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Monday, February 18, 2008


My Dad was a Methodist minister, and a lasting Christian example to me. And although I experimented with many philosophies, religions and denominations, my sincere quest for God has remained throughout my life, despite times of waywardness and just plain love of sin.

At the time my wife, Micki, converted to Catholicism in 1984, I was in the depths of skepticism and sin, and for years she prayed for me and patiently responded to my hammering questions and vicious arguments as I persecuted her for her Faith. Some of her friends advised her to leave me, while others joined with her in praying for my soul, including such wonderful Christians as the late Fr. Bede Reynolds, O.S.B., of British Columbia's Westminster Abbey.

Finally our years of marital struggle came to a head. I literally kicked my wife out of bed during a bitter argument; and as a result, we were separated. I was too upset to continue in my job, and was granted emergency annual leave to get myself back together. During the several days on the street, I suffered severe depression, at one point even being taken by police to the hospital for fear of my taking my own life. I realized that I am a husband and father, and being cast out made me feel lost and worthless. Desperate, I went to talk with Fr. Seamus Laverty, Micki's priest, thinking that he might be a middleman in reaching my wife who would no longer listen to me. As providence would have it, I arrived just as Fr. Laverty was rounding the corner to go hear confessions. Minutes later, I was perhaps the only anti-Catholic ever to confess in tears to a priest in a confessional.

Although it was against his policy in these matters, Fr. Laverty did telephone Micki, telling her that he understood me to be truly sorry. And later Micki found me in the parking lot outside our apartment, begging in tears for her forgiveness. Against most all of the advice she had received, she took pity on me and let me in. As I again looked around our home, I was overwhelmed in appreciation for all the wonderful blessings I had almost thrown away.

I knew that if I were to continue living with my wife, I would at least have to be able to discuss sensibly and intelligently why I disagreed with Catholicism, rather than constantly bickering and criticizing. Although by this time an agnostic, I was still hypocritically using fundamentalist Protestant arguments against the Catholic Church. So I began serious study, from Catholic sources, in order to know really what the Church is about. Two books were used by the Holy Spirit to shake loose my grip on skepticism. Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, although not thoroughly persuading me, confused most of my arguments against the Catholic Church. And then Frank Sheed's Theology and Sanity hit me like a brick, putting together God's plan in a way that put my faulty reasoning to shame, and by the time the book was finished I was praying the Rosary every lunch time while sitting in my work truck in a shopping center parking lot, learning as best I could using a how-to pamphlet.

It was my stumbling attempts at praying the Rosary that did even more than all the studying could have done, for now I had our Blessed Mother Mary praying for me, too. And it was her intercession that continued and continues to keep me close to her Son.

By God's miracle, in 1989, exactly one year later from the day I broke down to Fr. Laverty in the confessional, I was standing up in front of the altar of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Everett, Washington, becoming a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, with my wife Micki standing behind me as my sponsor. This was the happiest day of my life.

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  1. Dale I finnally read the story about your convertion to catholicism. It is an inspiring and motivational story. this time it is good for you. Wilfredo Morales (US Army buddy)

  2. Wonderful story, Dale. The Good Shepherd used both the hook and the prod on you. God bless.