Waking Up Catholic: A Guide to Catholic Beliefs for Converts, Reverts, and Anyone Becoming Catholic details the journey of author Chad Torgerson’s path to Catholicism. Throughout the book Chad presents his disputes against the Catholic faith and how, after further study he realized, Catholicism was right.
In the early part of the book Chad discusses his desire to become a Christian minister. He also goes into some detail about how he debated and refuted Catholic beliefs. After some twist and turns in his life that led to his dream of ministry being shelved, Chad started to study and awaken to the truths of the Catholic Church.
This book covers a wide ranging number of topics that anyone discovering the Catholic Church would want answers on. The role of Scared Tradition widely disregarded by other faiths, is a cornerstone of Catholicism and the author explains why. Peter and the apostles, their successors (our Bishops) and their role of preserving the teaching of the Church through the Magesterium. The Saints, their Feast Days and the truth about their statues and images. The Eucharist and what it means to the Catholic Church. Confession, how it works and why it is so important. These and other topics are covered in the book and shed light on the Catholic Faith for those just starting their exploration.
The Chapter on Mary, I feel, was very reflective of many converts path to the Catholic faith. I detail it here as an example of what you will find in the book. As a Protestant, Chad had learned that Mary should not receive, in fact no one, deserves our love and adoration except the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Catholics believe she deserves veneration as the mother of Christ, and they look to her for intercessory prayers. Chad struggled with the many images and statues of Mary he observed, in his viewpoint, were being worshiped by his Catholic friends. Using Old Testament laws he would, in his opinion, prove the practice was wrong. Another problem he had issue with were the various apparitions of Mary recorded throughout Catholic history. Eventually as Chad came to know and love Catholicism he did some research on Mary hoping find volumes and volumes on why we hold Mary in such high regard. He found very little other than a few brief line in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. With no other option left other than prayer Chad discovered the simple truth. There is only one reason, not hundreds, and that is the simple truth that Mary is the Mother of Christ. Of all the women in all of history, God chose Mary to be the Mother of his Son. As Chad notes “her role in the Church is a model of faith and purity”.
This book is a fantastic source for those contemplating the Catholic faith or those who are lapsed Catholics coming back to the Church. Chad’s approach of telling his misgivings and then revealing what he discovered to debunk those misgivings is very indicative of what most converts go through. His approach to presenting the material is refreshing and not so overly theological that your average reader cannot grasp it. Even as a regular weekly Mass attendee I found the book to be a good read and it served as a good refresher on basic Catholic beliefs.
I received a copy of the book for this review from Assisi Media.