Conversions

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 way to visit us in Lake Tahoe.  We took the long drive to the hospital.  His oldest daughter of 21; a wonderful human, great friends, great student, in the prime of her life, had been killed. 

One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my life was to go tell my wounded Brother.  It was unbearable wheeling his wheelchair to her casket.  But, I somehow got by the matter; the funeral; the hospital stay; and the trial for the drunk driver.  With vivid realization of life’s uncertain length, one might think I would turn to God. 

 We had really become quite good, as the children of a military officer, to be independent and strong and to get through anything, to stuff pain, relying only on ourselves.  What could God do?   How I wish I had looked God’s way.

 Possessions had become my security.  I had everything the world says one should need.  My business was more monetarily successful than I could have ever imagined.  My material cup ran over.  My long-term retirement set in plan and place.  I had anticipated cash from my apartments to provide for me in my old age. Why would I need God to provide?

Read the whole story HERE. For hundreds of other conversion stories, click HERE.

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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 the Catholic Church, not necessarily why you ought to. I’m more than happy to make a presentation some night to say why you ought to. This is my story of how I returned.

I was raised Roman Catholic, in a church-going, sacrament-receiving home. I have, really, very positive memories of my upbringing. I liked it. It was kind of mysterious. I remember going there, and there was the Eucharist, and that was Jesus, and the church was in hushed silence. There was this awe.

I had that sense of the sacred from my experience in the Church. My first confession, I still remember as one of the most powerful spiritual experiences I ever had. I remember emerging from the confessional and leaving the church on a Saturday afternoon, and finding myself floating off the ground. I felt that I was united with God, that my sins were forgiven; it was a great experience, and I remember it to this day. That has a lot to do with my early years; basically a positive experience. Once I hit my teen years, it was a different story. It was the mid-60s. I graduated from high school in 1969, and during those high school and teen years I went the way that a lot of kids did during that period….”

For the whole story, click here.

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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 wrote this about her husband:
“My husband a quiet man at times, especially if he does not know you, spent the last few months writing his journey into the Catholic Faith. For a man who usually does not use many words….. He had much to say. I am so proud of him and every time I asked him if he was finished yet? He would say… “No! I have too many areas I need to cover. This is my story and I want to get it right.”

“Why do we want to share this? In hopes of bridging a gap and help folks understand the misunderstandings that have divided Christianity. We know we are just a small pebble in this great big ocean in which we live. Hoping our pebble with bring a few ripples across the waters and touch others. God Bless, Jewels”

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I was born the second child of a staunch Presbyterian family; father, mother, four sisters and me. From as early as I can remember our parents did not “send” their children to church, they “took” them. We did Sunday school and Church service almost every Sunday. We may have protested (more about protestation later) from time to time, but we understood we were going. It was a part of our lives. I thank God often for the father and mother he prepared for me. They were not perfect parents by the world’s standards, but they were perfect for me. God does not make mistakes. What does the world know?

I was baptized at the age of 13 months. Until I was about five years old, I have scant memories of life; a few places and events. When I was eight years old, we began attending St. Phillip Presbyterian Church in Hurst, TX. There were many families with children my age, but the ones that attended regularly only had girls my age.

There I was in Sunday school surrounded by girls. Not the ideal situation for an eight or nine year old boy, especially a boy with four sisters! Still, I enjoyed the Bible stories, mostly from the Old Testament, that told the ancient history of the people of God. Great heroes like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua and David were imperfect, yet God showed them great power and had mercy on them. Then too, we had stories from the New Testament of Jesus healing multitudes of people, teaching them to obey God and ultimately being crucified. Oh yes, He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Yet, the “full” meaning of all this escaped me.

When I was thirteen, it was time for Confirmation. Yes, the Presbyterians have, or had back then, a confirmation process. Eight or ten weeks meeting with the Minister to “learn” the tenets of the faith (Communicants Class), followed by a Confirmation Service. We made a profession of faith, were received into full membership and received our first Communion (sound sort of familiar to you Catholics?).

I cannot tell you the complete affect first Communion had on me, but as I continued to take Communion over the years I experienced something special. I now know it was the Grace of God. I had wondered for many years why I could not “participate” in Communion and why my father, mother and others in the assembly would weep at the eating of flat bread and wine. (Yes, our Presbyterian church had WINE! It was not until much later that grape juice was offered as an alternate to wine.) I too would well-up during the Communion Service, but would be so at peace afterword.

At this point of the story I know many Catholics are screaming “What about examination of conscience? What about Reconciliation? What about receiving unworthily? What about crackers and juice? What about… What-up with dat?” Calm down already. We were taught to examine our conscience and confess our sin and sinfulness, before receiving. Did we confess to a Priest? Yes and no. We were more than welcome to approach our minister, Reverend James F. Garvin (a wonderful man of God, but not a Catholic Priest… more on this later), and discuss any manner of sin, fault or greivance. He would assure us “in Jesus Christ you are forgiven.” Most of us confessed to the High Priest forever of the order of Melchizedek. You might know him as Jesus Christ.

As I transitioned from junior high to high school, my church attendance slowly declined. Eventually it was relegated to the level of holiday celebrations. There were basically two, Easter and Christmas. Two things occurred during this time that affected my attitude toward church attendance.

First, my dad had a “disagreement” with the church leadership. He was a Deacon willing to serve, but something upset him so much he resigned and rarely attended church the remainder of his life. I know nothing of the details and never asked.

Second, I became self absorbed. I focused on working, football, friends with little or no inclination toward spiritual development, smoking, drinking and girls. Imagine that, smoking and drinking coexisting with football. Sure, many players on my high school team smoked and drank their way through the season. Young bodies can take a lot of abuse and recover quickly. Probably still happens today with the added influence of drugs. Girls?

Although I liked girls, I never had success in this department. I was terrified of them. I feared rejection and thought I had nothing to offer. I had three dates in three years of high school. One of those the girl asked me, but I thought she was motivated by her recent breakup with another guy. Enough about this. In my senior year I quit football half way through the season and worked (money was important to me) while moving on to a more “important” activity, experimenting with drugs.

I graduated from high school and began to work construction. I had plenty of money, but wanted more. What better way than to sell pot. I was not the prime North Texas Distributor, but sold it none the less. This was a dark period in my life. I lived for money and the next high. I worked all day, partied all night, got up the next day and repeated the cycle. This lasted for about three years.

For the whole story, click here

For his wife Jill’s story, click here

To share your story, or to read hundreds of other conversion stories, click here

 

 

 

 

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Dealing with Cancer: Amy Carrico’s Story

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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

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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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Karen Explains to Protestant Family Members Why She Became Catholic

October 6, 2016

Dear Family, So that you know I have been vigilant in reading and studying about the Catholic Church.  Below are the many, many reasons why it is apparent to me that the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church that he built, and why there is no doubt in mind this is where I belong.  Sorry it’s […]

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Letter Telling of Conversion

July 2, 2016

Dear Steve,         I just received the gift you sent me and have to say thank you. My name is Scott Cowen and I guess my mom sent you a thank you for your YouTube videos. Your video taught me about Mary in a way I never heard it as a young adult and brought […]

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Two Sample E-mails that Make My Heart Sing

June 19, 2016

Number 1: Steve, I know you get a ton of emails, but I still want to email you and tell you how much of an impact you had on me converting to the Catholic faith. Your talks on he Church Fathers had the biggest impact on me. After studying the Church Fathers, I knew Catholicism […]

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How Did a Nice Baptist Kid from Texas Become a Catholic Priest? “Are You Saved?”

June 16, 2016

How did a Baptist kid from Gilmore Texas eventually become a Catholic priest? This is a delightful story full of instruction and apologetics.  I love to share conversion stories to affirm our Catholic Faith. Such a story as this rings in our hearts and confirms that we are in the right place. It also gives […]

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Two Young Converts tell their Delightful Story

June 10, 2016

EXCERPTS FROM THEIR STORY:   “I could feel that my faith wasn’t full,” Rachael recalls. “I wasn’t really satisfied with the church I was going to. I was at the age where I was away from home and starting to think as an adult. I started questioning.Some things didn’t strike me as true, but I […]

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Today is our 22nd Anniversary as Catholics!

May 15, 2016

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.  I always say that when I was 17 years old Jesus introduced himself to me; when […]

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Sean Smiddy’s Story: From Pentecostal “Catholics are all going to hell!” to “The One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church”

March 23, 2016

Dear Mr Steve Ray: First, I would like to thank you SO much for your YouTube video about Peter, The keys, seat, etc., that led me to the catholicconvert.com site!!  I learned a TON of cool stuff just from your video, and by participating on the message boards, I am learning more, and gathering many […]

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