Marian Cross - Transparent Background
Marian Cross - Transparent Background
Marian Cross - Transparent Background

A Marian Journey into the Church

Condensed Version

2012

Virgin Mary - she was behind my catholic conversion
The reason behind
my catholic conversion

In 2012, I knew nothing about the Virgin Mary and had never stepped foot in a Catholic Church.  I knew one catholic, no clergy, and nothing of catholic prayers.  I also had no desire to be involved in any of this.  Surprisingly, it would not be long before the Blessed Virgin Mary would  become the center of my life.

The Rosary

Book Our Lady of Kibeho
Our Lady of Kibeho. The subject is Our Lady in Rawanda before the civil war.

At 52, I went into a bookstore searching for spiritual reading material.  A voice spoke quietly to me on the way in and said, “I want you to meet my family.”  I ended up buying a copy of Our Lady of Kibeho.  After reading the book, I was so amazed by the devotion to the Rosary that I took it upon myself to start praying it unaware that this was a cornerstone prayer of the catholic faith.

Seven days into this, I experienced the strongest, most beautiful odor of flowers I had ever smelled.  It was so overwhelming in my 5 x 10 ft bathroom; I had never encountered anything like this.  Wary of the order, I left the room.  Three seconds later, I returned, and it was gone entirely.  Impossible.

This was the beginning of my Marian journey into the Catholic church, and the Rosary would be my daily prayer.  A couple of days after this first experience, the Virgin Mary had my complete focus every day and during all waking hours.  I cannot explain this; amazingly, I would never feel alone again.

A couple of weeks later, Our Lady would request that I pray the Rosary daily.  I obliged her.

Alcohol Addiction

Catholic Conversion - Glass of BeerAt the age of 18, my drinking life started.  I was a partier.  By the time I reached the age of 56, I could not stop the alcohol, which was running my life and ruining me, although I could not see this happening.  I thought I was on top of the world, with a great family, a job I enjoyed every day, a big house – everything I could want.  What else could I possibly need?

The truth be known, I was a drunk – an alcohol addict.  By the age of 56, I could not go one day without it, no matter how hard I tried.  I felt as though there was no way out, and that was true, regardless of whether I believed it or not.  It seemed to get worse the more involved in my life Our Lady became.  Though all of this existed, she did not abandon me.

As odd as it may sound, I was still praying the Rosary every day and living this way.  I had learned a lot of things about her and spent all of my spare time studying her – books, videos, apparitions, messages – the videos I would watch over and over. I was attracted to anything with her name on it.  The Medjugorje messages, and other private revelation messages, I would read daily and try to put into practice the suggestions Our Lady made.

The Tide Begins to Turn

I was maybe three years into my conversion, drinking every day.  Our Lady spoke twice to me, and the second time she did, she said, “if you love me, why do you do these things?” referring to my addictions and bad habits I could not break or control (I was a smoker too along with daily consumption of headache powders).  This one question slowly changed everything.


It changed my mind and desires.  Instead of desiring self-destruction, I came to desire her.  I wanted her involved in my life.  I wanted her to take the reins.  I wanted no more of this lifestyle I had created for myself, but there was nothing I could do to end it.


One day, out of desperation, I said to myself, “I am addicted.  I cannot quit.” A voice responded, “you are right where you are supposed to be.” This response meant nothing to me.

A Widow Maker

My Catholic Conversion - Widow Maker Heart Attack
My Conversion included a Widow Maker Heart on 06-11-2017.
That is me on the ventilator.

On June 11, 2017, I was playing golf on a course near my house.  Driving the cart down the hill on the first tee, I slumped over.  I was gone.  The person I was with began to hit me, but to no avail; I would not regain consciousness.  He drove us to the pro shop and yelled for CPR.  Two people dropped what they were doing and responded.  They began to perform CPR on me and got a “rhythm.”  911 was called.  When the ambulance arrived, I was rushed to a hospital ten miles away.  I saw none of this.  I was on the other side of life, excitedly waiting to see Jesus and Our Lady.  While waiting, I distinctly heard a voice calling, “the time for forgiveness is over.” I am fortunate to be here because I was carrying a lot of unforgiven sins.


Even after death, I knew exactly who they were and was thinking about them out of the body.  I don’t recall ever seeing them, but this is what I experienced.


When my wife saw me for the first time, she said I was grey and cold to the touch.  I woke up three days later, as I remember it.  Two weeks later, I had an appointment with my cardiologist, and there was no heart, brain, or any damage.  I am a walking miracle; I have been told by the medical community here, and it is true.  My LDA blockage was ninety-eight percent.

I began to be tempted to return to my previous lifestyle that I had lived prior to my health issues.  I had requested to Our Lady that she be the reason I quit this sinful living when I did.  That came true.  I surrendered my derelict living because of her in the most spiritual experience I have ever had.  She is the reason I quit.  I haven’t looked back.  This day, I truly became hers.

 

Total physical recovery took about a year.

After open-heart bypass surgery, I was back to work in seventy-eight days.  

Conversion

It was the summer of 2018.  I was planning a trip to Medjugorje for the following year (Our Lady had given me a personal invitation in 2013, and I intended to fulfill it).  Still, I could not partake in the Eucharist if I was not Catholic.  What would be the point of going, then?

It was a struggle for me to decide because of the unknown and the condition of the church.  I fought this for a long time.  I never really made a decision.  I spoke to Our Lady and said, “if this is what you want, then I will trust in your decision and honor your desires.  It’s all in your hands.  You have brought me this far, and I trusted you with my very life.  Do as you wish.” I started RCIA in September of 2018.  My wife came a week later.

The urge to make my relationship with her permanent began to make itself known in early 2019.  I consecrated myself to her on March 25, 2019 (through the St. de Montfort method – True Devotion to Mary), the feast day of the Annunciation and my mother’s birthday.

 

St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Florence SC
St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Florence SC

My wife and I became Catholic on April 20, 2019, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Florence SC, one of the best things that have happened to me. Our Lady delivered perfectly again.  I also traveled to Medjugorje on October 2, 2019, with Medjugorge.org, the company of Steve and Anna Shawl. Anna was there with our group of more than thirty people.  This trip was unforgettable for me, and I recommend it to anyone.

My devotion to Our Lady is still there today after ten years and will never change.  The last ten years have been an experience beyond all imagination.  Our Lady was with me through all this, and I have grown close to her.   She is central to everything in my life and has been for quite some time.  Jesus allowed this to happen, I believe.  I am eternally grateful to Him for this extraordinary undeserved gift I have been given.

The full version of this testimony can be accessed here 

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