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.
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."
Eric began his study of the Catholic faith in 1991 as an Methodist/Evangelical Protestant, converting to the Catholic Church in 1993. Eric is married and has six children.
From Ignorance to Bliss
My Journey to the Catholic Church
Manicured lawns, kids playing in the streets, and dads barbequing in the summer: I grew up in the quintessential suburban American neighborhood. Each family was similar to the next, having the same values and outlook and each relatively the same size. One family on my street, however, broke the mold. Instead of the standard two or three children, this family had seven. I remember asking my mother why that family was so large, and her simple answer was, "Oh, they're Catholic." Knowing little of Catholicism and even less of how children were conceived, I figured that these "Catholics" must have a better relationship with the stork than the rest of us.
Though I'd learn soon enough how babies came to be, my ignorance of Catholicism persisted, mingled with some minor, usually stereotypical, details. I knew that Catholics took a different view of alcohol than the folks at my church, and I heard rumors that they had even added a few books to their bibles, but in general I was woefully ignorant of this church - it may have had over a billion members, but I personally knew very few of them.
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.