Matthew grew up in a Protestant family. His mother had been Baptist and his father had been Catholic. They brought Matthew up in a Charismatic Episcopal parish. In high school, he got involved in the rock music culture. In a few short years he didn’t want anything to do with Christianity. When he was 17 he got involved […]
It was my study of the Church Fathers that ignited within me the dormant flame of Catholicism. As many others who have gone before me found, one cannot study the history of the early Church without realizing that many Protestant doctrines — sola Scriptura, for example — were an invention of the Protestant reformation and do not actually reflect the understanding of the Church Fathers, let alone the Apostles. I also realized that the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist is consistent with the way the sacrament has been understood from the beginning.
David’s books are “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic,” “Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind” and “What Jesus Really Said about the End of the World.”
As I began to describe my works-laden justification, Mr. Pharis told me bluntly, “You’re not getting into heaven.” … He got my attention. I was not saved!
A Feminist Rebellion
I was raised in the Grace Brethren Fundamentalist branch of Protestant Christianity during the 1960’s and 70’s. I am grateful for a lot of the Bible-based teaching I learned there and from my mother; for the steeping and memorization of Bible passages; for all the wonderful stories that engrossed me; for the hearing the words of Jesus and His pure love. But my rebellious bent began to grow as I reached 15 and became skeptical about the manner of this branch of Christianity and the hypocrisy I witnessed around me and inside me. I wanted nothing to do with youth group. I had a strong dislike of the “saving of souls” that took place at the end of the preaching during particularly sad hymns. I took to sneaking out of the church and driving around in my parents’ car during the service. My absconding intensified when my pastor claimed to know when the world was going to end and picked a day that came and went while he remained at the pulpit.
The day President John F. Kennedy was shot is one of my most vivid childhood memories. I was in sixth grade playing on the playground when the rumors started. Just before the dismissal bell at the end of the day, the principal made the announcement over the PA system: JFK had been assassinated.
School was dismissed in eerie silence. Tears welled up in my eyes as I walked the half mile home that afternoon. My sorrow was almost overwhelming for a sixth-grader, not only because our President was dead, but primarily because in my heart of hearts I believed that he was in hell.
Fr. Patrick is a revert to the Church. Oldest of 5 he was raised Catholic in Northwest Ohio. Although he briefly considered the priesthood in 8th grade, he fell away from the Church after joining the military after high school. While stationed in Italy, in 1978 (the same year Pope John Paul II was elected), he left the Church. Books by Hal Lindsey made a great impression on him. He later went to Moody Bible Institute and was ordained in an independent fundamentalist church. A few years later he was close to “burn-out” and searching again for answers. Fr. Rohen continued his education, graduating from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Science Degree, and then eventually went on to St. Meinrad Seminary where he earned both a Master of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree.