Bruce family finds their spiritual home

GREENVILLE—B. Taylor Bruce, 20, was one of hundreds from the Piedmont Deanery who entered the Catholic Church at St. Mary on March 11.

The young woman said she and her parents, Charles and Candace Bruce, had followed a winding religious path that brought them to Catholicism several times before they finally realized what God was saying.

Bruce grew up in a Protestant home, one that relocated often as her family moved to new jobs.

“We did a lot of searching for new church families almost once every two years or so,” she said.

Those early years gave her the opportunity to meet new people, she said, but the regular uprooting was a challenge.

“I felt as if I was always at a vacation Bible school instead of my spiritual home,” Bruce said.

She received her introduction to Catholicism as a teen living in Charlotte, N.C.

“My parents and I went through many struggles there and needed a place to pray and quietly reflect,” she said. “The only doors that were ever constantly open were at a Catholic church down the street from our home. We went there almost daily to quietly pray.

“I did not realize then that I would soon become a Catholic and that God, even then, was giving me a huge hint about where he intended me to be,” she said.

When they moved to Greenville, Bruce said her family looked for the first church with open doors and went in to pray. “It just so happened to be St. Mary’s. It was so beautiful.”

Bruce said God led her family to “the very place He intended us,” but they didn’t see the message. Instead, they joined what she called a “turnstile” church “in hopes of meeting a lot of new Christian people.”

But the family realized they were looking for more and God led them back to St. Mary, where Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor, had a huge influence on her decision to convert.

“We started RCIA classes and we were so very blessed that Father Newman himself was the teacher,” she said. “He answered all of my questions.

“I finally feel a real sense of security being a part of the body of St. Mary’s and the Catholic Church. God has blessed me in very special ways.”