In his teens Richard Morgan was a Mormon missionary and in his young adult years became an atheist. After years participating in atheism discussions online he entered into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2012.
Growing up in the 1950's in a small village nestled sleepily in the hills of North Wales, I was sent to Sunday school in the local Congregationalist Church for much of my childhood. We were told Bible stories, sang songs and were given crayons to draw. That was the extent of my religious education.
When I was fourteen, I became seriously curious about religion so I went to see the chain-smoking, bachelor Congregationalist minister, thinking he might be able to answer some of my questions. I remember nothing of our conversation. I only recall emerging from his house with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, my clothes reeking of cigarette smoke. I struggled several times to read the first two pages, gave up, then spent my entire adolescence boasting that I'd read the Bhagavad Gita (which sounded very "cool" in those days).
Two Mormon missionaries knocked at our door when I was fifteen. I was out at a violin lesson. My mother told them that she was too old to change, but that her son was interested in religion and they should come back one evening when I was home.
Dr. Ronda Chervin
Ronda converted to the Catholic Faith from a Jewish, though atheistic, background and has been a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Loyola Marymount University, the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is a widow, mother, and grandmother.
by Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.
"I have called you by name, you are mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
Thinking back, I imagine that my twin-sister and I were among the most alienated little children in New York City. I have never met anyone with our peculiar background. We were the children, born in 1937, of unmarried parents who met in the Communist party, but had left it shortly before our birth to become informers for the FBI. Apparently enraged communists threatened to bomb our cradle.
Both father and mother, though militant atheists, had Jewish backgrounds, but neither had been brought up as Jews – not even observing high holidays at home or at a synagogue.
Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer from Austin, Texas who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism.
How the Search for Truth Led Me from Atheism to Catholicism
One thing I could never get on the same page with my fellow atheists about was the idea of meaning. The other atheists I knew seemed to feel like life was full of purpose despite the fact that we're all nothing more than chemical reactions. I could never get there. In fact, I thought that whole line of thinking was unscientific, and more than a little intellectually dishonest. If everything that we call heroism and glory, and all the significance of all great human achievements, can be reduced to some neurons firing in the human brain, then it's all destined to be extinguished at death. And considering that the entire span of homo sapiens' existence on earth wouldn't even amount to a blip on the radar screen of a 5-billion-year-old universe, it seemed silly to pretend like the 60-odd-year life of some random organism on one of trillions of planets was something special. (I was a blast at parties.)
R. J. Stove lives in Melbourne, Australia. The son of the late prominent atheist, David Stove, R.J. converted to Catholicism as an adult in 2002.
The upbringing I underwent in New South Wales, Australia —partly in Sydney, but mainly in the village of Mulgoa— was one of complete, although predominantly quiet and civil, atheism. Both my parents (who are now dead) spent their childhood as Presbyterians, but shed religious belief soon after attaining adulthood.
My father was the philosopher and political polemicist David Stove. During his undergraduate years, he fell under the spell of the militantly atheistic guru John Anderson of the University of Sydney's philosophy department. Except that "fell under" seems a much too gentle phrase to describe what my father and thousands like him experienced at Anderson's none-too-scrupulous—and, where females were concerned, lecherous—hands.
Devin Rose is a software engineer and former Atheist. This is his story from Atheist to Baptist to Catholic.
I believe and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.
But it was not always so. I grew up secularly. My mother was brought up in a particularly legalistic branch of the churches of Christ denomination, and my father, in the Episcopal Church. But the only church I remember going to as a child was a Unitarian Universalist one, and we went there for just a short time. The sole Unitarian sermon I recall having to sit through included a joke about (then Vice President) Dan Quayle that got big laughs from the congregation. I was taught at home and at school that humans evolved without purpose from primordial ooze, so unsurprisingly, when I became old enough to reason about such things, I proudly declared that I did not believe in God.
A retired Navy chief, Jeff is a simulation engineer and develops courseware for the military. He and his wife, Socorro, have two adult children.
The Soul Is Not Just Some Metaphysical Idea
There is a saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. The converse is also true. If God wants to make you laugh, he will tell you his plans for you. On April 4, 1999, at the Easter Vigil, I was received into the Catholic Church. Just a couple of years before that, if a prophet had told me that I would rejoice on entering the Church or that tears would stream down my cheeks as I went to my first confession, I would have told him that he was gravely mistaken.
I was at the apogee of my conservatism based on Randian positivism. To me, radical selfishness was the highest virtue. The pinnacle of individualism and being a self-made man were my highest ideals. The natural virtues helped to modify this idealistic positivism toward how I related with others, but it was not enough. My nose had long before achieved orbit as I looked down at those poor superstitious mortals who still believed in hunter-gatherer myths such as God.