What do Buffalo Bill Cody, Johann Christian Bach, Salvatore Dali, Dorothy Day and Emperor Constantine have in common? They are all converts to the Catholic Faith!
In the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, we spend a lot time looking at research that studies the number of Catholics who have stop practicing the faith or left the Church or feel alienated from the Church. Happily, we also oversee the welcoming of new Catholics to the Church.
One of the great pleasures of working with an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program is hearing the stories of what makes people decide to explore the Catholic Faith. Some of the stories are remarkable; a chance meeting with a Catholic, falling in love with the writings of Flannery O’Connor, trying lots of other churches and just not finding the right fit, thinking about all the people you admire and realizing one thing they share in common is the Catholic faith. These are the stories heard around a table in a Church meeting room. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know what made Salvatore Dali or Buffalo Bill Cody make the decision to start exploring the Catholic faith? I find stories of conversion intriguing, not only for learning how the person is awakened to the presence of God in his or her life but also seeing how persistent the Lord is in urging, prompting, leading, and guiding people toward his Father and toward the Church.
Here Comes Everyone
After seeing the video below, I also am reminded that from the time Jesus first started inviting people to follow him, he did not have just one kind of person in mind, he casts his net long and wide. Artists and emperors, writers and wranglers, actors and activists; poets and preachers; penniless and prosperous—all have a place at the table of the Lord.