Everyone loves conversion stories. Great to see delightful and intelligent folks like Abigail join us. Reaffirms our own convictions. An interview with Catholic World Report. Enjoy!

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Intro:

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 6.57.28 AMDr. Abigail Rine Favale graduated from George Fox University with a philosophy degree in 2005, and then earned her doctorate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She currently heads the William Penn Honors Program at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

She has won awards for her fiction, published pieces in academic journals, and wrote a book that won the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Book Prize in 2014, the year she entered the Catholic Church. She and her husband Michael live in western Oregon with their three young children.

Favale’s recent book Into the Deep: An Unlikely Catholic Conversion (Cascade Books, 2018) is a moving, insightful, and vulnerable account of her journey from the Evangelical Protestantism of her youth through feminism and then into the Church. James Matthew Wilson reviewed the book for CWR earlier this year, and my recent review of the book can be read on the National Catholic Register site. Favale recently corresponded with me about her conversion, delving into a wide range of topics, including Evangelicalism, feminism, Scripture, ideology, and much more.

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Interview:

CWR: Right away, I was struck by the strong emphasis on place, an emphasis that eventually resulted in you coming to grips with the particularity and incarnational nature of Catholicism. Was there something about the “scandal of particularity” that bothered you about Christianity as you embraced feminism? And something about it that eventually brought you to and into the Catholic Church?

Favale: Christianity’s scandalous embrace of particularity did not bother me—in fact, this was the one thing I held onto, the lone Christian memento I kept in my pocket even as I wandered far outside the bounds of orthodoxy for over a decade. Ironically, I thought I was discovering a purer, more radical embrace of particularity through feminism, because I had the misguided understanding that Christianity denies the particularity of women. I’d concluded that Christian tradition was not incarnational enough, and needed a hearty dose of feminism to be set aright.

If anything, it was the emphatic metaphysical claims of Christianity that gave me pause—the universals, one might say, rather than the particulars. I was content to embrace—and revise—Christianity as a beautiful story, but not as an account of reality to which I was accountable. That was the central irony in the postmodern, feminist version of Christianity I’d cobbled together for myself: I believed in “incarnation,” and read about it, and wrote about it in academic gobbledygook—but only as an abstract concept. I believed in an incarnation that was not incarnate. An abstract incarnation. An “excarnate” incarnation. (Nod to Charles Taylor.) At the time, I did not realize the irony.

And yet, this enduring preoccupation with the incarnation is what eventually brought me round again—not just to Christianity, but to the Catholic Church, where the Incarnation is kept alive in the sacraments, the Eucharist, the communion of Saints.

CWR: You were raised in an Evangelical home. What were the positives of that? And what was lacking? Was there something about Evangelicalism, as you experienced it, that caused you to look to feminism for answers and a sense of belonging? ….

For the whole interview, click HERE.

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ProLife and to the Moon

by Steve Ray on July 18, 2019

Short, less than one minute prolife video from womb to the moon.

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Here are a few paragraphs from my new book on Genesis which is nearly done.

Genesis 2:7 is foundational and crucial to the whole story of the cosmos, Man and salvation. God takes dust or clay from the ground and like a potter he fashions a human being. The scientific formulas used by God still elude us.

Imagine God making the first human brain from the chemical compounds he had already created as part of the earth. The intelligent design of the brain is beyond our comprehension, immensely complicated with intricate and precise electronics, hormones, connections, blood passageways, molecules, minerals, living cells and more.

And this amazing “machine” is able to learn, process and recall information, and even heal itself. It is more than a brain—it is also a “mind.” 

 Then God moves to the heart that will pump 40 million times in a year, 2.5 billion times in a lifetime of 70 years—without maintenance and without missing a beat. Right now, as I write this book, my heart has beat over 2,000,000,000 times since my birth.

Then on to the lungs which will take in necessary oxygen produced by the plants. Since my birth until now I have breathed 629,000,000 times! Then God shaped the liver, the kidneys, the glands, the reproductive organs, the stomach with its incredibly fine-tuned and intricate digestive system . . . 

 God did not just form a “machine” or an animal. He took this incredible body he had fashioned from clay and with his own breath he breathed into the nostrils the breath of life—like divine CPR. This is face–to–face, warmly personal, almost as the intimate kiss of God.

The body of clay came alive; it was animated. The created object was now a Man with body and soul; he became a living, spiritual being (CCC 362–363, 704).

The Man was dual in nature: body and soul, related to earth and heaven (1 Cor 15:45). The potter has made a Man for glory out of the clay of the earth! Man is the crown of the creation! The drama of salvation is under way, being directed and controlled by God himself. 

 Remember what Jesus does to the Apostles in the Upper Room (Jn 20:22)? How does this signify the creation of the new being—the Church?

Remember also that the wind of the Holy Spirit blew on Pentecost at the birth of the Church! You can already see a pattern forming: “For God so loved . . . that he gave” (cf. Jn 3:16)—an act of self–giving as well as of making; God invests himself in his new creation. This passage is rich with symbolic and typological meaning, ripe for the picking.

Pray for me as I work on finalizing this manuscript which is almost done! Working on it 12+ hours a day during July which I blocked out for finishing the book. It will be published by Ignatius Press and available on Verbum Catholic Software.

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Jews as Proof of God’s Existence & Faithfulness

July 16, 2019

Winston Churchill wrote “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.“ He is absolutely right! I have often said they are remarkable people –gifted in a […]

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Are you Choosing the Narrow Gate?

July 15, 2019

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13–14) What kind of choices are […]

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Advent in Rome, Assisi, Lanciano and Manoppello!

July 12, 2019

This December 3-12 we travel to Italy for Advent! But you are home in plenty of time for Christmas! This is a unique, one-bus intimate pilgrimage and Advent Adventure! From the airport, we drive straight to the Medieval city of Assisi to celebrate St. Francis who started the tradition of creche scenes to celebrate the […]

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LGBT Study Shows an “Erosion” of Support by Millenials

July 8, 2019

USA Today reports: The young are regarded as the most tolerant generation. That’s why results of this LGBTQ survey are ‘alarming’ Susan Miller, USA TODAY Published 9:00 a.m. ET June 24, 2019 | Updated 9:34 a.m. ET June 24, 2019 Young people are growing less tolerant of LGBTQ individuals, a jarring turn for a generation traditionally considered embracing […]

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Sympathy for Cradle Catholics Who Can’t Explain or Defend the Faith

July 5, 2019

I thought of a helpful illustration to explain why “cradle Catholics” are often unable to explain and defend the Catholic faith. The example has its weaknesses, but it does help get the point across. As an American I asked myself this question: if some one trained to attack America intellectually approached me on the street […]

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St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise Brochure & Pricing just released!

July 3, 2019

Our popular St. Paul Mediterranean Pilgrimage Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” is now open for registration. Cabins are limited – first come, first serve. Register soon because this trip is very popular and there is already a list of interested cruisers. We only do this Mediterranean Cruise every two years. For an interactive map, a […]

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Gotta Daughter? You’ll Love This Song! My Story with my 2nd Daughter

July 2, 2019

I have to admit I laughed — but also had a great sense of DAD-NESS when I heard this song. How did I discover it? My lovely then-21-year-old daughter Charlotte came in with a smile and said, “Dad, want to hear a song that reminds me of you?” I did and we listened to it […]

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Sodomy Past and Present and Confronting the Clergy

June 30, 2019

There is a lot of homosexuality in the ranks of our clergy, even and especially with prelates in Rome. It is not mentioned, not rebuked.  Unhappily it seems to be ignored and condoned. Very few bishops have mentioned or addressed it. Laicized pervert McCarrick and his collaborators and protectors are good examples. He advanced all […]

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Bloody Martyrdoms in Lyons – Feast Day of St. Irenaeus

June 28, 2019

In honor of the feast day of St. Irenaeus today I have reposted a blog from several years ago when we were filming our documentary on Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. Here is the story… “We finished getting all our work done in Lyon for St. Irenaeus. It was very cold and windy — with snow hampering […]

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Last Days of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome

June 28, 2019

Happy Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul…. Join us in Rome, Assisi, Manoppello, and Lanciano the first week of December this year, in preparation for Christmas! (Click here for more info!) When I take my pilgrims to Rome one of my main objectives is to introduce them to the saints – especially Peter and […]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts – Feast Days are Upon Us!

June 27, 2019

Since Friday, June 28 is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am reposting this. A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my […]

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St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise & Pilgrimage brochure and pricing just released!

June 26, 2019

Our popular St. Paul Mediterranean Pilgrimage Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” is now open for registration. Cabins are limited – first come, first serve. Register soon because this trip is very popular and there is already a list of interested cruisers. We only do this Mediterranean Cruise every two years. For an interactive map, a […]

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Is the Eucharist just a Symbol? Podcast on the Eucharist with Steve Ray

June 26, 2019

In this episode of The Cordial Catholic Podcast, I talk to Steve Ray, author, speaker, and Catholic evangelist about the Eucharist. Is it a sign and symbol like Protestants say that it is, or something more? What did the Early Church believe? We unpack Steve’s conversion story to find out how a Bible-believing Baptist of 30 […]

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