Kathleen is a baker, writer and editor who reverted to Catholicism on the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in October 1997. She is an Oblate at St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, MA. She lives near Boston and her two sons are grown and living on their own.
I remember it clearly. My husband and I decided to leave the Church, and we invited his Catholic parents over to justify ourselves. It was 1990 and we recently had our first son. With him on my hip, I stood in front of my mother-in-law and addressed the topic of abortion. Acerbic and ignorant, I asked, "Who does the Catholic Church think they are, telling me I can't have an abortion if I want one?" "Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me."
Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
Maolsheachlann is the founder of the GK Chesterton Society of Ireland and is a revert to the Catholic faith from atheism. He currently resides in Dublin Ireland.
The most astonishing aspect of most reversion stories—and mine is no exception—is how little cradle Catholics think about the faith they inherit, or indeed about the very nature of their existence, until they hit some spiritual crisis. Somehow, for years on end, we manage to toddle along through this gob smacking experience called life without wondering very much about how we got here, or whether it means anything. We imbibe a set of stories about a God-man who died and rose from the dead two thousand years ago, without being too bothered about whether it's true or not.
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." Is 49:15
My mother died when I was 5. Her death shattered my world. I'm sure she never forgot us but I felt forgotten. I was one of seven. My father later married a widow of 4 and had 4 more for a total of 15 children. In the town where we grew up, this was way too many children.
We were Catholic in a town that believed Catholics got it all wrong. I was a social misfit. I was often told, "You know all you Catholics are going to hell don't you?" Our prayer life consisted of Mass, Stations of the Cross and reciting formal memorized prayers (like the rosary). I usually spent the time "counting down" the prayers rather than actually praying. I paid little attention to the words. I knew nothing of the Bible. I was poorly catechized and poorly formed, but God had not forgotten about me.
Lorraine is a Catholic revert and ex-feminist who returned to the faith of her childhood after 25 years an atheist.
I Was a Teenage Feminist: My Journey Back to Mother Church
I was in the newsstand of the Miami bus terminal, my saddle oxfords a bit scuffed and my
uniform crumpled after a steamy day of classes, when I spotted something that utterly horrified me.
It was not an X-rated book or magazine, but something much worse, "Why I Am Not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell.
Born and raised Catholic, Russ left the Church as a teenager and became a devout evangelical Christian for many years. His journey of faith has taken many dramatic twists and turns culminating in his joyful reception back to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
About 35 years ago as a young teen, I strayed from my Catholic faith and began to look into the occult and the rock and roll culture for answers and peace in my life. My parents brought me to Church faithfully but didn't allow their faith to help them with their personal problems. They had a troubled marriage and alcohol abuse was a chronic unspoken demon in their lives. As a teenager my Catholicism meant little to me, though I do remember praying the rosary at night to help me sleep when I was troubled by something.
After being raised Catholic, Richard Evans left the Catholic Church from ages 15-49, becoming an Evangelical minister and eventually a gay activist. This is the story of his departure and return to the fullness of the Catholic faith.
After Coming Out, I Came Home
I CANNOT RECALL A TIME WHEN I WAS NOT AWARE OF GOD IN MY LIFE. While other little boys were planning to be firemen or police, I often said, even at age seven or eight, "I want to be the Pope!" I jumped at the chance to become an altar boy, having already had much practice as the family "priest" when we played Mass—complete, at times, with flattened "hosts" made of white bread and cut out with bottle caps. The idea of actually serving next to the priest at the real Mass was incredible to me, and I did so with joy for the next four years.
Dr. Kevin Vost
Dr. Kevin Vost was raised Catholic, became an atheist in his late teens, and returned to the Christ and the Church at age 43. Dr. Vost resides with his lovely wife Kathy and his sons Eric and Kyle in Springfield, Illinois.
From Atheism to Catholicism: A Tale of Three Supermen
Neither bird, nor plane… but Superman!
I was born and raised Catholic, but also Supermanian. Some of my earliest memories involve sitting in front of the television, mesmerized by that incredible, flying man of steel. He was invincible, doing good and daring deeds effortlessly and with a smile. Men respected him, women adored him, and he didn’t even want people to know who he really was. I too would come to don a Superman suit, cape and all, to such an extent that my mother’s friends called her “Superman’s mom.” One fine Saturday in the mid 1960s, mom informed me that Kevin, and not Superman, would be attending a relative’s wedding, so I attended in my street clothes. Fortunately, I was able to persuade an older cousin to take me out to the car. Soon a young Superman (the car would be my makeshift phone booth) sat down in the pew right between his mortified mother and quite bemused father.
Michael is a 32 years old Catholic Christian who came home in December 2007 to the Church after 15 years away. His story like many, as of falling away from the Sacraments after Confirmation and only to later return to the Church.
December 24, 2007 is a date I won't forget. This past Christmas Eve (December 2010) marks three years since I made the official decision to return to the Catholic Church after some 15+ years away. It was my conscious effort to follow Christ and his Church - my "Yes, Lord". Beginning with several notable occurrences in the prior year, I made the decision to attend Midnight Mass by myself at the local Mission. I chose this place for several reasons. It was close, I had been there for a wedding in 2006 and lastly, I was baptized there as an infant, so it is a special place to me. Why not a rebirth there? I had not been to a Catholic Church (outside of funerals or weddings) on my own accord since my confirmation in 1992. In fact, I more or less feared setting foot in a church as it wasn't something I was comfortable doing. Add to that comments from many and society's labels and it is almost taboo. When I would drive by a Catholic Church, my conscience always nagged at me, but I would tend to find some excuse. I had always known that I would return one day, however my answer was "later", "sometime", or "not yet". That time was now.
Chris Tray has been involved in music ministry for over twenty years and has been blessed with the creation of some beautiful music. However, it was not until he was on an "Into the Wild" Catholic men's group retreat that he came to feel the presence of Jesus in his life. This story is about that moment.
Prior to joining the Catholic men’s group The Kings Men, I believed the life events I had been experiencing were relevant to distancing myself from the Catholic Church. When I take a moment to reflect on my life, it is revealed to me how many times God came to my assistance only for me to repeatedly shun Him. Fortunately my life’s journey continued to grant me opportunities to accept God’s will. Following my acceptance of the truth, I began to appreciate the significance of prayer, faith, penance and forgiveness. I joyfully accept His plan for my life and my role as a servant of God. I enthusiastically use His gifts for others to feel closer to His love.
John is a former East End Gangster turned Christian who now travels internationally speaking to others about how his life changed.
My name is John Pridmore and this is my story.
I was born in the East End of London at the Salvation Army Hospital. Though I was baptised as a Catholic I never went to a Catholic school or to church. At the age of ten I came home on a normal night and my parents told me I had to choose who I wanted to live with because they were getting divorced. I loved my parents so much and I couldn’t choose because the two people I loved the most had just crushed me. It was then that deep down inside I made a choice not to love anymore because I thought if I don’t love I won’t get hurt.
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