Entering into full Communion: Jeff Weems

A priest made him feel welcomed, and he took the next step

Jeff Weems
Holy Family Parish, Luling
Age: 43

Jeff Weems

I’ve been married for 11 years and have three little girls, ages 10, 8 and 5. I was raised Baptist, but I really left the church many years ago.

My wife Cristin is Catholic, and all of our children were baptized Catholic. This is something I always wanted to do – I wanted to be baptized – but in my mind, there was always something that had to happen first. In the Baptist church, you don’t get baptized until you are an adult.

My daughters like the idea a lot. That’s the funny thing. They go to religion class, and now they see me going to religion class.

My delay in doing this was my fault, really. I was kind of reluctant to become Catholic. For a while, I didn’t understand it because I felt I really wasn’t welcomed. There were too many things I couldn’t do, so I didn’t feel welcome.

Things started to change for me when Father Steve (Dardis) came in (as pastor). Things just really opened up for me. I started going to church. I’m not sure what it was. I really felt like Father Steve was directly talking to me. He was so welcoming. There’s still some things I can’t do because I haven’t been baptized yet, but there’s just something about the way he speaks that really moves me.

I’ve enjoyed RCIA because it’s been very informative. It was the exact opposite of what I had been feeling – I felt so welcomed there. It’s been a  really great experience, an amazing experience. It’s the best church experience I’ve ever had.

I’m really excited about the Easter Vigil. I’ve told my extended family about it as well as friends of mine who I know are also close to God. It’s something that can’t get here fast enough! Not being able to receive the Eucharist probably made me feel most unwelcome. But now I am so drawn to it.

My parents are from Arkansas, and my family is all Baptists and Methodists. My dad told me he was proud of me, because he knows what I’m going through. He told me, “You need to be baptized.” He said he told his friends that he was really proud of me.

– Peter Finney Jr

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