Marcus Grodi is the founder and president of The Coming Home Network International whose purpose is to help inquiring clergy as well as laity of other traditions to return home and then to be at home in the Catholic Church. He is also the host of the show The Journey Homewhich can be seen weekly on EWTN. Marcus is also the author of numerous books and recently I had a chance to discuss two of those books him. Here is our interview on his books Journeys Home and Journeys Home 2.
PETE: Let’s start out with a question about a conversion that if it had not happened, we would not be doing this interview today. Can you tell readers about how your conversion took place?
MARCUS GRODI:First, a detailed account of our conversion is posted on our website. Mainly, as a life-long Protestant with no interest in the Catholic Church and an ordained Presbyterian pastor, I became increasingly concerned about the “problem of Protestantism”: though we all had faith in Christ and believed the Bible was our one trustworthy source of truth, we all had different interpretations of important aspects of our Christian faith; in fact, there is not one doctrine upon which all Christians agree—I.e., there are multiple ideas about who Jesus was and whether he was divine; Protestants don’t even agree on what is necessary for salvation. I eventually became so concerned about this confusion, that I resigned from the pastorate—if I could not be certain that what I was teaching was true, then I had no right to be in the pulpit.
I assumed the problem was me, not the Bible or Protestantism. I did not want to mislead anyone who might be trusting me to lead them into truth. Soon after this, I became reacquainted with a former seminary classmate, who had become Catholic: Scott Hahn. He drew my attention to a verse I never remembered seeing before: 1 Tim 3:14,15. I had always assumed the pillar and foundation of truth was the Bible; this verse said it was the Church! This began our journey home, which took several years of studying and comparing the teachings of the Church. With great joy, feeling like we were finally coming home, Marilyn and I entered the Church in December 1992.
PETE: You have heard a number of conversion stories on both your EWTN show The Journey Home and your two volume set Journeys Home published by the Coming Home Network. Are there any particular conversion stories of all these that have jumped out at you? Any surprise conversions you never thought would have happened?
MARCUS GRODI:This has always been a difficult question to answer, because I truly am always amazed how the Holy Spirit has opened often very closed and hard hearts to the beauty of the Catholic faith. Sometimes the most surprising are the simplest, most subtle. And after hearing or reading nearly a thousand stories, I have to insist there are no “silver billets”, no sure roads or methods to conversion. The Holy Spirit has used as many ways as there are different people. If anything the most common thread is that conversions mostly come through relationships and prayer.PETE: As a convert myself, I always find the conversion stories of others fascinating. How do you think sharing one’s conversion story can help the Church body as a whole?
MARCUS GRODI:The primary reason Mother Angelica asked me to host the Journey Home program was because she had received many letters from Catholics whose children and siblings had left the Church. She felt if they could hear conversion stories it would give them hope that their children and sibling, too, might one day come home—so never stop loving and praying for them. Over the years I also heard from many Catholics who say the stories help them appreciate this great faith they too often have taken for granted. Conversion stories also give people a clue into how the Spirit works, and maybe ideas on how to reach out to those outside the Church.
PETE: For those unfamiliar can you give readers a little insight into the work of the Coming Home Network?
MARCUS GRODI:We started in 1993 as a fellowship of converts helping other non-Catholics discover the beauty and truth of the Church. For clergy, conversion can cause great disruption in their lives, as they have to rethink their vocations and how they will sport their families; conversion also sometimes causes conflict and division in marriages and families. The CHNetwork exists to help these inquirers discern what God is now calling them to do, not by pushing, prodding, or pulling them into the Church, but by standing beside them, for as long as it takes to help them find their place in the Church. We also use all forms of media to proclaim the truth of the Catholic faith specifically to our non-Catholic separated brethren.
PETE: Will CHN have any more Journeys Home volumes? Are there any other projects you have in the works you would like to share?
MARCUS GRODI:We have a new book coming out with the tentative title, Is The Bible Alone Truly Sufficient? I also have a book coming out this fall from Ignatius Press entitled, Life From Our Land. But most of our continual most important resources are our monthly newsletter, which always includes a conversion story, and our expanding website.
PETE: Time for my signature ending question. This is a blog about books. What books are currently on your bookshelf to read?
MARCUS GRODI:Finishing a very fine book, The Unintended Reformation, by Brad Gregory. Enjoying, Scratching the Woodchuck, by David Kline, about nature on an Amish farm. Always enjoy anything by PG Wodehouse, and am planning to re-read Pope Francis’ new encyclical much more slowly.
You can learn more about Marcus Grodi and his work by visiting The Coming Home Network International at chnetwork.org