I found this great article from June that gives updated statistics on the rise of Converts in TN, particularly the eastern side of the state. You can read it at.
You all know that I have appointed myself President of the newly established Southern Catholic Convention. That means I get to wear a sash, top hat, and monocle around town. It also means I have to bring deviled eggs to the annual covered dish fellowship.
As President of the SCC, I am glad to see the Volunteer State rise in conversions to the Catholic Faith. When my wife and I entered the Church in 2002, Tennessee had about 3% of its population claiming to be Catholic. Now it is a whopping 8%. You’re welcome, South!
I know marriage is a big reason many consider the Church, but in the end there has to be more to it than that. What I see during the course of RCIA is that the folks coming go through a formation and conversion much greater than picking another checkbox on a survey. They are being formed in faith as Catholics if the RCIA is worth its salt.
The common reason people consider Catholic Christianity is because they see sonething in the faith life of a Catholic, whether they read it in a blog, see it in a tv show, or see it in person through a spouse, coworker, or friend. Something they see makes them hungry to know more.
So I ask you, my Catholic brethren, what do people notice when they see you? What stands out? Can they see the Sacraments at work? It’s something to consider.
If you’re coming to the Southern Catholic Convention covered dish, please let me know what you are bringing. There is only so much room for green bean casserole.
I spent 10 years in the pulpit as a Southern Baptist minister, and I loved every minute of it. Whether it was youth, young adults, small or large congregation, I loved standing before them as a preacher and catechist.
Because each time I did, I stood there not to increase my fame or wealth or power, but to guide others. I was a poor beggar myself, coming back with joy to share with others the food I had been given. It was a great honor to stand in that classroom or auditorium and beg others to taste and see how great is the power of God for our lives.
I miss having that audience. I miss the travel. I miss meeting new faces. But that was then. Sometimes when I am feeling sorry for myself I long for those days. It was so much fun, none but other ministry converts could probably appreciate the feeling.
But things are different now, right?
Yes and no.
I still have the opportunity to teach and speak as a catechist and public speaker. However, those opportunities are less frequent than when I did it full-time. Still, I get a real thrill getting to speak to others and share the beauty of our faith. Most especially, I love getting men worked up about being men, chosen by God and given a purpose. I love challenging them to get off their butts and invest themselves in the sacramental life.
I am still a beggar, coming with joy to tell others about the food I have found. This time, I have found the living bread, which gives us life and unites us with one another and our Maker. Christ is the Eucharist, His body, blood, soul, and divinity. Apart from the life giving Eucharist we are missing so much. The sacraments, most especially Eucharist and Reconcilliation have changed my life. I will never be the same.
So, yes. I miss being a preacher, but I do not regret my choice to become Catholic. In this Church, founded by Christ and built upon the Apostles and their successors, I have new life. In the sacraments I have all I need to sustain and strengthen me in my relationship to Christ and my fellow man. I cannot imagine my life apart from Christ and His Church, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
The first thing to learn when it comes to faith-sharing is your testimony. This is possibly the most intimidating as well as the most powerful tool in your evangelism arsenal. Read the rest of this entry
Marcus Grodi and I review my conversion from Southern Baptist pastor to Catholic lay evangelist and discuss potential barriers particular to those who are investigating the Catholic faith.
The biggest barrier for most congregationalist Christians is authority. Once that is properly understood, the rest falls in place. At some point I will develop those things in an article series.
I hope the EWTN video is an encouragement to you.
Please watch The Journey Home on EWTN Monday night. Watch and then talk to me.
Check out The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi on Monday night, June 2. Your Tactical Catholic brother invades your television once again. Read the rest of this entry
It has been a long time since I was active as a Catholic blogger. For a long time, I was pursuing a career as a traveling Catholic speaker. I spent so much time promoting myself and focusing on widening my ministerial reach that I lost sight of my own call to personal holiness and deepening my own relationship with Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry