I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and am (cough, cough) part of the transitional generation. My catechism and First Communion were before Vatican II. During my teens and twenties, the Mass had become so humanocentric and so degraded that I lapsed.
My first experiences with Orthodoxy were negative. I had attended a couple of Synod and Greek parishes, where the people went out of their way to make me feel unwelcome because I didn't belong to the correct ethnic group. Then while living in Louisville, Kentucky, the city of my birth, I discovered St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church.
St. Michael was -- still is -- a large, pan-ethnic parish, with perhaps one-third of the congregants converts. The priest and people were warm and welcoming, and I spent many hours over the next few months talking with the priest and devouring the theology books he loaned me.
I was chrismated in 1984.
I left Louisville to go to graduate school, in a community with no Orthodox presence. Recently, I moved to Pennsylvania, and have been attending a Byzantine parish. I recently found out that there was an Orthodox parish here, and am in somewhat of a quandry at the moment, since I have become active in the Byzantine community and feel as if leaving would be abandoning them -- even though I know I belong at the Orthodox parish.
I will be discussing this with both priests.