Jul 13 2012
'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys
Kristen Kelly was raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic elementary school and considered herself a good Catholic, but when she was 21-years-old that changed.
“A coworker asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ,” she says.
Despite spending her entire life in the Roman Catholic Church she couldn’t answer the question.
“I never really got exposed to Christ," she says. "It was more about Mary and the Church and a condemnation of everything I was doing wrong.”
She looked at her coworker and saw someone who appeared to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and decided that was what she wanted.
She said this prayer:
“Jesus I accept that you are my lord and savior, and I ask you to come into my life.”
And from that moment Kelly, now 41 and living in Florida, considered herself born-again, and an ex-Catholic. “I like to call us recovering Catholics,” she says with a laugh.
According to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religious Life and Public Life, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% now describe themselves as Catholic.
That means about 1 in 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a denomination they would be bigger than Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Presbyterians.