Journey Home Reviews

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 and review them.

From their website: “EWTN’s The Journey Home examines why so many people, including fallen away Catholics and individuals from other denominations, are being drawn home to the Catholic Church.”

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.

This series is, and will continue to be, a work in progress. There are, after all, nearly twenty total years of archives to work through, and the show continues to produce a new episode almost every week. When I catch up to current, which is planned for September 2017, I plan to gather the posts in this category into sub categories based on things like what sort of background the guest had, or perhaps how convincing I found their reasoning for converting. I will also likely write a follow-up post on my thoughts on the general trends in these conversion stories when I am up to current episodes, and more follow-ups are possible if the trends change significantly.

Each post in this category contains a link to the episode, in case you want to watch it, too. Most of these posts are short, because there simply isn’t much for me to say that is on topic.

For a full and automatically updating list of all posts in this category, please use this category link. It actually has the entire post there, and so is an easy way to read the whole series, if backwards (it lists the most recent post first, and I’m not sure how to change that). You’ll notice that for the first 14 of these posts, I kept the intro in the post itself, which I now think is rather sloppy for a series this long.

I will do my best to keep this page current, but I know myself well, and I know I will probably slip up at some point. For now, here is the most current list of the breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion to Catholicism:

  • Repeat Guest: 2
  • Serious Christian: 30
  • Always Catholic: 8
  • Lax Christian: 1
  • Non-Christian, but religious: 2
  • Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
  • Skeptic: 0

Finally, here is the list of my reviews, starting with episode 1 (as you’ll notice, these episode names are not overly imaginative):

  1. Dr. Thomas Howard: An Episcopalian Who Became A Catholic
  2. Msgr. Graham Leonard: An Anglican Bishop Who Became A Catholic
  3. Kristine Franklin: A Non-Denominational Missionary Who Became A Catholic
  4. Steve Wood: A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic
  5. Dr. Kenneth Howell, A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic
  6. Fr. Ray & Ruth Ryland: Episcopalians Who Became Catholics
  7. Rosalind Moss: A Convert To The Catholic Faith From Judaism
  8. Colin Donovan: A Life-long Catholic
  9. Bob & Penny Lord: Returned To the Catholic Faith After Drifting Away
  10. Michael Welker: A Zen Buddhist Who Became Catholic Via Protestantism
  11. Curtis Martin: A Non-denominational Evangelical Who Returned To The Catholic Faith
  12. David Palm: A Baptist Who Became A Catholic
  13. David Currie: A Bible Church Missionary Who Became A Catholic
  14. Terrye Newkirk: A Unitarian Who Became A Catholic
  15. Mark Shea: A Non-denominational Evangelical Who Became A Catholic Apologist
  16. Karl Keating: A Life-long Catholic & Apologist
  17. Paul Thigpen: A Pentecostal & Methodist Minister Who Became A Catholic
  18. Paul Key: A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic
  19. Patrick Madrid: A Life-long Catholic Apologist
  20. Dr. William Marshner: A Lutheran Who Became A Catholic
  21. Dr. John Haas: An Episcopal Priest Who Became A Catholic
  22. Peter & Regina Cram: Episcopalians Who Became Catholics
  23. Ken Hensley: An American Baptist Minister Who Became A Catholic
  24. Fr. C. John McCloskey: A Life-long Catholic
  25. Larry & Joetta Lewis: A Methodist Minister & Wife Who Became Catholics
  26. Fr. Mitch Pacwa. S.J.: A Life-long Catholic
  27. Dr. Mark Miravalle: A Life-long Catholic
  28. Dr. Kenneth Howell: A Presbyterian Minister Who Is Now Catholic Discusses Redemptive Suffering
  29. Dr. Scott Hahn: A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic
  30. Fr. E. Slider Steuernol: A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic Priest
  31. Curtis Martin: A Non-denominational Evangelical Who Returned To The Catholic Church
  32. Dr. Jim & Sally Shelton: A Charismatic Episcopal Priest & Wife Who Became Catholics
  33. Dr. Kenneth Craycraft: A Church of Christ Who Became A Catholic
  34. Bruce Sullivan: A Church of Christ Minister Who Became A Catholic
  35. Dr. Thomas C. Reeves: An Episcopalian Who Became A Catholic
  36. Dr. Alan Schreck: A Life-long Catholic
  37. Tim Staples: An Assemblies of God Youth Minister Who Became A Catholic
  38. Bruce & Barbara Brown: Presbyterians Who Became Catholics
  39. Rick Ricciardi: An Assemblies of God Minister Who Returned To The Catholic Church
  40. Marcus Grodi: A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic
  41. Doug Trout: An Evangelical Friend (Quaker) Who Returned To The Catholic Church
  42. Gray Plunkett: An Episcopal Missionary Who Became A Catholic
  43. Daniel Vinzant: A Southern Baptist Minister Who Became A Catholic

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