Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D., is a former minister of the Episcopal Church. In 1963 he was received with his wife, Ruth, and their five children into the Catholic Church. Twenty years later, he was ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic Church, with a dispensation from the rule of celibacy. Currently, he serves as chaplain for Catholics United for the Faith and on the boards of both that apostolate and The Coming Home Network. He is also a regular columnist for The Catholic Answer Magazine, and he serves as an assistant at St. Peter’s Church in Steubenville, Ohio.
Devin was reared as a child as an atheist. In high school he became a militant atheist. In college, he began to have panic attacks. He prayed to God, “I don’t believe in you. But if you’re real help me!” He then picked up a Bible and began to read. After some months, a breakthrough […]
Najib lived most of his life in Lebanon as a pilot, growing up in a home split between Orthodox and Evangelical beliefs. After rediscovering the Bible and listening to American Protestant radio, Najib decided he needed to find the one, united Church that Christ established. The Early Church Fathers led him home to the Catholic Church.
In the Mormon faith, God was presented to JoAnn “not as the mysterious, ineffable source of all creation, but simply as an evolved human being who meted out salvation much like an insurance agent issues a policy: with little passion and lots of contingencies.” Now, her soul “is at peace and I rest secure knowing that the Lord’s unfathomable grace and mercy are gifts to be received with deep thanks, not to be earned in anxiety.”
Cheryl Ann, who dreamed of being a missionary and mother of many children, has felt the hand of God throughout her whole life. Facing the crisis of scandal in the Catholic Church, she left to become an Evangelical Christian. An unexpected turn of events awakened a longing desire for Jesus in the Eucharist, which brought her home to the Church of her youth.
Intellectually, I had a strong “faith” in the tenets of Protestantism, particularly as they were expressed in the Calvinist tradition. Yet Calvinism excused my sin as something God Himself did not see, since, so I believed, the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to me because of my genuine faith, covering over my sins so that He was blind to them, at least insofar as my salvation was concerned.
After falling in love with the liturgy, Rebecca Hoekstra was disenchanted by the lack of unity in the Anglican church. Seeing the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, she had a desire to enter the Church Christ founded.
My father was the pastor of a few different churches throughout Ohio and West Virginia during this time. He began as a Pentecostal minister, and would later go on to pastor a Baptist church. My father never attended a seminary, although he received his preaching credentials under the teaching of another Evangelist via postal-mail. I remember as a young girl, my father worked hard at his biblical studies. He continued to work full-time as a carpenter to provide a decent living for his family, but on many evenings, he would slave over a stack of books for long hours.
I grew up in Trinidad, in the West Indies, of British parentage. My parents were delightful people, loved by me and by everyone else who knew them. They were baptized Christians and lived as Christians should: helping others when necessary and sharing with those who needed it; but like many non-Catholics in those days, attending church regularly was not considered necessary. My two sisters and myself were baptized Anglicans, confirmed when we reached the proper age and as younger children were sent to Sunday school. Our parents attended church services on Easter Sunday, Christmas morning, and perhaps twice otherwise during the year. As we grew older, we stopped attending Sunday school, and only went to church when our parents did. We were believers but religion did not play an important role in our lives.