Conversions

Follow Dustin through the phases of his life including Islam until he finally discovered the Catholic Church.

Maybe you’re like me (aside from being born with Cerebral Palsy and defying doctors’ pronouncements, by the grace of God, that I would be confined to a wheelchair and relegated to a vegetative state). Maybe you grew up in North America and lived a sheltered, comfortable life, and God was—although you would never say it, or consciously think it—there to do your bidding. You want a new pair of shoes? Ask God. Scared of an impending summer storm that could possibly turn into a tornado? Pray to God. Promise Him that, if this storm passes, and you and your family remain unscathed, you will try harder to be a “good person,” get to know Him more intimately, and go to church more often.

Well, those shoes you wanted? You got them. That storm you were afraid of, that could have destroyed your house and taken your family? It passed. Out of thankfulness, you kiss the gold cross around your neck. You go to church on holy days. And you even listen to your grandmother tell you about how Jesus has changed her life, and she couldn’t do life without Him, without His word. It sounds so foreign. If you were around other family members—much less friends—while she would bear witness to Jesus, you just . . . smiled . . . nervously, and tried not to be embarrassed. When I was a child, I reasoned as a child.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe, when you entered college or university, a couple things happened: One, you were old enough to drink and go to bars with your buddies. Awesome. Two, the things you were taught about, well, everything, growing up—the things you took for granted about religion, history, life itself—began to be challenged. It was at this stage that I began to notice something: I was raised a “Christian.” North America was a “Christian” civilization.

How was it, that I, a Christian in a Christian county (Canada), could go to bars, even strip clubs, with a cross around my neck, with the aim of getting smashed, talking crudely about women, all while having no qualms about bragging that I had been saved. I was heaven-bound because Jesus died for me. I believed that. And that . . . was enough. (Or was it?) …

To listen to his story click here. To read the rest of his story, click here.

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Revet Elizabeth wrote:

I grew up Catholic, left off practice of my faith, then wandered around several churches before coming back.  It just seemed like the preaching I was hearing treated the Bible like Ann Landers, and people wanted to be soothed rather than challenged.  There would be preaching and singing but no Eucharist.  It’s like foreplay without consummation.  

The one time I was handed a tray of cut up Wonder Bread and shot glasses of grape juice, I asked the person sitting next to me, “What is this?”  They answered, “Bread and grape juice.”  I passed the tray without taking any. 

At that time, I didn’t even really explicitly, consciously know the doctrine of the Real Presence but I knew it in my bones, and I knew that was a pale imitation.  I thought, I don’t care if there is a world-class university professor organist here, a shot glass of grape juice just shattered my illusions.  These people can’t even share a communion cup, what can they teach me about loving my neighbor?

 My Dad had taught me years ago about shadow and substance.  I felt like I was in the land of shadows–pale imitations.  Only Catholicism and Orthodoxy have substance–the Real thing.

 If it’s not the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of God’s dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, then…to hell with it.  (paraphrasing Flannery O’Connor)

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IMG_8860AUSTEN IVEREIGH’S SLAM AGAINST CONVERTS IN CRUX STIRRED UP A FIRESTORM. Below is a link to his article, comments, his subsequent apology and Crux’s response with new guidelines.

UPDATE SATURDAY, 8/12/17

To his credit Austen Iverigh apologized for his article. The introductory paragraph says,

Recently I used the term “convert neurosis” as a metaphor, and then — because we journalists feel compelled to substantiate our assertions with good evidence — listed a number of people as examples. That offended some, and many others on their behalf. For that I want to apologize. I shouldn’t have given names, and I shouldn’t have used the term “neurosis”. Sorry.

NEW DIRECTIVES GIVEN BY JOHN ALLEN FOR CRUX’S FUTURE

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Crux on-line magazine should be embarrassed for publishing such an inane and critical piece full of ad hominem arguments and foolish accusations and conclusions. The article was written by a Brit named Austen Ivereigh and was entitled The Pope and the Convert Problem. He too should be ashamed and retract his article.

(Picture: Two “neurotic converts”, me and Fr. Dwight Longenecker earlier this year)

The intro paragraph states, “Some of the biggest critics of Pope Francis are people who joined the Catholic Church from a different faith, or none at all. Is it possible the baggage they brought with them has distorted their hermeneutic, and they are suffering from ‘convert neurosis’?”

Well some of us many, many converts, whom some say make the best Catholics, were saddened by the divisive piece but not too surprised by the arrogance and superiority of some Catholic academics and uppity-uppers. (Ed Peters expounds on the improper use of “convert” for us Evangelicals to Catholics. But it is a common term and one I use in a popular sense.)

I am proud to be a convert and love most all the converts I’ve ever met. All a bunch of good eggs.

There have been three excellent responses that I am aware of. All three are from good friends, two of which are converts.

1)  “Come over here and say that”  by Dr. Edward Peters

2)  “Stop bashing converts, and accept us as we are — warts and all Fr. Dwight Longenecker (see picture, taken earlier this year)

3) “Musings on the gift and grace of conversion by Carl Olson in Catholic World Report (All of us are converts, for all of us are being converted. Or should be. So stop using the term “converts” as an ideological stick.)

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Triumph & Tragedy: Jimmy Akins Conversion Story and Loss of his Wife

July 13, 2017

 Get a cup of coffee, turn off the TV and settle in for a great story. Not just gut-wrenching and edifying, but also a Introductory Course in Apologetics. Enjoy the conversion story of the man I now call “The Godfather of Apologetics.” A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY James Akin I broke off a piece of […]

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Today is our 23nd Anniversary as Catholics!

June 4, 2017

Pentecost Sunday 1995 our family of six along with friend Rob Corzine entered the Catholic Church with tears and new friends. We lost all of our Evangelical friends within two weeks but it was a small price to pay. Here you can see two pictures of that momentous day — our family on May 22, […]

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Michelle Shares “Why I Decided to Become Catholic”

June 3, 2017

Michelle shared her conversion story on her website which I share with you here. Welcome home Michelle! I was raised in a generically protestant home.  Up until my father died when I was eight, we went to church twice every Sunday, we prayed before meals, my three siblings and I were involved in the children’s […]

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Steve on Journey Home Explains His Discovery of the Catholic Church

May 6, 2017

This was a while ago but I just found it again and thought it would be good to share. Please feel free to send the link to others who are struggling with the Church or who you think might need a bit of an enthusiastic “nudge.”

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Steve Ray’s Conversion Story up on “Why I’m Catholic”

April 29, 2017

This is a great website with conversion stories from every religious tradition imaginable to Catholic. The Why I’m Catholic website should be passed around to family and friends. It is very well done, beautifully laid out and full of great stories. Our story was posted this week. You can read it HERE.

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Money and Possessions not Enough…Finding Christ through Pain

April 22, 2017

This is a conversion story – conversion from self-sufficiency, money and possessions to Christ. Pain, suffering, loss of everything brought Terry to Christ. Quite a roller coaster story. Enjoy! It was late one Friday evening, when my wife and I got the call. My Brother and his daughters were involved in an accident on their […]

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Al Kresta’s Remarkable Story of Coming back to the Church

February 11, 2017

It was 1993 and Al Kresta was a Protestant pastor and talk show host on the largest Protestant radio station in Detroit. And he returned to the Catholic Church. This is his story written a while ago, but just as interesting and instructive today as when he wrote it. “This is why I returned to […]

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Jim’s Story: Born Presbyterian, then to Parties, Drugs … Protestantism and finally to the Church

January 4, 2017

Conversion stories are always so compelling. Jim’s is full of good content that can help another understand and see the truth of the Catholic Church. This story is about 23 pages but a very good read. Hope you enjoy it. By the way, below is also a link to his wife Julie’s story :-) She […]

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Dealing with Cancer: Amy Carrico’s Story

December 28, 2016

This is a heart-wrenching, yet beautiful story of a wife and mom with cancer and how she’s decided to deal with it. She’s a inspiration to us all – living in the heart of her family, God and the Church. For other beautifully crafted Catholic and personal videos by Fr. Josh and Lolek Productions, click […]

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Short Story of the Ray Family Conversion with Pictures

December 27, 2016

A while ago I decided to write a brief story of our conversion story. It is easy to read in about 15 minutes, about our coming into the Catholic Church. Janet and I converted to the Catholic Church in 1994 but it still seems like yesterday. It has not grown old and we are still thrilled […]

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Jill’s Conversion Story in Poetry; From the Occult to the Church

November 12, 2016

OCCULTISM, A POEM Fascination held me fast Astonished at what had past The humdrum beat was not all there was A world beyond, yet within my grasp Entering in I was adept at the craft It was plainly true I could tell the future and its travails Deeper and deeper I journeyed in Awareness of […]

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Marinko Crnjac’s Story: From Heroin to Christ

November 7, 2016

When I was 17 or 18 I began to experiment with drugs, mostly Marijuana but also occasionally heroin.  Around the age of 23, though, I became a daily user of heroin. It could cost up to hundreds of dollars each day, depending on how much I could afford at the time. This was to be […]

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