Ron Doub was a life-long Lutheran but after 15 years of trying to convert his Catholic wife to Lutheranism, the tables got turned. Now Ron, a former computer-industry professional, evangelizes the faithful organizing parish pilgrimages to Catholic shrines in the US and throughout the world. In addition to his pilgrimage ministry, Ron also promotes Lighthouse Catholic Media CDs and the EWTN Media Missionary program in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He is also a member at both the Legion of Mary and a Catholic men’s group at St. Mary Catholic Church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Why Am I Catholic? Well, it was never my intention but I always tell people that the Holy Spirit has a great sense of humor and I’m living proof! Here’s my story!
PART I – A LUTHERAN’S JOURNEY TO THE CHURCH
I was born and raised in a wonderful Lutheran (ELCA) family in Williamsport, Maryland, a small town in western Maryland. My parents were very active in the Lutheran church teaching Sunday school, confirmation, vacation bible school and more. In fact after my father’s death, my mother went to Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary and was ordained a Lutheran pastor in 1985.
I was also very active in the Lutheran church throughout my high school years, which culminated in me being confirmed and becoming the president of the church youth group, the Luther League, for two years.
Leonard L. Adams, Jr.
FROM PAIN TO PEACE
Leonard Adams converted to the Catholic faith in 2010. His story is a journey from Pentecostalism to Judaism to the New Age Movement to Atheism to Catholicism.
I was born in the ghettoes of Chicago's South Side in 1961. My first memories are of dilapidated apartments, window frames without windows, trash strewn on the streets, urine-soaked alleys, and a neglected-derived independence. As a three-, four-, and five-year-old, I remember many times coming and going from the apartment my mother, siblings and I shared while my mother, an active alcoholic at that time, had friends over from morning till night – days filled with card games, cigarette smoke and all the beer and vodka they could want. I remember someone giving me beer as a four- or five-year-old after having dumped fresh cigarette ashes in it, saying that the ashes made you get "higher."
Julie is wife, mother and Catholic convert raised in the Methodist church. During her walk of faith she encountered many different Protestant denominations before finally calling the Catholic Church home.
Looking back in my Christian walk of over 30 years, I can now see my steps into the Catholic Church as a reflection of the poem "Footprints in the Sand". My feet have traveled into many Christian denominations the past 30 years, such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian USA, PCA, Assembly of God, Non-denomination and Bible Church. My footprints and Jesus' prints were side by side for several of those years. Then somewhere during those years (for many years) I looked down and I could only see one set of prints, thinking they were mine and I was alone in this journey. My love for Jesus was so real in my life, but why could I not feel at peace in the church? I felt alone in this walk and began to think just maybe something was wrong with me. Now, I see that they were Jesus' footprints carrying me into the Catholic Faith. Fifteen years ago my faith was challenged in the church I attended in which I was a member. I was hurt deeply and this was when my journey into the Catholic faith began, not having a clue this is where my journey would end. Fifteen years ago "Catholic" was not in my vocabulary. My search for a new church began after I was hurt and my feet trotted to many denominations with no peace to be found. A place of worship "one on one", worship with my Lord, was my heart's desire. An anointed sermon and music (praise & worship) was my agenda, and yes I found this in many churches I attended. I also loved to study the Word of God. A good study was encouraging as well. Good sermons, good music and good teaching meant a good church. I traveled into several "Jesus and Me" churches.
This story of conversion is a story of one who longed for God before she understood what she was longing for, who searched for God and for so long he remained hidden from her, but who continued knocking upon the door and seeking (Matthew 7:7-8) until finally finding God within the fullness of truth. Upon finding that pearl of great price described in Matthew 13:45 she was willing to sell all in order to possess it.
My Pearl of Great Price
My mother likes to say that we were catholic with a small "c" meaning that our religious interests were varied. Although my mother and father were both baptized Christians, my mother converted to Judaism when I was about three years old. My earliest religious memories are of the reverence shown to the Torah as the velvet-covered scrolls were carried through the assembly in the Temple and of the poetic cadence of the Sabbath blessing my mother recited in Hebrew as candles glowed from our dining table. We didn't remain Jewish more than a year or two, but those memories became an anchor in my soul.
Thomas was a former Mormon missionary turned Protestant minister who was received into the Catholic Church in 1996. Thomas lives on his family ranch in southeastern Idaho.
Born a 6th generation Mormon (LDS), I was convinced I was part of the "only true Church on the face of the earth" (Doctrines & Covenants 1:30). As we believed that only Mormons had the gift of the Holy Spirit and that the rest of the world was groping in the darkness for truth, I was equally convinced I was responsible to share our faith at every opportunity. Like many 19-year-old men, I was called by the Mormon prophet to be a missionary for two years in the southern United States, the buckle of the Bible belt, and was excited about winning converts to my faith. In the end, my missionary experience, led me to the conclusion that the Mormon claims could not stand the scrutiny of reason and Divine Revelation.
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.
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.
Myron is a convert from Judaism. Becoming Catholic has been one of Myron's greatest joys in life. Myron is in his last semester of formation for the Permanent Diaconate preparing for Ordination in June. He was blessed to recently visit the Holy Land which helped prepare him even more for Ordination.
When I first received an inquiry asking if I would like to submit my conversion story I thought, “Sure”. For me, answering why I am Catholic is a no-brainer; I read the New Testament and saw the Truth, the Light, and the Way. The journey that led to reading the New Testament for the first time at age forty-eight was nothing short of incredible.
Richard is a full time Catholic lay evangelist and frequent guest on various Catholic television and radio programs. Richard is the proud husband of Donna L. Lane and a beautiful daughter, K. Alexandria Lane
I was born in 1965 to Mary Lane (Alexander), now a retired Educator for the Highland Park, Michigan School district. My mother was famous in her own right. She was actually the first African-American female model that Coca-Cola ever hired in 1956.
My father was arguably the greatest Cornerback in National Football League (NFL) History; drafted as a free agent walk on in 1952 by the Los Angeles Rams, it was in his rookie year that he set an NFL record (that still stands throughout the 2010 NFL Regular Season) for most interceptions in one season. That was when they had 12 game seasons and played REAL Football; leather helmets, not a lot of padding and no face masks. In 1953 he would be traded to, at that time they were called the Chicago Cardinals, and played with them through the 1959 Season. In 1960 he was traded to and finished his career in 1966 with the Detroit Lions. In 2009, I believe Sports Illustrated and ESPN ranked the 100 most feared men to ever play the game of Professional Football, and my father came in SECOND… only to the great Dick Butkus. In 1974 my father received the highest honor to be bestowed upon anyone ever affiliated with the NFL, he was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame; his name was Dick “Night Train” Lane.