If there’s one word that characterizes the Christian life, a strong contender would be “conversion.” Our journey on this earth is a constant process of turning away from sin and self-centeredness and toward Jesus Christ and the fullness of life, peace and joy found in him.
In other words, life is really a kind of Lent that is preparing us for the eternal Easter.
As Pope Benedict XVI said a few weeks ago:
“The time leading up to Easter is a time of metanoia, a time of change and penance, a time which identifies our human lives and our entire history as a process of conversion, which begins to move now in order to meet the Lord at the end of time.”
My guess is that’s why so many people find it compelling to listen to other people’s conversion stories — they inspire us to keep persevering in our own daily conversion efforts.
In past years, OSV Newsweekly has solicited conversion stories from readers to publish in our Easter Sunday issue, and it has been a great success.
We’d like to do that again this year, but also open up the invitation to those who may have been baptized Catholic as infants, but fell away from the Church until having a “reversion” experience.
Before sitting down to write this, I flipped through some of the past years’ entries.
The variety of the stories really is astonishing. In our 2008 edition, for example, we heard from a young African American woman from Ohio who was so struck by a childhood experience of seeing a televised Catholic Mass on Christmas Day that when she went off to college she attended Mass and entered RCIA. We also heard from a pastor’s son who was zealously Christian, but also anti-Catholic, until God gently led him to the Catholic Church.
Here are some details and instructions: Please make your submissions no more than 250 words, and include your name, city, state, and date of entry (or re-entry) into the Church.
You can submit by mail to Our Sunday Visitor Conversion Stories, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750, by fax to (260) 359-6446, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (please type “Conversion Stories” in the subject line).
If possible, please also include a photograph of yourself (for mailed entries, include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want the photo returned).
The deadline is March 21, and early entries are appreciated.
Please: Share your story and help inspire other OSV readers to cheerfully persevere in continuous conversion to Christ.
May the rest of your Lent be blessed! Write email@example.com.
Have you stored old copies of the national edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper from years gone by (I’m especially interested in the 1940s and 1950s)?
If so, let me know!