Debbie Warrier: Eucharist is tough, but I’ll get there

06 May 2009

By The Record

Perth woman says that a belief in the Real Presence will come with time.                                


Sarah Dunleavy speaks with Debbie Warrier

My conversion wasn’t like being struck by lightening. I have always had a faith of sorts.  I was baptised but not confirmed as an Anglican.  We didn’t go to church regularly attending mostly at Easter and Christmas.
Anglican beliefs and practices are very similar to Catholicism. I think there are really only two or three differences. Obviously there is the issue of leadership. Also, Catholics view Mary as playing a more important role then do Anglicans. Catholics do not pray to Mary but through her. Finally, Communion is seen by Catholics as the Body and Blood of Christ.
Communion is the crux of the whole Mass. I haven’t fully accepted the transubstantiation of Christ in the Eucharist yet. I think that it will come with time.  I want to become Catholic so that I can take Communion and participate in the Mass as a family. It’s not quite the same otherwise. My children go to Catholic school and I want to be able to answer their questions about faith too.  
My decision to become a Catholic came out of the blue. However for the past 15 years I have been attending the Catholic Church.  My husband is a cradle Catholic but he did not influence my decision and was in fact surprised that I wanted to do it.  I felt I should ask my mother if she was happy for me to convert which she was.  She knew I was already attending a Catholic church with my family.  My husband’s family was very supportive of my decision.
I think that it is good for my children to see me going through the RCIA process.  It strengthens their understanding of why we go to a Catholic Church when they see Mummy going to all this effort.  Their teachers talk about going to Mass at school and now they can see it happening at home too.  On a Sunday morning if they are reluctant to go to Church, we say “This is what the family does.  We’re going”.
I admire how much the RCIA coordinators know and I have learnt heaps from them. My in-laws think that I am going to end up knowing more than they do. As cradle Catholics, you’re just brought up with your faith and don’t really think about it. Making this decision as an adult allows me to bring a certain maturity to my faith development.
I want my children to be committed to their faith.  We go to the John Paul Church in Willetton. Our parish is really good. Teachers and kids from my children’s school go there. I like the sense of community it brings. When I met my husband he was 21 and still going to Church each week.  It was ingrained in him and I was impressed with that.  His family had a strong commitment to their faith and I want that for my family.
At this year’s Easter Vigil I was accepted into the Catholic Church through confirmation and Holy Communion. Attending Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday Mass in the lead-up made the process even more special.  So now instead of sitting back in Mass not feeling totally comfortable I can participate. This has made me feel complete.
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