From catholic church to prison to being ''set free''

RapturiteSean

Well-Known Member
I grew up in the catholic church.

We lived in county Donegal in the Irish Republic.
When I was 9 years old my mother ran away from home to live with her lover in Scotland. Soon after that my father went to find her. We were now abandoned by both parents.

When my mother left she took some of my brothers and sisters with her. She left behind myself, my 3 year old sister, a seven year old sister, an eleven year old sister. and my twelve year old brother.

We survived by begging and St Vincent de Paul would sometimes give us food.
After some weeks or months the door to our house was broken through by police and social workers early one morning, They took us to a court room and before a judge. We were criminally charged with having no parental guardianship. Yep – criminal charges!

My sisters were sent to a convent and my brother and myself were sent to a boys home run by the -so called – Christian Brothers. The shock of all this was horrific. Locked up and even separated from my sisters. We still hoped Mammy and Daddy would soon return and rescue us. They didn't. It would be four years before I saw any of my family again. Some I would never see again. My father only a handful of times.

The ''Christian Brothers'' filled our days with the Rosary, Mass, Angelus, Legion of Mary, catechism and every kind of abuse imaginable. It was like a prison. We were kept within the home day and night. We couldn't leave the grounds at all.

My brother was released when he turned 16 years old.

Circumstances transpired in which I absconded at the age of thirteen and arrived in Scotland. I rejoined my mother but it soon became obvious that the bond between her and I had been permanently weakened. Same with my brothers and sisters. Mammy and Daddy are dead now and I have been estranged from all my brothers and sisters for a very, very long time.

I became pretty wild after arriving in Scotland and constantly got arrested and locked up for stealing, robbing and violence. I was sent to Borstal for theft. I received 15 months for stabbing a man. I got three years for robbery and five years for robbery and assault. At times I was so violent I had to be placed in the prison digger and separated from other prisoners.

Through all of this I was a fervent Catholic. In spite of the abuse I loved the Catholic church. In one prison I was the only prisoner attending the mass service. I was the altar boy and congregation all in one and I loved it all. Fr Keegan was relieved to have an altar boy and congregation.

Toward the end of the five year sentence I was transferred to another prison. A group of evangelical Christian civilians ran a bible study group there. I went along to that group and what I learned was amazing. Jesus actually came to earth with the intention of dying on the cross! One of them told me that if I was the only person ever born Jesus would still have hung on that cross for me!

After several months attending that group and reading my Bible I finally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, but I was still attending mass. Through reading my Bible I realised more and more that the catholic church was apostate and in terrible error.

Through reading my Bible and prayer and lots of contemplation I finally left the Catholic Church a few months after being released from prison.. I was free of it. God moved me on and led me on away from that religion.

I knew the catechism inside out and now I was able to answer the concerns of catholics. I could show them from the Bible where and how the catholic church was in error. I was able to convince them that salvation is a free gift from God. They didn't need mass, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Legion of Mary, penances and indulgences and the opportunity of saying the Act of Contrition seconds before death. I realise their fears about excommunication and know how to get rid of those fears.

If you want to witness to Catholics I suggest you get a catechism. There you will learn what they believe and what they fear and having that knowledge will help you get them in a frame of mind where they themselves will question the catholic religion. God will pull them out. You won't have to!

I was saved in 1982 and have never seen a prison cell since! The Lord truly set me free.

I will finish this post on a slightly amusing note. Twenty years after becoming a Christian I met the then retired Fr Keegan. He still remembered me and that I was the only one at his mass.

I didn't have the heart to tell him his congregation was now protestant.
 

Jonathan

Well-Known Member
Barry and I just talked about something. We have a website, which many of you are aware of. Sean's testimony, and so many others, are sort of 'buried' here. We would like to put up a section on our website for Christian testimonies. If anyone is agreeable, let us know at bhs4light@charter.net and give us a link to your testimony or write it out. There are a lot of scientists who visit our website and a page of testimonies could be something very valuable. Our website is at www.setterfield.org.
I remember watching the Chuck Missler Interview with Barry a while back. Had no idea of the connection here. Nice site and will continue to explore it.
 

RapturiteSean

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all your encouragement, folks!

I have had many people tell me over the years that I should write a book. Once we get settled here, in France, I will write a little bit at a time - with my wife Liz's prompting.

What you have read above is only a small part of my life. I am actually from the Irish ''Traveller'' community which is an Irish outcast ethnic group ( Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Travellers ) and my family and relatives were involved in dissident republican groups and organised crime. I have witnessed murder, terrorism, organised crime and attempts on my life, even by my family. I have been shot twice, stabbed several times and coshed more times than I remember. I had friends who died violently and others who committed suicide.

More than once I suffered head injuries from an attack. This caused swelling in my brain which resulted in very erratic behaviour which then resulted in me being sectioned under the mental health act twice within a few months. God healed me from that.

I have been diagnosed as Bi-Polar, ADHD, OCD and PTSD. Thankfully, this is well controlled with medication.

A while after being released from prison a complete stranger gave me a scripture. It was Deuteronomy 32 from verse 10

In a desert land He found him
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him
He guarded him as the apple of His eye
like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft
the Lord alone led him
no foreign god was with him.

I knew that verse was definitely God speaking to me and I still recite that verse every night before going to sleep.

I, myself, did some horrible things but Jesus has borne the penalty for me! I am very fond of Him.
 
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Mattheww

Member
I tried to convince my dad to leave Catholicism. I debated him and proved him wrong about many things with support from scripture. He then went ahead to tell me I don't understand the bible that's its a very complicated book.(Convinced he's never read it in his life with the way he behaves and thinks) Having wicked doctors miss diagnose me as schizophrenic with no real reason to his only way to fight what I would say is to say I'm very sick. My mom called my therapist and said I was having a meltdown!! This world is twisted!
 

Hol

Worships Him
I tried to convince my dad to leave Catholicism. I debated him and proved him wrong about many things with support from scripture. He then went ahead to tell me I don't understand the bible that's its a very complicated book.(Convinced he's never read it in his life with the way he behaves and thinks) Having wicked doctors miss diagnose me as schizophrenic with no real reason to his only way to fight what I would say is to say I'm very sick. My mom called my therapist and said I was having a meltdown!! This world is twisted!
Praying for you Matthew
 

WartHog

Well-Known Member
I tried to convince my dad to leave Catholicism. I debated him and proved him wrong about many things with support from scripture. He then went ahead to tell me I don't understand the bible that's its a very complicated book.(Convinced he's never read it in his life with the way he behaves and thinks) Having wicked doctors miss diagnose me as schizophrenic with no real reason to his only way to fight what I would say is to say I'm very sick. My mom called my therapist and said I was having a meltdown!! This world is twisted!
I lift you up Matthew. God will never leave you or forsake you. We may not be able to trust our loved ones and those we are close to, but we can always trust Jesus. :)
 
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mbrown1219

Heaven's Stables
I will finish this post on a slightly amusing note. Twenty years after becoming a Christian I met the then retired Fr Keegan. He still remembered me and that I was the only one at his mass.

I didn't have the heart to tell him his congregation was now protestant.
:lol Unlike Adrian, I "got it" that you didn't want to ruin Fr. Keegan's day! Do pray he pulled out of the Catholic Church, however...
 

Momma D

Well-Known Member
What an awesome testimony! A very captivating read for sure...

I was born catholic, and after we got married, moved to Texas, where our best friends were mostly southern baptists. It was from watching and listening to them, that we saw the real Jesus.
None of them 'preached' to us, but God reached us :bighug
We were born again within a year after returning to CA.
I find Catholics hard to reach, but that does not stop me from waiting for God to open a door :hug
Nothing is to hard for the Lord!!
 

lismore

Well-Known Member
Hello Sean! Thanks for your amazing testimony! it resonated with me. I have an uncle by marriage from County Cork in Ireland. My Auntie was saved in the Catholic Charismatic movement, came out and prayed for her husband to be saved for decades really. Nothing seemed to touch him really and he could become quite angry if anyone spoke to him about God or the gospel. But one night he agreed to go to a testimony dinner meeting (I was there too). The speaker was an Irish Traveller who had been saved and was now an evangelist. My uncle connected with this man's homely testimony, real love for God and charming Irish lilt and was saved!

So amen! Thanks for sharing. God Bless :)
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
I grew up in the catholic church.

We lived in county Donegal in the Irish Republic.
When I was 9 years old my mother ran away from home to live with her lover in Scotland. Soon after that my father went to find her. We were now abandoned by both parents.

When my mother left she took some of my brothers and sisters with her. She left behind myself, my 3 year old sister, a seven year old sister, an eleven year old sister. and my twelve year old brother.

We survived by begging and St Vincent de Paul would sometimes give us food.
After some weeks or months the door to our house was broken through by police and social workers early one morning, They took us to a court room and before a judge. We were criminally charged with having no parental guardianship. Yep – criminal charges!

My sisters were sent to a convent and my brother and myself were sent to a boys home run by the -so called – Christian Brothers. The shock of all this was horrific. Locked up and even separated from my sisters. We still hoped Mammy and Daddy would soon return and rescue us. They didn't. It would be four years before I saw any of my family again. Some I would never see again. My father only a handful of times.

The ''Christian Brothers'' filled our days with the Rosary, Mass, Angelus, Legion of Mary, catechism and every kind of abuse imaginable. It was like a prison. We were kept within the home day and night. We couldn't leave the grounds at all.

My brother was released when he turned 16 years old.

Circumstances transpired in which I absconded at the age of thirteen and arrived in Scotland. I rejoined my mother but it soon became obvious that the bond between her and I had been permanently weakened. Same with my brothers and sisters. Mammy and Daddy are dead now and I have been estranged from all my brothers and sisters for a very, very long time.

I became pretty wild after arriving in Scotland and constantly got arrested and locked up for stealing, robbing and violence. I was sent to Borstal for theft. I received 15 months for stabbing a man. I got three years for robbery and five years for robbery and assault. At times I was so violent I had to be placed in the prison digger and separated from other prisoners.

Through all of this I was a fervent Catholic. In spite of the abuse I loved the Catholic church. In one prison I was the only prisoner attending the mass service. I was the altar boy and congregation all in one and I loved it all. Fr Keegan was relieved to have an altar boy and congregation.

Toward the end of the five year sentence I was transferred to another prison. A group of evangelical Christian civilians ran a bible study group there. I went along to that group and what I learned was amazing. Jesus actually came to earth with the intention of dying on the cross! One of them told me that if I was the only person ever born Jesus would still have hung on that cross for me!

After several months attending that group and reading my Bible I finally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, but I was still attending mass. Through reading my Bible I realised more and more that the catholic church was apostate and in terrible error.

Through reading my Bible and prayer and lots of contemplation I finally left the Catholic Church a few months after being released from prison.. I was free of it. God moved me on and led me on away from that religion.

I knew the catechism inside out and now I was able to answer the concerns of catholics. I could show them from the Bible where and how the catholic church was in error. I was able to convince them that salvation is a free gift from God. They didn't need mass, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Legion of Mary, penances and indulgences and the opportunity of saying the Act of Contrition seconds before death. I realise their fears about excommunication and know how to get rid of those fears.

If you want to witness to Catholics I suggest you get a catechism. There you will learn what they believe and what they fear and having that knowledge will help you get them in a frame of mind where they themselves will question the catholic religion. God will pull them out. You won't have to!

I was saved in 1982 and have never seen a prison cell since! The Lord truly set me free.

I will finish this post on a slightly amusing note. Twenty years after becoming a Christian I met the then retired Fr Keegan. He still remembered me and that I was the only one at his mass.

I didn't have the heart to tell him his congregation was now protestant.
Awesome testimony! I also grew up in the Catholic Church, but have since left long ago.
 
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