On the rare occasions when I attempt the impossible task of imagining what heaven might be like, I envision saints — but not the dour, stern, serious saints of so much artwork. I imagine smiling saints with a humorous twinkle in their eyes. Saints such as Aidan, Cuthbert, Columba, and Patrick; an eighth-century pilgrim to the Holy Land from Byzantium (more of him later); and closer in time and experience, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.
Why smiling saints? Because, looking back along my path to the Catholic Church, I can see the instances of humor that God used along the way, glinting like flecks of gold sprinkled in a vein of quartz.
Once a minister of the Episcopal Church, I am today a Roman Catholic Priest, serving as pastor of the parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. As it turns out, becoming a Catholic priest brought me “full circle.” Allow me to share with you how and why.
Our Search for Truth by Corey and Katherine Huber Preface I have often considered God’s providence in my Baptist upbringing. Throughout my adult life a thankfulness for the gift of a moral Christian upbringing has grown within me. And I count myself blessed that I recognized this soon enough to express my thanks to my parents […]
My Path to Rome by Fr. Trevor Nicholls I owe an immense debt of gratitude to my conservative Evangelical background. I was privileged to belong for many years to a fellowship which of its sort was, I am convinced, without peer in the Anglican Church. Within that fellowship, I was given many opportunities for Christian […]
What beauty was once ours,” I said to my wife as we drove along the coast north of Boston, looking over the waving salt marsh grasses to the ocean just beyond and the blue sky stretching above. My wife and I had lived for thirteen years on this coast, first in a city called Beverly […]
My Canterbury Trail to Rome by Taylor Marshal When I was eight years old, my best friend informed me that I would be going to hell since I had not yet been baptized. My best friend had been raised in a devout Missouri Synod Lutheran home, and he knew well enough that he belonged to […]
A Place to Stand by Todd Hartch, Ph.D. The liturgy at the Episcopal Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, where I went every Sunday with my family as I was growing up in the 1970s was beautiful. But it confused me because most of the people there, including the ministers, did not seem to me to believe […]
I found other aspects of Catholic life attractive as well. For example, while a senior in high school, the reading of Richard Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism began a lifelong passion for the social teaching of the Catholic Church. All these things were attracting me to Rome during my years as an Anglican, although I tried to keep the emotional pull of Rome separate from my intellectual considerations about conversion.