Conversion Stories of Catechumens & Candidates - Easter 2017

Below are the conversion stories of some of the people who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become Catholic (and adult Catholics receiving Confirmation and First Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil of 2017.  Please pray for them and may you be encouraged in your journey further toward Christ and His Church as you hear how God has worked so marvelously in others' lives!

Michele Barker: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist


I am from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and I’ve lived in Madison for 15 years now. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Library and Information Studies program. I also have several part-time jobs in supplement of my classes. I began thinking about Christianity, once again, with the stresses of graduate school. I realized that every time I read a Bible verse I felt a sense of peace. I was baptized and confirmed Lutheran growing up. I was drawn to Catholicism, recently, with many facets that where missing growing up Lutheran. The Cathedral Parish is also aligned more towards my schedule. I like that I can go to Mass on Saturdays or the several times on Sunday. It is also nice that there are weekday Masses at lunchtime and in the evening. This parish provides many opportunities for my busy lifestyle to build my relationship with God. I am looking forward to the Easter vigil in becoming Catholic!

Kurt Bullis: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

Kurt-Bullis-headshot-big.jpgI welcomed my fourth daughter to the air-breathing world on March 5th. I graduated from Wheaton College in the Chicago suburbs and stayed in that area until 6 years ago when I took a position with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Madison. I grew up in various Protestant denominations and was baptized by an Air Force chaplain in the South China Sea when I was 10.  I became Anglican in college and incrementally grew less anti-Catholic until I decided I needed to investigate for myself whether the Catholic Church's claims about herself were true. My journey over the past two and a half years has been one into ever-increasing wonder at the ridiculously beautiful love of God. 



Olivia Byrnes: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

IMG_3440.JPGI am a student at UW-Madison and I am originally from Mukwonago, Wisconsin. I was baptized when I was nine years old and I have been a part of a non denominational church for most of my life. Important people in my life are Catholic and their passion for the Lord inspired my initial interest in the Catholic Church. I have also definitely felt called to the Catholic Church because of my desire to grow in my relationship with Christ.  Through all of these things and through my desire to become Catholic, I was lead to join the RCIA process at the Cathedral Parish. 

Trevor Knapp: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist


I'm currently a graduate student in physics at the University of Wisconsin, researching experimental quantum computation. I grew up attending a Methodist church in Minnesota. I was not baptized until I was 16 because my parents wanted me to make the choice on my own. After high school, I attended St. Olaf College, where I took some courses on theology. These courses, coupled with many discussions with friends and family, prompted me to think about conversion to Catholicism.


Sam Kuzniewski: Received into Church, Confirmation, First EucharistIMG_3437.JPG

I am initially from Waukesha, but I moved to Madison in September 2015 to attend college at UW-Madison.  In Waukesha, I was baptized in and attended a Lutheran church with my parents and sister.  I always knew I wanted to be a part of the Catholic Church, being the Church that Saint Peter founded at the direction of Christ.  Because I could not decide what church my family went to, I did not have this opportunity until I got to college and was on my own.  As such, when I arrived in Madison, I began attending Mass with a friend who was a part of the St. Paul's congregation.  I began RCIA when I met Monsignor Holmes and knew I had found a parish that I wanted to be a part of.  He directed me to Marc Laudonio, who leads the RCIA process for people interested in becoming Catholic, and I am very grateful to be a part of this program.

Shawn Tobie: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist


I'm from Grayslake, Illinois. I was baptized and confirmed Lutheran. I attempted a Lutheran school through 4th grade then my family moved and I attended public schools. Still I was confirmed in the church I had been baptized in. My fiancée and her family are Catholic and it is very important to us and our family that we raise our family in the Catholic church and that we be married in the Church.

Allison Wodicka: Received into Church, First Eucharist, Confirmation 

I was born and raised in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, but have been a Madison IMG_3427.JPGresident for the last 7 years! I was brought up in a Lutheran family, and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church. My upcoming wedding in the Catholic church sparked a desire to learn more about the Catholic faith, which ultimately brought me to RCIA and taking the step to become Catholic!

Sara Wray: Received into Church, First Eucharist, Confirmation 

IMG_3431.JPGI grew up in Neenah, WI and I attended college in Flagstaff, Arizona. I moved to Madison about 18 months ago. I was baptized as an infant in the United Methodist Church. I attended Sunday school, participated in Youth Group, and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church. After I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona I attended a United Methodist Church on a regular basis, but I felt disconnected and lost. While living in Flagstaff I met my good friend, Chris, who is Catholic. He took me to an Ordination and I went to Mass with him on several occasions. For the first time I started to question my faith. I had always been a Methodist because my family was. I never stopped to think that there were other possibilities out there. When I moved to the Madison area I wasn’t a big fan of my local Methodist church. I was talking to Chris about it and he suggested instead of trying a bunch of Protestant churches that I should try going to Mass more often. One October Sunday morning I walked into Mass and I haven’t stopped going since. I feel like I finally have the answers that I’ve been looking for.