Young Catholic men and women having problems with their faith or who know of a friend or someone else who is will find this book inspiring and helpful. This collection contains 21 true stories of young people who either were Catholics, Protestants, or atheists who had conversion experiences. The foreword is by Dr. Scott Hahn, a noted theologian who converted to Catholicism. The editors introduce their book with the story of St. Augustine of Hippo, who started out his life as a partier, a heretic and the father of a child who was conceived outside of wedlock. Following his own conversion experience, he went on to become one of the great doctors of the Church in the West.
The stories are short and to the point, yet moving and inspiring. There are stories about young Catholic women and men who are going to school, partying, getting drunk, having sex, and thinking they are really living and experiencing freedom. Then something happens, like the death of a friend or something else, which causes them to rethink the path of life they are on. They begin to look at what real life looks and feels like, and they have a conversion event.
There are stories of non-Catholics - Protestants and atheists - who begin to wonder about life. The Protestants begin to wonder if their church is really the true one or if some other Church out there is really the true one. They begin reading the Church Fathers, history and other materials and discover for themselves that the Catholic Church is the true one and begin the process of being received into the Church. Some even meet and talk with Scott Hahn and others.
There are two stories of gays who tell about what their lives were like before their conversion. They did not have a good self image and thought they were really living their lives as they wanted to. They eventually discovered that it was a lie being told by the world and had conversion experiences. They discovered that the Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals, but the Church does condemn the act as sinful. The two gays become celibate and devoted to practicing their faith. One has become involved in Courage, a support group for gay Catholics approved by the Church.
The age of these young men and women varies from older teens to those in their twenties; two of the men eventually became priests. The editors include their own stories. Some of the authors’ names are actually pseudonyms to protect their privacy and that of others. The book has a bibliography and endnotes.
Chris Cuddy is a research associate for the
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology founded by Scott Hahn and a staff writer and apologist for
NextWave Faithful. Peter Ericksen is cofounder of Neighborhood Communications LLC. This book is highly recommended to teens and young adults and those concerned with, who care for or who minister to them.