He died in 2009. 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. A convert from the Russian Orthodox Church, her cause for canonization was opened in 2000. Norma McCorvey (1947-2017): The plaintiff in the infamous 1973 lawsuit Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion who subsequently became pro-life. I struggled to seek deep friendships and was often ridiculed for my Christian beliefs at the public schools I attended. 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. 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. Israel Zolli (1881-1956): Italian Jewish scholar and the chief rabbi in Rome from 1940 to 1945. Elisabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957): A Swedish convert from Lutheranism and founder of the Bridgettine Sisters, she was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015. 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. These reasons were presented in a larger article here, and are based on reasons… 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. There are plenty of examples of famous Catholics who might be shocking considering their lifestyles or field of work. 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. 1960): A philosopher and theologian, he was elected president of the Evangelical Theological Society but converted to Catholicism in 2007. Colson explained that “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” resulted from a series of meetings sponsored by Neuhaus a few years ago in New York. A friend of Pope Pius XII, he converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1945. Joseph Pearce (b. Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896-1985): A Canadian social-justice leader and founder of the Madonna House apostolate. 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. 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. 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. (1958). Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977): A German philosopher and theologian honored by numerous popes for his immense contributions to Catholic thought. While some of the converts are well-known, their stories are not. They often come because their Catholicism was an empty tradition or they never knew the gospel or they never really heard the Bible taught. 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. Ole Brunell – Lutheran pastor who converted to Orthodox Judaism. 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. Are you a convert or considering joining the Catholic Church? Cardinal Avery Dulles (1918-2008): American Jesuit, theologian and cardinal, the son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. On average, more than 100,000 adults enter the Church in the United States every year. Here is his story. Her cause for canonization was opened in New York in 2000. Walker Percy (1916 -1990): American writer beloved for his novels that confront man’s struggle with modernity. or school. 1954): Daughter of the famous evangelical singer Pat Boone. We need to take a closer look at why each leaves the church. Catholics who become evangelicals and Catholics who join mainline churches are two very distinct groups. Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990): British journalist, satirist and author. 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). 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. Louis Bouyer (1913-2004): French theologian and one of the founding members of both the International Theological Commission and the international theological review Communio. Vittorio Messori (b. In May 2007, Beckwith, the president of the Evangelical Theology Society (ETS), stepped down as president of the society and resigned his membership. Neuhaus, a former Lutheran minister, had converted to Catholicism in 1990 and was ordained a priest a year later. “In Catholicism, Jesus provides ways to be near him that I’d never even thought of.”. “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. 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? Here they speak for themselves, providing the reasons that prompted these accomplished men and women to embrace the ancient faith. She was canonized by St. John Paul II in 1998. Cherry Boone (b. Scott Hahn (b. Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918): American poet, journalist and editor, best known for his short poem Trees (1913). 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. 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. According to Pew’s data on conversion rates, 10 percent of people raised Catholic wind up as evangelicals. They come from every walk of life and every age group. Sign-up for E-NewsletterGet Register Updates sent daily or weeklyto your inbox. Th… • Magdi Allam: converted in 2008, but left in 2013 to protest what he deemed its "globalism", "weakness", and "soft stance against Islam" 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. 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. Evangelicals aren’t typically the target audience for Roman Catholic theology talk. 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. 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. In this book, 30 converts to the Catholic faith tell their stories. Converting to the Catholic Church in adulthood is a decision that changes the course of a person’s life. Eight days earlier, he had been publicly received back into the Catholic Church of his childhood. Dave Brubeck (1920-2012): One of the most renowned American jazz musicians. 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. Neuhaus is a former Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism in 1990 and has since been ordained to the priesthood. print and digital media outlets, dedicated to reporting the truth in light of the Gospel and the Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. 2: Finding the Catholic Vote, 2019 in Review: Top National, World and Vatican Stories, Congressional COVID-19 Relief Bill Brings Urgent Aid for Catholic Schools in New York, Capital Punishment: It’s About Both the Penalty and the Death, Report: Australia’s Church Leaders Were Unaware of $1.7 Billion Transferred From Vatican, SDG Reviews ‘Soul’: Going Beyond (and Before) ‘Inside Out’, God Yearns to Forgive You in Confession, Says St. John Vianney, Conjunctions, the Star of Bethlehem and Astronomy, Cooking From the Garden With Sister Leslie Porreca, Vatican Issues Doctrinal Note in Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines — Full Text, How to Object to an Abortion-Tainted COVID-19 Vaccine, Archbishop Naumann on the Ethics of COVID-19 Vaccines, Pope Francis Urges Roman Curia to Confront the ‘Ecclesial Crisis’, Analysis: Vatican Decision on Indianapolis Could Impact Pending Lawsuit, and Catholic Identity in Catholic Schools, Sacred Music Album Recorded on Eve of COVID Lockdown Storms Christmas Charts, Catholic College Graduates Embrace Their COVID Mission. Interestingly, the book’s co-author, a friend of mine named Joshua Betancourt, converted to Roman Catholicism shortly after the book was published! Since then he had rediscovered his Christianity and converted to Catholicism. In particular how do we discuss issues without causing offence? Newt Gingrich (b. 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. Matthew Bunson is a senior editor with the Register. Hi Folks, I thought I’d put this up for people who are converting/have converted from Protestant Evangelicalism to Roman Catholicism. Mark Gall converts to Catholicism and evangelicals need to pay attention. Christina of Sweden – Swedish queen-regent who converted to Catholicism. Sign up for 6 Free IssuesTry us out with a free trial subscription. He converted from 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.”. 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. Copyright © 2020 EWTN News, Inc. All rights reserved. But Catholicism is not just about Rome, Easter, and the pro-life movement. 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. 1945): Prolific novelist who has sold more than 450 million copies of his books. Rather than focusing on areas of disagreement, the document suggested that all Christians faced the common challenge of modern secularism. 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. Civil-rights leader Alveda King addresses the George Floyd killing and aftermath. Order Bulk SubscriptionsGet a discount on 6 or more copies sent to your parish, organization This week he will try to convert Josh and shatter his atheist beliefs. Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966): English writer famed for his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945). 1943): Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999 as well as an author, presidential candidate and historian. Churches everywhere were dropping the -Baptist and -Church from their names to be more Seeker-Friendly. He comes in search of each one of us and calls us each by name. 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. Renew or manage your subscription here. He and his wife, Raïssa, converted to Catholicism in 1906. Louis Bouyer – Lutheran pastor who converted to Catholicism. EWTN News, Inc. is the world’s largest Catholic news organization, comprised of television, radio, God works in mysterious ways, sometimes converting individuals to Catholicism through truth, goodness and beauty. 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. It turns out that being a born-again Christian was not the way to become cool and popular. He had a powerful meeting with Pope Pius XII in 1953 and formally entered the Church in 1959. I’d realized, as some do at that tender age, that life was about more than just myself. 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. 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. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009): Former Lutheran pastor, writer, theologian and founder and editor of the journal First Things. It is your decision. High school was especially difficult…. Nor is he the only one. 1957): Biblical theologian, apologist and prolific writer and speaker. Catholicism affirms the need for Tradition and the magisterium to interpret fully, definitively, and sufficiently the Bible in the community of the Church. Francis Beckwith (b. Robert Novak (1931-2009): American journalist, columnist and conservative political commentator. He became a Catholic in 1982 with his wife, Kitty, largely through the influence of St. Teresa of Calcutta. 1932): Nigerian convert baptized at the age of 9 by Blessed Cyprian Tansi. ULF EKMAN, THE WELL-KNOWN SWEDISH PASTOR AND WORD OF FAITH PREACHER, HAS ASTONISHED the Pentecostal and evangelical world by converting to Catholicism. Diana Dors (1931-1984): English actress considered a classic “blonde bombshell” in movies. Hear the story of how the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society returned to the Catholic Church. Sweden’s most famous Pentecostal pastor converts to Catholicism Ulf Ekman shocks evangelicals and Pentecostals. Jeff was a famous atheist, due to the stunt of dressing as Jesus for Fictional Character Day at his high school during 2012. They were sinners (as are we all), and, as with such a diverse and interesting group, they have very different temperaments, personalities and foibles. 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. They entered puberty just when AOL screen names were at peak popularity and CCM was off the charts. Married in 1975 to the writer Dan O’Neill, she and her husband both converted to Catholicism. 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. Of course, Evangelicals disagree here, so I would like to focus on the authority or authoritativeness of Scripture. 1953): British Labour Party leader and prime minister from 1997 to 2007, he was the youngest prime minister since 1812. 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. 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