Bob & Penny Lord: Returned To the Catholic Faith After Drifting Away – The Journey Home Program

For years, the Catholic Television Network (EWTN) has had a show called The Journey Home. My parents used to watch this show when I was a child, for the few years that we had a dish before we tore the roof off the house. To the best of my recollection, the purpose of the show is to display how Catholicism is an awesome religion because so many people convert to it. When I found out that all the episodes are available online, I decided to watch them and review them. It’s undeniable that people convert to Catholicism; my question is, do they have good reasons? How many of them started as some form of Christian in the first place? How many came from other religions? How many were atheists or skeptics? Why did they convert, and would the answer to that question be a convincing reason for a skeptic?

If you decide to watch these episodes with me, you may notice that I ignore a lot of things I could respond to. The target audience is Catholics, and this is clear from the very first minute that Marcus Grodi begins speaking. These stories aren’t necessarily meant to convince a skeptic, but to strengthen the faith of a Catholic, or possibly convince a non-Catholic Christian to convert, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, I’d like to see if this collection of conversion stories contains any compelling reasons for a skeptic to convert.

The ninth episode is titled “Bob & Penny Lord: Returned To the Catholic Faith After Drifting Away – The Journey Home Program” and aired October 31, 1997. It can be viewed online here.

Once more, there just isn’t much I can offer in the way of commentary. I have marked this couple as “always Catholic” because they never gave themselves another label.

When their son died, they quite understandably fell away from practicing Catholicism. However, what drew them back was not some great answer to the Problem of Evil, but just a feeling that Christ lives in the Catholic churches. They did not even offer an answer, but blamed the devil for testing their faith.

They talk about how, if Catholics only knew Catholicism, everyone would join. That is almost laughably untrue in the face of my experience.

So far, our breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion to Catholicism looks like this.

  • Serious Christian: 6
  • Always Catholic: 2
  • Lax Christian: 0
  • Non-Christian, but religious: 1
  • Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
  • Skeptic: 0

2 thoughts on “Bob & Penny Lord: Returned To the Catholic Faith After Drifting Away – The Journey Home Program

  1. I read this with great interest and would like to respond with my experience and to answer some of your questions.

    Yes, I went to the Assembly of God Church for years, so I did have “religion” and “some form of Christian.” I knew nothing of the Catholic Church nor did I ever intend on being a Catholic. As far as I knew it was a “pagan” religion and the only people who were going to be in purgatory were Catholics.

    After so many years of the Charismatic Movement and their form of worship I became “worn out” for lack of a better term. Nothing was sacred to me in form of worship or prayer. It was all about feeling good all of the time, and something was not right about that to me, in my spiritual life.

    The Blessed Mother showed up in my home for over a year. I knew nothing about this Lady, nor did I want to know. You can read the story on my blog, in my pages.

    I fought her, I fought God for over a year. Catholic was never even a thought in my mind.

    For me it was a “calling.” A “calling” I wanted no part of. After I finally converted, the Catholic Church I consider one of the greatest blessings of my life.

    I still have struggles of life. At times I have wondered if God is even listening to me. Yet, the Catholic Church has the answers to every struggle and question in my life. I could not live without it. God Bless, SR

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Mine was quite the opposite. I was raised Catholic – I remember watching this show as a child, in fact, and when my family went to visit EWTN, I ran to sit in the very front row of the Mother Angelica Live audience.

      When I grew up, I began to learn more science and history and just MORE, and I realized that I could not square the facts of genetics with the claims of the Catholic Church. Now, I find more and more reasons to think that those claims are false, no matter how desperately I tried to fit Catholicism together with reality.

      It is not enough for me that a religion makes me happier; I need it to be true.

      Besides, in many ways, leaving Catholicism behind led to me being much happier. I fought it as much as I could – like you, I fought the change for over a year, during which time I read as much as I could to try to convince myself that Catholicism is real. I failed, and cannot now imagine living with Catholicism.

      If you want to explore more of my personal story, you’re already in the right place. A good post to start with is this one:

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