Conversion Stories of Catechumens & Candidates - Easter 2018

Below are the conversion stories of some of the people who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become Catholic at the Easter Vigil of 2018.  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!

Cody Ballweg: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist


I spent a few years of my childhood while in Stoughton as a Methodist. My family stopped attending Church after we moved from the area. I eventually became an atheist as a teenager with some strong anti-theistic leanings by college. After college I stopped bothering with religion altogether until my daughter was born. From there I grew interested in philosophy; Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, Huxley, Guenon. This lead to some dabbling with neo-paganism, and eventually an interest in Catholicism. Studying Aquinas solidified this decision and I've been set on entering the Church since then.

Shawn Bilgri: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist

IMG_3746.JPGI am originally from Monroe, Wisconsin and have lived in the Madison area for a while.  I have never been baptized though I attended an Evangelical Protestant church as a child.  Even so, I have not had much of a religious background. My grandma Bilgri was a hard core Catholic and I have been married to a wonderful Catholic woman for many years and am looking forward to being more united with her in our marriage.  I’m also enjoying my classes with Marc and the RCIA team and learning about the Church and everything that goes with being Catholic!



Kaley Ellis: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist

IMG_7361.JPGI am from southeast Wisconsin and have lived in Madison for 5 years. Though my family occasionally attended different churches throughout my childhood, I was never officially baptized or raised with a particular set of religious beliefs. My fiance was raised Catholic and I have many close friends who are Catholic as well. I had always felt like there was some part of my life that was lacking, and that was faith and a relationship with God. During the course of RCIA I have learned so much about the Catholic faith and it has had an enormous impact on my life. There is still much for me to learn, but I am so grateful for my experience thus far and the ability to create and nourish my relationship with God. I greatly look forward to becoming a part of the Catholic Church this Spring.

Jenika Williams: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist 

I am originally from Milwaukee Wi. Throughout my life I have attended IMG_8577.JPGmany different Christian churches with different denominations, however, I have always considered myself non-denominational. I began the RCIA program at the request of my fiance.  He thought it would be amazing if I decided to become Catholic, but it would also be just as great for us to give God a greater role in our relationship and create a foundation for our soon to be family. During my college years, I participated in an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ that I absolutely loved, and the RCIA  program is very reminiscent of the organization to me. I have really enjoyed building my relationship with Jesus as an adult and within a new chapter of my life, and I believe this program has been key in helping my fiance and myself create a stronger foundation in our relationship that makes us want to be kinder to each other, and to continue to build a relationship and household focused on glorifying God.


Cherise Decorah: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist


My fiancé Jacob and I got engaged this past September. I was baptized, confirmed, and grew up Lutheran while he has always been Catholic. We had been to church many times together while we were dating and I began the RCIA classes this past fall. I am currently living in the Madison area while Jake lives up in Minneapolis; our wedding is in Madison this September and we are anxious to get settled somewhere together.

Elizabeth Toman: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist


I was baptized as a baby and raised in a conservative Reformed (Protestant) family. I made my first confession of faith at age 12 and have been growing in love and understanding of Christ ever since. I have been in Madison for 11 years and work at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.  My journey to Catholicism began in 2016 and I am eagerly looking forward to fully entering into the life of the Church and receiving the fullness of communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist.