Scott Hahn (b. I had heard he was a Presbyterian (even trained as a pastor) who became an Episcopal and then an Anglican when I had one some research after my Stetzer/Galli dustup. Renew or manage your subscription here. 1933): American comedian best known for his role on the television programs McHale’s Navy and The Carol Burnett Show. Matthew Bunson is a senior editor with the Register. Converting to the Catholic Church in adulthood is a decision that changes the course of a person’s life. He became the youngest bishop in the world at the age of 32 and was later named a cardinal and prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.Â. But Catholicism is not just about Rome, Easter, and the pro-life movement. He comes in search of each one of us and calls us each by name. And to be sure, many converts are encouraged in their own journeys to Catholicism by the models of more famous converts. Cardinal Avery Dulles (1918-2008): American Jesuit, theologian and cardinal, the son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. In a series of fascinating interviews, a cradle Catholic (Robert P. George) and an adult convert (R. J. Snell), offer the stories of sixteen converts, each a public intellectual or leading voice in their respective fields, and each making a significant contribution to the life of the Church. Jeff was a famous atheist, due to the stunt of dressing as Jesus for Fictional Character Day at his high school during 2012. I dropped out of a Protestant seminary, enrolled in RCIA, and delved deep into the Catechism, Catholic theology, and Catholic literature. Here are a few of the most notable converts over the last century: Mortimer Adler (1902-2001): American philosopher and educator, he discovered St. Thomas Aquinas in his 20s and became a figure in the Neo-Thomist Movement. One day, on a bank application, my wife wrote that my “form of employment” was that of a “Singing Plumber.” I sing Christian songs to kids under the name “The Donut Man,” because I end every concert by “repairing” the hole in a donut to remind everyone that God sends His love to fill up the empty place in our hearts. Vittorio Messori (b. Just 2 percent of people born as evangelicals wind up Catholic. Adrienne von Speyr (1902-1967): Swiss physician, spiritual writer and mystic who authored more than 60 books of spirituality and theology. Robert Bork (1927-2012): Conservative American judge and jurist best known for the vicious political fight that blocked his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. He became a Catholic in 1982 with his wife, Kitty, largely through the influence of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Nor is he the only one. Matthew Bunson For the past 20 years, Dr. Matthew E. Bunson has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints and Catholic culture. There is much there that is appealing to worshipers, so why make a change now? He and his wife, Raïssa, converted to Catholicism in 1906. Catholics who become evangelicals and Catholics who join mainline churches are two very distinct groups. It turns out that being a born-again Christian was not the way to become cool and popular. These reasons were presented in a larger article here, and are based on reasons… Francis Beckwith (b. Neuhaus is a former Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism in 1990 and has since been ordained to the priesthood. They are the generation that came of age amid Discmans, WWJD bracelets, Promise Rings, and “See You at the Pole.” Their childhoods witnessed the rise and fall of Tetris and Bible sword drills, Beanie Babies and light up sneakers. I struggled to seek deep friendships and was often ridiculed for my Christian beliefs at the public schools I attended. Queen Nazli (1894-1978): Queen of Egypt from 1919 to 1936 as the second wife of King Fuad and mother of King Farouk of Egypt. Th… Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966): English writer famed for his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945). Subscriber Service CenterAlready a subscriber? Israel Zolli (1881-1956): Italian Jewish scholar and the chief rabbi in Rome from 1940 to 1945. 1961): English writer and literary biographer. Megachurches are typically known for their concert-like worship experiences, lasers, smoke machines, espresso bars, worship bands full of young cool people and a pastor in jeans and T-shirt preaching on short passages of Scripture in a way that is positive, uplifting and immediately relevant to everyday life. Evangelicals aren’t typically the target audience for Roman Catholic theology talk. Yours and Samantha’s.” I put down the phone and began to ponder our conversation…, My childhood was not all love, joy, peace, and happiness, though. Tony Blair (b. Of course, Evangelicals disagree here, so I would like to focus on the authority or authoritativeness of Scripture. While Daniel Burke was on life support, his wife, Stephanie, also stricken with COVID-19 and under house quarantine, gathered the troops. ULF EKMAN, THE WELL-KNOWN SWEDISH PASTOR AND WORD OF FAITH PREACHER, HAS ASTONISHED the Pentecostal and evangelical world by converting to Catholicism. Men and women disabused of their faith in progress as a force immanent in history found consolation in Catholicism. Hear the story of how the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society returned to the Catholic Church. Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973): French philosopher, playwright and Christian existentialist best known for his work The Mystery of Being. “Mum, do you mind if I become a Catholic?” I was taken aback but quickly gathered my senses and replied, “Well, it’s really nothing to do with me. Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896-1985): A Canadian social-justice leader and founder of the Madonna House apostolate. This week he will try to convert Josh and shatter his atheist beliefs. Give a Gift SubscriptionBless friends, family or clergy with a gift of the Register. Initially, when I announced that I was planning to become a Catholic, I had a fair number of people understandably ask why. I grew up, happy and healthy, in a loving, stable home. John Hove – Lutheran pastor who converted to Orthodox Judaism. In the end, of course, they reach the same conclusion as another famous convert, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman: “Regarding Christianity, 10,000 difficulties do not make one doubt.”. This post presents four common reasons given for conversions from Protestant Evangelicalism to Roman Catholicism. Supporting Members of the Coming Home Network, 12 Reasons a Protestant Pastor Became Catholic, Bible and the Catechism in a Year Reading Plan, Resources for Non-Catholic Clergy and Ministers, Mind, Heart, and Soul: Intellectuals and the Path to Rome. He died in 2009. 1954): Daughter of the famous evangelical singer Pat Boone. Rumer Godden (1907-1998): English novelist best known as the author of the novels Black Narcissus and In This House of Brede. Sweden’s most famous Pentecostal pastor converts to Catholicism Ulf Ekman shocks evangelicals and Pentecostals. Like Colson, he is an influential author and speaker. This is an institution that values the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and … Catholicism affirms the need for Tradition and the magisterium to interpret fully, definitively, and sufficiently the Bible in the community of the Church. Elisabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957): A Swedish convert from Lutheranism and founder of the Bridgettine Sisters, she was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015. Order Bulk SubscriptionsGet a discount on 6 or more copies sent to your parish, organization We were nominally Christian and occasionally attended church or prayed before a meal—at Christmas or Easter—but I didn’t meet Jesus until I was fifteen. John Wayne (1907-1979): Academy Award-winning actor beloved for his roles in westerns and war movies. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission, or unlicensed commercial use or NEWS ANALYSIS: As the Democrats plunge into the primary season, new EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll finds President Trump in a slightly stronger position among Catholics — but they are divided sharply according to their embrace of Church teachings. The Church around the world welcomes thousands of new Catholics at the Easter vigil. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (1891-1942): German-Jewish philosopher and Discalced Carmelite nun who died at Auschwitz. Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980): Canadian professor, philosopher and media theorist best known for coining the expressions “the medium is the message” and “global village.”. Cardinal Francis Arinze (b. Rather than focusing on areas of disagreement, the document suggested that all Christians faced the common challenge of modern secularism. Sign up for 6 Free IssuesTry us out with a free trial subscription. Katharine, Duchess of Kent (b. 1933): The wife of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary and first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II), the first member of the royal family to convert since 1701. The popularity of Scott, and then Kimberly’s, stories touched off a massive wave of Catholic conversions and encouraged the pair to write a book based on their experience called Rome Sweet Home . Walker Percy (1916 -1990): American writer beloved for his novels that confront man’s struggle with modernity. Eight days earlier, he had been publicly received back into the Catholic Church of his childhood. by Robert P. George and R. J. Snell. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! 1953): British Labour Party leader and prime minister from 1997 to 2007, he was the youngest prime minister since 1812. Historically, much of what is popularly cons… She and her daughter, Fathia, converted from Islam in 1950. 1960): A philosopher and theologian, he was elected president of the Evangelical Theological Society but converted to Catholicism in 2007. God works in mysterious ways, sometimes converting individuals to Catholicism through truth, goodness and beauty. He converted in 1980 and was commissioned to compose the Mass to Hope. In the interwar years a distinguished group of British novelists converted to Catholicism, including Compton Mackenzie, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh, and began to make lasting contributions to the canon of English literature. Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918): American poet, journalist and editor, best known for his short poem Trees (1913). On average, more than 100,000 adults enter the Church in the United States every year. A peculiar thing has been happening at Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina. COMMENTARY: It matters if the penalty is just or unjust, although it could be argued that today capital punishment is ‘inadmissible’ because the modern state is no longer competent to administer it. 1932): Nigerian convert baptized at the age of 9 by Blessed Cyprian Tansi. Movie stars, poets, novelists, musicians, philosophers, scientists and even queens were convinced in their consciences that they must become Catholic. 1945): Prolific novelist who has sold more than 450 million copies of his books. A common story heard around evangelical / charismatic circles in the ’70s and ’80s went something like, “I grew up Catholic but then I got ‘born-again’ when I was at college” or “I was raised Methodist, but didn’t get really ‘saved’ until I was an adult.” SubscribeStart your Register subscription today. The dazzling variety is itself a microcosm of the many different people who enter the Church every year — and also a helpful reminder that everyone is called by Christ and that no past, however dark and troubled, makes us unwelcome to God’s loving embrace of mercy and forgiveness. Her cause for canonization was opened in New York in 2000. These journeys provide tremendous insight, encouragement, and inspiration for those who are thinking about making the same journey and for Catholics born in the faith as well. As one who has left standard evangelicalism by becoming a Lutheran, I have some empathy for his path. They entered puberty just when AOL screen names were at peak popularity and CCM was off the charts. Hi Folks, I thought I’d put this up for people who are converting/have converted from Protestant Evangelicalism to Roman Catholicism. Catholics have traditionally been leaders in such high professions like law, medicine, and education, and Catholic universities often compete with and far surpass those funded by the secular public. This is because Catholicism has a rich intellectual pedigree that remains competitive in today’s marketplace of ideas that evangelicals hardly match. Interestingly, the book’s co-author, a friend of mine named Joshua Betancourt, converted to Roman Catholicism shortly after the book was published! Married in 1975 to the writer Dan O’Neill, she and her husband both converted to Catholicism. Pixar head Pete Docter is back with another increasingly rare throwback to Pixar’s glory days, this time a fanciful exploration of the foundations of personhood and what makes life worth living. Francis Beckwith (b. Are you a convert or considering joining the Catholic Church? Graham Greene (1904-1991): British writer best known in Catholic circles for his novels Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair. Evangelicals come from many different Christian denominations, but they all have a common belief in the holiness of scripture and the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ for their lives. I’d realized, as some do at that tender age, that life was about more than just myself. Frederick Copleston (1907-1994): English Jesuit and historian of philosophy, he converted to the Church at the age of 18 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. 1960): A philosopher and theologian, he was elected president of the Evangelical Theological Society but converted to Catholicism in 2007. We need to take a closer look at why each leaves the church. He and his wife converted to Catholicism in 2003. print and digital media outlets, dedicated to reporting the truth in light of the Gospel and the Sigrid Undset (1882-1949): Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger (1926-2007): Archbishop of Paris from 1981 to 2005, a cardinal from 1983 and a promoter of Catholic-Jewish dialogue. 1957): Biblical theologian, apologist and prolific writer and speaker. Why a person would convert from one religion to another is always an interesting question, and the answers to the question quite insightful on several levels. Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977): A German philosopher and theologian honored by numerous popes for his immense contributions to Catholic thought. Catholic Church. monetization of National Catholic Register RSS feeds is strictly prohibited. EWTN News, Inc. is the world’s largest Catholic news organization, comprised of television, radio, Hahn, a evangelical pastor, was radically converted to Catholicism and soon after his “conversion story,” recorded onto cassette tapes, started being passed around. Joseph Pearce (b. T homas Howard, a prominent evangelical English professor who converted to Roman Catholicism, died last week at 85. Susan Hayward (1917-1975): Academy Award-winning actress who won the Oscar for her portrayal of death-row inmate Barbara Graham in I Want to Live! Norma McCorvey (1947-2017): The plaintiff in the infamous 1973 lawsuit Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion who subsequently became pro-life. Renowned G.K. Chesterton scholar and speaker Dale Ahlquist shares how reading G.K. Chesterton started him on his journey home to the Catholic Church! A convert from the Russian Orthodox Church, her cause for canonization was opened in 2000. According to Pew’s data on conversion rates, 10 percent of people raised Catholic wind up as evangelicals. While some of the converts are well-known, their stories are not. Patricia Neal (1926-2010): Academy Award-winning actress for her performance in Hud (1963). 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Dave Brubeck (1920-2012): One of the most renowned American jazz musicians. 1943): Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999 as well as an author, presidential candidate and historian. In a series of fascinating interviews, a cradle Catholic (Robert P. George) and an adult convert (R. J. Snell), offer the stories of sixteen converts, each a public intellectual or leading voice in their respective fields, and each making a significant contribution to the life of the Church. My question is how do we as former Evangelicals best serve our new found community? As I've listened intently to Catholics who dialogue with evangelicals, or to those evangelical leaders who to a large degree defend Roman Catholicism, I've noticed a couple of very disturbing points. In particular how do we discuss issues without causing offence? The report by an Australian newspaper, which drew on documents from Australia’s financial crime regulator, did not detail where the money was dispersed. Mark Gall converts to Catholicism and evangelicals need to pay attention. Â. He was killed in 1918 at the end of World War I. Russell Kirk (1918-1994): American political theorist and one of the most influential figures in the American conservative movement. Civil-rights leader Alveda King addresses the George Floyd killing and aftermath. Robert Novak (1931-2009): American journalist, columnist and conservative political commentator. Neuhaus, a former Lutheran minister, had converted to Catholicism in 1990 and was ordained a priest a year later. Louis Bouyer – Lutheran pastor who converted to Catholicism. Thomas Merton (1915-1968): American Trappist monk and priest as well as a poet, social activist and one of the most famous and controversial Catholic converts of the 20th century. Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Copyright © 2020 EWTN News, Inc. All rights reserved. His wife, Cherie, is also Catholic. It was through my life-long best friend, himself an Evangelical Protestant, that I made the introduction and decided, then, to give it a whirl. They come from every walk of life and every age group. The Pew Research Center estimates that about 25.4 percent of Americans, or about 62 million adults, are evangelicals. A U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops official describes inclusion of aid for non-public schools as a ‘very important’ win for the nation’s Catholic schools. or school. In May 2007, Beckwith, the president of the Evangelical Theology Society (ETS), stepped down as president of the society and resigned his membership. • Magdi Allam: converted in 2008, but left in 2013 to protest what he deemed its "globalism", "weakness", and "soft stance against Islam" Which headlines dominated Register news pages this year? Cherry Boone (b. Seven years ago, I myself was an emotional and excited Protestant convert to Catholicism (though also a revert, as my parents left the Church shortly after my first communion). He converted from Judaism. Sign-up for E-NewsletterGet Register Updates sent daily or weeklyto your inbox. What advice can the Curé of Ars offer to the reluctant penitent today? A friend of Pope Pius XII, he converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1945. There are plenty of examples of famous Catholics who might be shocking considering their lifestyles or field of work. It was my heart, however, not to go into too many specific details for the sake of unity—how often do we concentrate on what separates us rather than what unites us? WWSD podcast interview's their first guest speaker, Jeff Shott. Diana Dors (1931-1984): English actress considered a classic “blonde bombshell” in movies. Prominent Pentecostal Pastor’s Conversion to Catholicism Has Wider Implications for Evangelicals. I know several people, whose minds I highly respect, who have made the same decision (Francis Beckwith, J. Budziszewski, to name some famous recent converts). Dorothy Day (1897-1980): Writer, social activist and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement with Peter Maurin. Jacques Maritain (1882-1973): French philosopher, author of more than 60 books and one of the key figures in the revival of Thomism in modern times. Born a Russian prince and raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, Demetrius Gallitzin converted to Catholicism at the age of 17 while living in Holland. He had a powerful meeting with Pope Pius XII in 1953 and formally entered the Church in 1959. “In Catholicism, Jesus provides ways to be near him that I’d never even thought of.”. As gasoline prices plummeted to baffling lows, their pare… They often come because their Catholicism was an empty tradition or they never knew the gospel or they never really heard the Bible taught. Colson explained that “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” resulted from a series of meetings sponsored by Neuhaus a few years ago in New York. In this book, 30 converts to the Catholic faith tell their stories. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009): Former Lutheran pastor, writer, theologian and founder and editor of the journal First Things. 1941): Italian journalist best known for his book-length interviews The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church (1985) and Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II (1994). (1958). Others are moved to become Catholic because of the examples of saints, priests, religious, and exemplary laypeople and family members who give witness to Christ Jesus. Authority High school was especially difficult…. Evangelicals who want to be part of the culture are being drawn to those figures and there is a real danger that they will bring that contagion into their churches. She was canonized by St. John Paul II in 1998. It’s a precious period of time that inspires reflection, surrender, and joy. Knute Rockne (1888-1931): Norwegian-born coach of the Notre Dame football team from 1918 to 1930 and considered one of the greatest coaches in sports history. It is your decision. Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000): Academy Award-winning British actor who won the Oscar for “Best Actor” in 1957 for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Well Dave, we have had some big name evangelicals—well, “big name” I guess that’s relative, but certainly notable Evangelicals convert to Roman Catholicism, one, the head of the Evangelical Theology Society, another would be Thomas Elliot, this would be Elizabeth Elliot’s brother, who left Gordon Conwell because of his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Christina of Sweden – Swedish queen-regent who converted to Catholicism. I have … Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987): The first American woman appointed to a major ambassadorial post abroad, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 to 1947, writer and playwright. And having been raised an evangelical Christian as well as working in full-time ministry for a number of years, this unity is dear to my heart. Here they speak for themselves, providing the reasons that prompted these accomplished men and women to embrace the ancient faith. Ole Brunell – Lutheran pastor who converted to Orthodox Judaism. Gary Cooper (1901-1961): American actor who earned three Academy Awards, including “Best Actor” for Sergeant York and High Noon. Since then he had rediscovered his Christianity and converted to Catholicism. They were sinners (as are we all), and, as with such a diverse and interesting group, they have very different temperaments, personalities and foibles. Under the ecclesiastic authority of the Pope in Rome, Catholicism is part of the national identity of countries as different as Ireland, Mexico, and Poland. She converted to Catholicism a few months before her death. His wife, Kimberly, is also a convert. Louis Bouyer (1913-2004): French theologian and one of the founding members of both the International Theological Commission and the international theological review Communio. “I do cooking classes so that people get in touch with the earth and its goodness,” says Sister Leslie. Some arrive in the Church after many years of personal struggle, and some come at the very end of their lives. Alveda King on Racism: ‘We Are One Blood’, Surviving Coronavirus: It Takes a Catholic Community, EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research Poll No. His parents sent him abroad to the United States to complete his education; to their horror, Demetrius decided to abandon his inheritance and become a priest in America. Churches everywhere were dropping the -Baptist and -Church from their names to be more Seeker-Friendly. Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011): American medical doctor and a founding member of NARAL Pro-Choice America who joined the pro-life movement in the 1970s. Newt Gingrich (b. What astronomical data tells us about planetary conjunctions that may have occurred in relation to the birth of Jesus and/or the wise men visiting him. Tim Conway (b. She converted to Catholicism and later joined a Catholic pilgrimage to St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iran. Here is his story. Here are 10 famous, yet unexpected Catholic conversion stories to inspire us all toward deeper conversion to our Lord. Mind, Heart, and Soul: Intellectuals and the Path to Rome. Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990): British journalist, satirist and author. Fathia, converted to Catholicism in 1945 why each leaves the Church around the world thousands. 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