time they read the Torah. This happens in non-Orthodox Judaism, since in the more religious ones only men can study the Torah).
It was only when I started to go to clubs or bars when I was older that I began to meet people, kids of other religions or without religion in general. I was always very interested in these conversations that were taking place because we were dealing with different topics: university kids talking about new things for me that I loved: philosophy, psychology, religions, etc…
At the age of 19, I met the man who is now my husband. He came from a practicing Catholic family.
I was raised by my parents always under the unspoken premise that «It would be better if I marry a Jewish guy» but although that was their preference, they always taught me that before that, the main thing was love and that whoever was going to be my husband should be a good person.
I always kept my mind open in that sense, but when I thought that I could be with a non-Jewish guy, I never imagined being with someone Catholic, that is, with a latent and very present religion.
The first time I went to his house I was amazed by the images that were there. I always think I was so in love that I was able to overcome all the «culture differences» that came my way: hanging crosses, a picture of the Pope, images of the Virgin Mary… It was all so different from the places and homes I had always been to.
Through his family I got to know an excellent example of the Catholic religion. Not only in its forms and customs, but in its daily practice. My husband’s mother is a simple, good woman, who lives religion in its true sense, an excellent example of a good Christian.
Beyond that, I was never interested in religion. I was dating this guy «in spite» of his religion.
We were always chatting about different subjects, God, his Truth, etc. But I didn’t want to talk about Jesus. That was something I felt a Jew should not even mention. It was the «other», the «out of bounds». Not that I was explicitly taught that in my Jewish upbringing, but it was something that was passed on to me.
After years together, we got married and eventually had our first daughter. As we had already discussed when we were dating, we were going to raise our children in both religions and traditions; we were going to have them baptized and circumcised in the case they were boys.
The time came for the baptism of my first daughter, and so we did it. It was a difficult time for me. Everything I always saw in other people, on TV, as part of another culture, I was living it with my own family. My parents were present at all times, a difficult situation for them too (although they asked to go to my daughter’s baptism because that moment was going to be part of their granddaughter’s life and they didn’t want to miss any part of her life, even if it had nothing to do with their own values).
The joy of my husband’s family and his family made the day a little better, as I was happy for them that I love them so much.
The next day we had a long car trip with my husband and he insisted to listen to an audio of a «catholic Jew»; (although at the beginning it seemed to me something strange and incompatible, and I was not interested in listening to it, I did not want to seem so closed as to refuse, so I agreed to listen to it)
In this audio this person told his own testimony about a «supernatural» experience he had had, a communication with God, and after a while with the Virgin Mary. It is a very interesting story but too long to detail here (this person has nowadays books and many audios where he tells his story: his name is Roy Schoeman). This audio that I listened to that day was only his testimony, he did not speak at any time of arguments about what is the truth, or if Jesus is or is not the messiah, but only told the supernatural experience that he had lived.
At that very moment, just by listening to his testimony, the «invisible» veil fell from my eyes, from my heart, and I believed in everything in a single instant. I don’t quite understand how it worked, but it was as if a new part, full of knowledge and understanding, had been transplanted into my brain. Not only did I believe 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 Catholic doctrine teaches. At that moment I believed forever, and I also became aware of the role of my existence and the mission I had in life.
I always knew that I had a special vocation, as everyone does, but I did not yet know what it was. And at that moment I also understood that my mission as a Jew, was to «embrace» this faith and transmit it to my environment and to others.
This was in 2008. And while that «transformation» was instantaneous in my inner life, it was not so fast in my outer life. My husband and I talked a lot about it and I started to do some research. I got in touch with this person from the testimony I heard, Roy Schoeman, and I also began to research and read rational arguments on the subject.
Meanwhile there was my inner dilemma: «if I believe in this I must be coherent with that – and Jesus not only said incredible and wise teachings but also said the things one must do: «I am the Way, the Truth and the Life»…» Baptism, communion… it was too much for me at that time. The family question was very difficult, I thought: What will my family say? How will this hurt my parents? My whole family? How can I tell my friends?
At the same time, I knew that I did not want to carry out this whole process in secret. If my mission was to pass this on to them, how could I do it in secret?
This is just a summary of what was going through my mind in the 5 and a half years after that unique moment. Of course I also continued with my routine, my work, my daughter, then another daughter whom we also baptized.
This process of mine was internal, I knew stories of other Jewish Catholics, and I read about the prophecies. But that’s where it stayed. I did not move forward on the subject, fear paralyzed me. And at the same time all this began to cool inside me, although I never doubted Jesus and all that I believed to be true.
Five years after this event, in 2013, something incredible happened that really transformed my life and soul. One «ordinary» Sunday I went with my husband to Mass. I didn’t really want to go but that day I really had no excuse not to accompany him and it was really more practical to go with him since we then had to go somewhere else, and from there we would arrive directly.
So I sat next to him, waiting for him to finish, a bit distracted. But something happened. At the moment of the consecration and especially when the people were approaching to take Communion, I felt in me a deep love and a union with all the people who were taking communion. An inner transformation that I could not understand what it was. At that moment it was as if the most powerful magnet in the world had settled in my soul, a magnet that is always attracted, every day, to the Eucharist. I believe, and I know, that God is present there, He is there.
I began to feel in a tangible way, that invisible presence that is always dwelling among us. I entered a world full of mystery and beauty, of which I could never have enough, nor know enough.
From that day on, not a single day went by that I did not feel the desire and need to go to Mass. From that day on my heart turned towards God. My inner life took an inexplicable turn, a deep love unlike anything I have ever felt (and I have been and am surrounded by love all my life).
Since that special Sunday, the next day I asked my husband to accompany me to Mass. He looked at me funny… «Do you want to go to Mass? And on a Monday?»… but he had no choice but to accompany his Jewish wife to Mass. How to say no to such a request?
On Tuesday, the same thing… «let’s go to Mass» I told him. And so on every day of the week. I couldn’t think of anything else but the time to go to Mass. Of the priest lifting the host and saying those words for the Consecration. I watched the Masses on EWTN on TV and was envious of the people who were there to witness it.
In the second week my husband told me «I love you but if you want to go to Mass, you go by yourself…» 🙂
But I would never have thought of going alone… me? Jewish? At Mass alone? It was one thing to accompany my husband and quite another to go by myself… without any «excuse» if someone found me. But it was so strong what I felt that of course I started going every morning. After dropping my daughters off at school, that’s where I went, every day.
At that stage I also had other sensations and such a strong connection to God at every moment. It was as if He was by my side, «walking beside me». At times I felt such a strong energy that I could only cry, cry and cry. It was not from sadness, nor was it from joy; it was like my soul was overflowing with such a sense of God. Feeling that everything I had ever heard was true, that God really Exists, and not only that, but that He gave Himself for us, in His totality. And that he is present and knows us, knows me and decided not to wait for me anymore and shook me, filled me with his love and transformed me. A love so great and so different from what I knew.
All of this, at that moment in my life, was the impetus I needed to be able to carry out what I knew I had to do for years. Talk to my family and receive the sacraments.
It’s a long story how each thing happened, its difficulties, thoughts, tensions. But in the course of less than 3 months I was able to do everything that for 5 years I did not dare to do.
From that moment until today I always have the desire to go to Mass, to receive the Eucharist is to feel God’s embrace that nourishes my soul.
How do I continue on this path?
Currently I share part of my story in this personal blog with thoughts and writings for people who are interested in this topic and people who may feel doubts, fears and need to share it with someone.
I make videos and upload them to my YouTube Chanel to share with others. I also give talks about the wonderful «completeness» that exists between the Tanakh (Hebrew bible) and the New Testament, and how they illuminate each other.
In addition, I became so passionate about searching for the reasons for my faith that I studied Scripture for many years and now I am a Scripture teacher. I love being able to teach the Word of God and to show the way in which He so lovingly reveals Himself to man through the narrated events of salvation history.
I would by no means call this a conversion story. I call it a story of «fulfillment» because I did not convert to another religion. I am Jewish and I recognize the true Messiah of Judaism that God sent, which is Jesus. And He, transmits His ideas, sacraments, doctrines, through the Church. That is why I follow Catholicism. This Catholic Church has the Eucharist, God present, really present in every Mass.
Likewise, I do not lose my Jewish roots, nor did I give up my traditions. My daughters are Jewish and Catholic. These two «religions» are perfect communion, they are a continuity, not a cut, a «completeness», a perfect and compatible union. Two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly and neither, ever, eliminates the other.