April 28, 2022 marked 15 years since I returned to the Catholic Church. Last week I published an essay reflecting on my journey. It appeared in Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal. Here’s how it begins:
The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things.
In summer 2021, when I realized that on April 28, 2022 it would be exactly fifteen years since I had returned to the Catholic Church, I began ruminating about the Evangelical world from which I had departed and what it was that ultimately carried me back across the Tiber. Because I am a philosophy professor—someone who traffics in concepts, ideas, and arguments, and gets paid to do it—you would think my reversion was purely a matter of the intellect, that my choosing to return to full communion with the Church was the result of a detached rational consideration of the contending arguments offered by competing Christian groups. Although a decade ago I would have agreed with that account, or at least been highly sympathetic to it, I am not too sure about it anymore.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in November 1960, I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools from the first through twelfth grades, and received the sacraments of Baptism, Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation all before the age of thirteen. And yet, soon after my Confirmation, I found myself drawn to what seemed like the greener pastures of Evangelical Christianity. It was by way of a place called Maranatha House, a small Jesus People church in downtown Las Vegas, the city in which I was raised. (My family had moved to Vegas in January 1967 when my father took a job as an accountant to work for his brother-in-law, the renowned poker player and sports book-maker, Fiore “Jimmy” Casella).
You can read the whole thing here.