Conversions

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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 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 the popsicle in my hand and placed it carefully in the mouth of my dying wife. Renee lay on her back, restless in the hospital bed, suffering from an advanced case of colon cancer which we had discovered a little more than a month before.

jimmy-390x390The doctor said she still had a chance of responding to the chemotherapy and might conceivably live for a few months, possibly even six or more, but that a year would be miraculous. In light of the urgent state of Renee’s condition, we talked about accelerating my entrance into the Catholic Church. It didn’t look like there was much time.

My Early History

I was born in 1965 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My mom and dad took me to a local Church of Christ until I was five or six, but then quit going. After that I was raised outside any church. This did not mean I was uninterested in religion-I was. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I started reading the Bible, but only those parts I thought dealt with the “end times.”

As a result of what I read in the Bible, I got scared, seeing terrifying visions of God’s wrath and judgment without having them balanced by the message of his wondrous grace and mercy. This helped drive me into the next phase of my religious development: the New Age movement.

555d5cf0ecdd9dd21e0127734456dc7f--speaking-in-tongues-catholic-answersThe reason I moved in that direction was that New Age philosophy holds that there is no hell. New Agers believe we reincarnate through many lives until we become perfect. This made the New Age attractive to me, not only because it presented reincarnation as a bold adventure where you get to go to exotic places and be exotic people, but because believing in reincarnation allowed me to escape having to believe in hell.

I was a New Ager for about five years. But in my first year of college I broke with the New Age movement and began to drift into a no man’s land between religions. During this time I did believe in God, but I didn’t believe anyone knew anything about him or what he wanted. The only stable thing in my personal religion at this time was an intense dislike of Christians, whom I had learned to detest in high school. The mere sight of a person with Christian mannerisms aggravated me. It was not until some time later that I found a preacher who acted enough like a non-Christian for me to be able to listen to him.

Click here for the rest of the story….

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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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Istanbul all Day! Including Talk from My Turkish Convert Friend

November 4, 2016

Part One: Part Two:

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Explaining to Family Why He Left the Denominations for the Catholic Church

November 3, 2016

This new convert sent me a nice e-mail thanking me. I asked if I could share it on my blog. He agreed but asked to remain anonymous and I agreed. He said, “I converted because I lost all the discussions I had with a Catholic workmate – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. One problem […]

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