From Catholic to “Anti-Catholic Fundie Preacher”, then back to Catholic

by Steve Ray on March 7, 2008

James McGrail sent me his interesting and compelling story detailing his return to the Catholic Church of his youth. Seems a lot of people are doing this lately

James' story is detailed and creatively written — even talking about nuns in his school that he thought all went to "the same Gestapo School." I think you will enjoy it and may want to pass it on to friends and family. Enjoy!

Click here to read the story.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie March 7, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Thank you for posting this conversion story. It was inspiring, and I learned so much.

God Bless.

Bernadette March 7, 2008 at 4:47 PM

oh wow, thanks for sharing. his journey was like my own in some ways (on the right side of my page, under “about me”). all glory to Jesus Christ for gently leading us back home!

Robert Vito March 11, 2008 at 6:37 AM

I am a Catholic, and I firmly believe this is the faith that Jesus gave us. I graduated from a Catholic high school in the diocese of Lansing. In the intervening 25 years after my graduation, the high school has closed, the grade school is in danger of closing, and the church is in financial trouble. The conversion letter you had on your website from Jim hit home in a few areas.

Jim talked about his religion class being a joke. My religion class certainly didn’t equip me to understand my faith or deal with Protestants. Around 1990, a Protestant handed me a booklet that said Catholics were not Christians. It talked about faith alone, the Bible alone, the sacrifice of the Mass, indulgences, Mary, and so forth. I had never heard these arguments before. After ten years of Catholic education I didn’t know how to defend my faith! The feel-good sermons from the pulpit didn’t help either.

About four years later, I married a Protestant. We had two children and sent them to a Protestant school. Why would a Catholic agree to do this? In my experience, most Protestants truly love Jesus. They are nice people with good attitudes. I can’t say the same thing about the group of people I graduated with. It didn’t feel like a Christian environment in high school. There was bullying and drug use. I wanted my children to be raised Catholic, which is the faith of the apostles, but I couldn’t put them in that environment. In the Protestant school, my children have learned the books of the Bible by the second grade. They memorize a Bible verse every one to two weeks. That is not done at my Catholic school. This is sad.

Jim also wrote about some “rules” in Protestant churches as if they were bad:

1. Women were to wear dresses – Have you seen the way people dress in Catholic churches? We are there to worship Jesus, not attend a rock concert.
2. Women shouldn’t work outside the home – If a husband and wife have children, they should raise them. How can someone who is paid minimum wage love a child more than its mother and father?
3. Rock music is evil and TV is worse – It is difficult to find anything on the radio and TV that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to listen to or watch with my parents. It is almost all garbage.

I agree that these shouldn’t be rules under the penalty of mortal sin, but they do lead to a Christ-like environment.

I wish that my children were attending a Catholic school. However, the Catholic schools in my area do not offer the best product. They should teach the Bible and the sacred Tradition of the Church, so Catholics can not only defend their faith in a loving manner, but also evangelize.


Brother Ed March 17, 2008 at 6:22 PM

I had to laugh at the line about Calvinists being “Fundamentalists who have the ability to read.” I have to admit that I feel much the same way that Brother James does regarding Fundamentalism, having spent 13 years in it myself before going to Presbyterian Calvinism for 12 years. His description of Calvinism is also “spot on”.

Fundamentalists and Calvinists can be very difficult to talk with for the very reasons that Brother James outlines in his testimony.

Welcome back. Now take that energy and enthusiam and “go git ’em” for the Lord’s one, holy, apostolic, and CATHOLIC Church!!

Brother Ed

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