About the Author
Hello, my name is Chad R. Torgerson. I am not a preacher. I do not have an advanced degree. I am not a theologian. I do not have any special gifts. I AM someone just like you!
My Journey to Catholicism
In 1997, I called myself Christian for the first time. For the next twelve years, I bounced all over the world. During those years, I also bounced from one church to another. With each move came a search for a new church to call home, and many of them were non-denominational churches. But as soon as I would start to feel at home, it was time to move on again.
After spending half of those twelve years in the military, I finally found myself back in my hometown. Home was a great concept. It was great to be home with the ones I loved. It was great to feel like I belonged to a family again. When it came to my life at church, I hoped for the same thing. Despite my best efforts though, my search continued.
I had always been rather cynical about the Catholic Church. Many of the people I know in my life are Catholic, and our discussions often turned into religious debates. In my stubbornness, I never really listened to anything they had to say. I was so stubborn that they coined the term "Chad-isms." I had my set of beliefs, and nobody was going to change them.
Eventually, my heart started to open to the idea of becoming Catholic. Being a huge fan of football, I joined my brother-in-law at a Notre Dame game one weekend. Living in Chicago, South Bend was a short drive away. When we arrived on campus, I was amazed at the beauty of the architecture. The beautiful paintings and murals inside the buildings were awe-inspiring. Yet despite the awe-inspiring art and architecture, what truly inspired me was the community on campus. Large crowds gathered to say a prayer at the Grotto. Catholics from all over the country shared stories of faith. Even the players attended mass prior to the game. Here was the community of believers that I had been looking for. I won't say that I changed my mind that day, but it opened me up to the possibilities.
My RCIA Process
My journey toward the Catholic Church did not end in South Bend. That was only the beginning. As I looked around me, I noticed that many of the people of faith that I knew were Catholic. My lovely girlfriend, my sister, a few other family members, and a number of friends were all Catholic. More than any other denomination, the Catholics seemed to hold steadfast in their faith. It intrigued me. I decided to "try" RCIA. If I didn't like it, then I would drop out - no harm done.
I walked into RCIA with a lot of questions. No matter how many questions I asked, there was always an answer. I asked the priests, my family and friends, searched online, and consulted the Bible and Catechism. Around every turn, I expected to find the big "GOTCHA!" moment: the moment I could find the ultimately fatal flaw in the Catholic Church. That day never came.
Eventually, I completed the RCIA process. I still had questions, but many of them had been answered. Easter was coming fast, and I still had a choice to make. Choosing to become Catholic does not happen when you start RCIA; it happens when you finish it. I prayed hard. What to do? In the end, there was not a large neon sign saying, "Be Catholic!" on it. Instead, there was a gentle whisper in my soul. It's those soft whispers that can have the most dramatic impact on our lives.
What Led Me to Create This Website?
The process of becoming Catholic is not an easy one. Even with regular, weekly classes, I still graduated RCIA with more questions than answers. When I searched online, it was hard to know what sources to trust. Turning to the printed page, I found many of the books I read to be written for those with a Master's in Theology.
My goal, then, is to provide resources for anyone who wants to know Catholicism at its roots - written in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. You don't need a Master's Degree to read this site. By sharing what I've learned in a way that anyone can understand, I hope that more people will complete the same journey that I did.
That is my story. Thank you for all of your love and support, and I hope this site can help - wherever you may be in your faith journey. Feel free to contact me anytime.