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  • I was born and raised a Catholic. I lived across the street from my church. We were involved in every activity of the church, and the priest's life, helping in the office, helping his housekeeper, helping cook. Cleaning the church, all my brothers were altar boys. Of course we were in the choir, readers, etc. Well after I married I drifted in and out of the church for a year or so. I did baptize my first child in the Catholic church, but then started attending services of the different protestant denominations. I stayed with one for about 2 years, even got baptized into one church and my children dedicated to the church. I grew disillusioned when a bunch of scandals among the church ministers rocked the church. For years I did not attend any type of religious service unless it was a funeral mass. I had no particular aversion to Catholocism or any type of church. I was slowly becoming agnostic. Yet when my children reached school age I did put them in Catholic school, and attended church for the different funcions they needed to be in being in a Catholic school. Once they were out of grade school, I could not afford Catholic school so they went into the public school system. Then I really lost touch with any religious affiliation. In fact I became quite angry about all religious just being scams, the work of men. I never stopped believing in God. I also felt the Bible was just a man-made book. I began reading the bible at 17 and I must say that I started to smolder about the bible at that time. I started with the old testatment, and even at 17 was very confused about the roles women were put in, very indignant that we were thought of as unclean, unholy, blame them for anything that goes wrong, etc. Looking back, a door was opened to the angel of death. I even got to the point in my 40's thinking that the Jesus story was a hoax. I did not even give a thought to the Virgin Mary unless I was reciting a rosary with my family for the death of a loved one.

    In September 2011 at the age of 52, after wandering in the desert for about 30 years, the Holy Spirit was awakened in me during my 29 year old son's confirmation mass. My son will be marrying in the church on Feb. 2012. Right as my son started going to all the classes for the sacrament of marriage my 32 year old daughter also started attending mass. Before that she had been attending non-denominational churches on and off. So my children started going back to the church on their own. No discussions with me, they just did it. I was glad when my son told me he was getting married through the church, but had no compulsion to go back myself. Now as soon as my son is married he and his bride will baptize their 3 year old nephew my only grandchild. My daughter and her husband also want to start classes to marry through the church.
    I was pretty much on fire from that Sunday on -started to read all kinds of materials that fed the word of God to me. I never stopped praying my whole life, but my current prayer life is hours long, compared to a few minutes here and there throughtout my day. I joined my children's church. My husband and I want the sacrament of marriage, so that we may begin participating in the eucharist. I am taking bible classes at my church. I am planning to get involved in the Gabriel Project and the Legion of Mary. I am going to my first ever religious retreat - ACTS in a few weeks. Six months ago if you told me this was going to be my life, I would have said you were crazy. I know my mother is smiling down from heaven, and I'm sure God knew where I would end up. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning , is now, and will be forever. AMEN
    - Mary O., San Antonio, TX United States
  • Born Irish Catholic. Raised in the Church but not in Catholic Schools. My mother, a protestant, ensured that I was brought up Catholic because she promised to do that when she married my father (the Irish Catholic). My mom was a better Catholic than my dad as my dad succumbed to sloth and alcohol, leaving us when we needed him - and on Easter morning - could you make this stuff up? I followed suit in college and after until God slowly kept leading me home. Well, I think the slow part was me. He led me home to Mother Church with so many happy things. The beauty of the Church, the music, the Liturgy, the intellect of steel from Thomas Aquinas to GK Chesterton and all the contemporary apologists, and the JPII generation of priests. He led me home through sorrow as well with my parents' deaths, my own struggles with sin both venial and mortal, and his ever-forgiving and merciful sacrament of confession. Well, as we all could, I could write a book... I thank God for his Church less often than I should. But your series has allowed me to show the Church in its glory to my sweet children and my wife and I will be donating my copy to our parish library. Thank you Father Bannon for your apparently tireless work in pulling together this Magnum Opus and for all of the cat herding that must have come with it. I pray for you in thanks to our Lord and for all your team in this grand effort to simply share God's love for us with the whole world.
    - David S., Boulder, CO United States
  • I was born 12/25/1958 I did my baptism 1965 and in 1967 my First Holy Communion, And just recently I was Confirmed March 21st 2011 I have sang in the choir at church I am helping EWTN
    pass out there flyers to the different parishis and I am helping my Confirmation teacher with class I go to morning mass every morning and Sunday mass I am involve with a group in Orange at Holy family Church with the prisoners lead by Father Adrian from St. Michael Abby and I am starting a 501c3 to help the kids in the Orphanages in Mexico
    Payan Orphanage Relief help supply food money and maintenace repairs.
    - Douglas P., Orange, CA United States
  • I didn't know how to contact you about the Catholicism series. I just started it with a group in my parish, and was so eagerly anticipating it. I follow Fr. Barron on Word on Fire to listen to his sermons on the Sunday scripture readings and so enjoy him. However, this 1st of the Catholicism series was very disappointing, not from his narrative, but because the background music overpowered his voice. I found it rather difficult to hear what he was saying. We found an adjustment on the remote control which changed the sound from stereo to mono, which helped, but the music was still distracting....not what I think you intended. If you issue a 2nd edition, I strongly suggest you tone down the music. Thank you!
    - Miriam G., Louisville, KY United States
  • Uneducated, importer with office in China, affkluence brought sinfulness, alcholism and addiction. Nothing worked to solving my problem, no matter how hard I tried.. Slowly Christ came...in the side door....God of nature sort of thing...until I was lead to scripture...unknowlingly...then a vision....later His hand upon my back while praying nose in the carpet...led back to the Catholic Church....to the prisons...to the homeless...and too many things to mention.....I am a prodigal son.....upon return asked to do something....which I feel totally over my head to do....my lack of detachment is a source of pain...and slowly He is breaking it.....I know only to try with my eyes upon Christ and His Catholic Church.....this series is heaven sent for me....if you go to a website www.JustinsAngelHouse.com you will see two pictures...one of a door and one of a door with a young girl in it...who you can see thru....I am computer illiterate...this is real...and after what seems like a long wait somethings are happening....this is His story to tell over the years ahead...I am no one...but thru Christ and Christ alone will witness over time what only God can do
    - Rick C., Norwell, MA United States
  • As I am a Collage covert to Catholism and the Catholism. I appreate any support for “continuing & adult education.

    Thamk You

    Peace, Shalom & Paz.
    - Bruce I. T., Olmpia, WA United States
  • I went to a catholic boarding school in India from the age of eight and attended catechism classes. The nuns allowed me even though I was not a catholic. I even attended mass and retreats with my catholic friends. I said the rosary with them. I believed the Bible stories I heard. I was baptized when I was eighteen. When I immigrated to Canada I gradually stopped going to church and did attend mass for the last 30 years or so until last year when I started watching Father Baron's shows on Salt and Light. After listening to Father Baron, the scriptures mean something to me now and I thirst to learn more. I thank God for bringing me back to the church and for Father Baron's ministry Word on Fire.
    - Ida H., Toronto, Canada
  • I was born in Warangal , India and I am Born in Catholic Family, Attended Catholic School 12 years
    So far I am still Catholic by the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ , still Attending Church regularly Currently Living in USA
    I am praying to the LORD that i want to Live in Catholism and Die as Catholic
    Praise the Lord
    - Michael R., Fathima Nagar, India
  • I was born in Trinidad, West Indes, and immigrated to the US (NY) at age 5, then at age 18, we relocated to CA. My family is Roman Catholic, and I attended Catholic School for 12 years.After High School, I pretty much stopped practicing my faith, and occasionally attended Sunday Mass. I'm now 55 years old, and it's been a tough road. In 1993, my only sibling (a sister who was 40, her husband 41, and my only nephew 16 all died in a head-on car collision from a drunk driver). I had recently divorced, and had returned home to CA in 1991, after a 13 year marriage. I moved in with my parents to support my mom, and an aging step-father in his 90's. I've had no serious relationships since my divorce, and have always thought about about entering a convent, but had to put that on hold to work. Now, my step-father passed away at age 98 in 2004, and I also since relocated to VA in 2004. My chance to be free. Now, my mother is aging at age 83, and had to relocate to live with me the past 4 years due to her Alzheimers. She's very bitter about her life, her past, her present, and afraid of her future. I've since returned to the Catholic church, and we attend Sunday Mass to try, and make sense of it all. I guess this is my fate until God sees fit. Funny, but here I was looking to enter a convent to help others when all along, it's my own mother that needs my help. I've recently viewed Catholism for the first time over the weekend, and am thirsty to know more, to learn more, to see more. This series has made me aware of my vulnerability, my shortcomings, and knowledge that the key to life is...LOVE. To finally get the message that to know GOD is to LOVE...and...to LOVE is to know GOD. It's easier said than done. Is it possible? Maybe with enough patience, kindness, tolerance, understanding, etc. These traits are the test of our faith. Can we pass this test while here on earth? Please let's continue to spread the word, but first look into own own homes to help those in need.
    - Desiree D., Colonial Beach, VA United States
  • Growing up even in a Catholic Country like Dublin Ireland I knew no Catholics, being Jewish and all my family are Jewish, my nephew is a Rabbi, I was drawn to the Catholic faith, after a lot of soul searching and knowing all the pain I was going to cause my parents, and the talk of the whole community I was reluctant to take that step, but I felt the Lord telling me I had to do it, I had to be true to Him and myself,my Dad insisted I talk to the Chief Rabbi to see if he could sense into me but I knew the Catholic Church was the only true religion in the World, and would not recant so I was thrown out of the house and my parents did not talk to me for ten years, all post was returned unopened, after ten years my Dad contacted me and said I dont know where I got you from but I can see your not going to go back but rather your going to stay a Roman Catholic and I said yes, I did not of course not go home as my parents told me that I was not welcome as with my brothers and sisters I would be a bad influence, so I learnt more about this lovely, holy catholic religion, and now that I am of a mature age I cannot find a Convent to take me as I would really like to be a nun,if there are any traditional nuns reading this I would like to hear from you as I love the Lord Jesus more than anything.
    I would want a traditional Convent , Habit, no hair showing, contemplative/active. If there are any convents like this and willing to take a mature convert please e-mail me gsgray@eircom.net I am also under a priest for spiritual guidance.
    - Sandra g., dublin, Ireland
  • I came to Catholicism after years and years of being angry with God for the events of my past. I blamed God for all the bad things that happened in my life and I was unable to let them go. When I reached college I spent a lot of time soul searching and then in my Senior year a friend of mine told me she was becoming Catholic and asked if I would like to go with her to church and her RCIA one day. I was shocked because I didn't think I knew anyone who was Catholic but I ended up finding out that two people I was close friends with were Catholic, one was a cradle Catholic while the other was a convert. I didn't know this because I had refused to talk to anyone about religion when I had first came to my school. When I started talking to them and asking questions about Catholicism they were all very excited and answered my questions. But what really got me was the church. The moment I stepped inside the church it was like my whole life had been leading me to that moment. It became very clear to me that the church was where I was supposed to be and that my friends who I seemed to have nothing in common with were supposed to be in my life to lead me to that point. I have encountered many issues since making the decision to become Catholic. I have family and friends members who refuse to talk to me, some who are outright hostel, and still others who have told me its just a phase and I'll get over it soon. I don't think they understand that my pull to to the church was the fact that God lead me there, it's where I'm supposed to be. I pray every day that they will eventually come around and see that I'm not some evil being out to try and convert them to my evil ways but I'm a Christian just like they are, I just follow a different set of rules. I'm happy to have found myself in this place and I want to continue to grow with my Faith. God has blessed me with great parents who have been very supportive of my decision and as long as I have them and my friends who have stood beside me I think I can make it through anything. God is with me wherever I go and I feel him now more than ever. He lead me to the church and I know he will lead me through the trials that these people are placing in my path. I guess in all my story is really a story of discovering God and the Catholic church just happened to be where I found him.
    - Tiffany B., Hyden, KY United States
  • Very excited about this serious. What a beautiful faith. Should be aired in California! Moved here month ago from Dallas, TX. Ever since my move, I have seen all sorts of odd behaviors during Mass..such as bringing a dog to Mass, texting throughout the WHOLE Mass, talking on the cell phone during Mass, etc. Went to mass for 27 years in Dallas and never have i witnessed such behavior in Church till I came to Los Angeles. I think there needs to be a revival in the Catholic faith here.
    - Julia L., Los Angeles, CA United States
  • This past Easter, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. I was raised Methodist, my paternal grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, my maternal grandfather was an American Baptist minister. I attended a Quaker junior high and a Catholic Highschool. When I married my husband, I identified primarily as Taoist/Buddhist yet I always recognized Christ as a real person. This identification, however, was one of an agnostic. I wasn't convinced that Christ was God born in flesh. Despite my high school experience, I developed many anti Catholic perspectives. This said, I alway LOVED the mass. I found the sensory experiences of the mass to be comforting and speak to me on many levels. In High School, my english teacher introduced me to Thomas Merton. After marrying my husband (born & rasied Catholic), I found my knowledge of Thomas Merton to open the door to consider Catholism. Our son was getting older and I wanted a foundation for him. After my husband cousins funeral where I cantored, I was inspired to taking the investigation into the Catholic Church more seriously. With a sense of urgency, we drove into the parish parking lot late on a Monday night with the thought "I'll just see when classes are starting." They had already begun. If I had missed one more i would of had to wait and the RCIA director just happened to have time to talk with me before his next appointment. He said everything I needed him to say and nothing I expected. I began RCIA that night. I learned the Catholicism was nothing I thought it was and everything I really hoped it was. On my drive to my first retreat of the RCIA, i had a "chat" with God. "God you know me. You know how I am. If I don't get a very clear sign. I am going to think this to death and not get anything out of it and likely not stay. How about you give me a '1' and I'll know its you saying this is what I want for you?" The rest of my drive, I looked for '1s" I never found any. I parked my car and had another "chat" with God. "you know how I am. You know I need this. Please something obvious." The retreat was wonderful. Still no '1s' At the end, we were each asked to choose a small brown paper bag. In each was a random item chosen by our leader. When he placed them on the table for us to select one of them (they all looked exactly the same) seemed to stand out to me. I knew that was mine. I grabbed it and went to the chapel to meditate/pray on it. I reached inside and pulled out a styrofoam 'K'. I had no clue. So I closed my eyes and asked for something. A few moments in I was inspired to count to the letter 'K' in the alphabet. 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..11! 11! "Really '11'! Was this my '1s' ?" How could it not be? I sat there humbled and amazed. Grateful.. and humbled... Then I thought, they will never believe me. They did... we all had similar stories. Gods grace was so present. What a gift! At this point, I had no doubts that I was right where I was meant to be. I was free to be open to everything I would learn and experience. I'm still "young" in the Church. I suspect I always will be. This said, I saw the first of the series tonight (I recorded it). I Pray that this series will do for many what my RCIA experience did for me... break down misperceptions and open doors for building a closer relationship with God.

    - amy p., sterling heights, MI United States
  • I have been influenced by the Catholic Church since I was nine. An elementary school friend invited to show me her new church building. Being a high Episcopalian from Newark,NJ, I was awed to think that such a structure was a few blocks away. When we moved to the 'burbs, we started at a low Episcopalian whhich did not seem to have the type of Christianity. T make a long story short: I was finally received into the Church during the Easter Vigil of 1995 just before my fiftieth birthday. Anyway I believe that coming into the Church brings me closer to Christ. Maybe GOD planned for my entering Roman Rite with so much dissension now just beginning to ebb. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSING FLOWS!

    - JOSEPH M., BEDFORD, TX United States
  • I am a born and raised Catholic, 12 years of Catholic school, and then drifted when in college. I never stopped believing or praying. just stopped practicing. In 1995, my husband and I had our second son, who was born with Down Syndrome, and was immediately diagnosed with a heart defect that required surgery as soon as he hit 10 pounds-2.6 pounds more than his birth weight. The next 3 months was grueling, he couldn't eat well, slept all the time, and struggled to gain those extra 2 1/2 pounds. Through it all, he would gaze at me with wonder, joy, total and unconditional love, which I have come to understand as Jesus' love for me, and all of us, several years later. During his recovery in the hospital, unbeknownst to me, he had a touch and go day, where he was monitored at his bedside by his father, cardiologist, and heart surgeon. They spared me any updates (I was working and then had to get my 4 year old son to get to our evening hospital visit) and when I arrived that night, I placed a small statue of the Infant of Prague, a baptismal gift my son received, at the foot of his hospital bed. He almost immediately made a turn around. Fast forward 2 years later, and my son continued to struggle; he required oxygen and was often hospitalized for pneumonia. When he was 2, and I was pregnant with our third child, he was hospitalized again, and after 3 weeks of testing, no conclusions for the cause of his illness was discovered. One particular night, when I couldn't sleep anymore in the vinyl chair provided by the hospital, I made my way to the Chapel of the hospital and had what was probably my first real conversation with God. I hollared, screamed, cried, and questioned why such a small, precious, and very vulnerable child was allowed to suffer so much. I demanded He be with me and help me, telling Him I couldn't do this any more on my own. The next day, we met a wonderful doctor who ordered a simple swallow test. Three hours later, after the testing revealed that my son was aspirating on thin liquids, we began to thicken his formula. The results were immediate and we have not looked back since that time. It was at that exact moment, that I finally realized that God was/is with me at all times and that he had my son in his arms-I just didn't see it. Over the past 14 years, I have stepped up my faith game. I became very active in my parish of St. Jude Catholic Church, encouraged my family faith life, and joined a wonderful Bible study with a beautiful group of Christian women. This group encouraged personal growth in my relationship with God and Jesus, as well as re-surged my desire to understand my Catholic faith. So I pursued this with my pastor, who excitedly encouraged me to lead an adult religious education group on the Catholicism project. Scared, but feeling God's pull to do this, I accepted. Today, I cannot say enough about this project. I spread the word like an evangelist on fire-I use many of the episodes to teach my 8th grade Catechism students-I have met a 3 year-old who 'loves' Father Barron-I have made new Godly friends in my journey that will be with me forever-I have strengthened friendships-my prayer life is joyful, meaningful, productive, consistent. I see God in everything and see the Holy Spirit working in all things-I feel Mary's presence and her beautiful model of motherhood watching over me as I raise my sons, who are becoming strong and wonderful young men of God. I "get" Chastity, I love the Eucharist. and He is just getting started with me! I cannot contain my joy, and often need to reel myself back with others so as not to be overbearing-I am so humbled, blessed, and loving the adventure our Heavenly Father is taking me on. Thank you, Thank you Father Barron and your entire team, for making me proud to be Catholic, for teaching me so that I can teach others, and inspiring me to my soul, so that I can be a witness of Jesus' love for me and all of us!
    - Bobbie W., Peoria, IL United States
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  • What does it take to give a good speech or a credible, rousing homily? Fr. Damian Ference looks back to Aristotle for the answer, and he offers examples of where that answer can be found today.
    Fr. Robert Barron's Word On Fire - Spirituality: Aristotle, Priests and the Art of Preaching
    Okay, yes, Aristotle was a pagan — but you can't blame the guy for living centuries before the birth of Christ. You can, however, give him credit for laying out the basics of a good speech. Basics, Father Damian Ference argues, that every good priest ought to keep in mind — and in practice.
  • Reality meets the image. Father Barron gave talks this weekend in Springfield Illinois. Standing room only!
  • Started Catholicism sessions in Exeter UK yesterday. It inspired much discussion and interest. Thanks to all involved in its production.
  • http://youtu.be/Yp315ND24to
    Love-Eros,Philos,Agape 11_4_12
    Join Fr. Scurti for the 31st Sunday in ordinary time. November 4, 2012 Readings for Mass First Reading: Deuteronomy 6:2-6 Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 18:2-3, ...
  • "Catholicism" Series starts Airing Today in the UK and Ireland!
    “Catholicism” Series Airing in Great Britain and Ireland on EWTN
    Father Robert Barron’s award winning series will be seen on the Eurobird and Hotbird satellites beginning today.