Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why Don't We See Stuff Like This?

The Prodigal Daughter and I went to early Mass this AM and had a little extra time on our hands on this rainy Lord's Day. We spent some time chatting about the Church and evangelism and came up with the idea of establishing a Catholic Information Center to provide free information about the Church. It would be a "safe" non-threatening environment for seekers to come in and "get a little shelter from the storm." People who have an interest in Catholicism but would not go to a Church (particularly those with insensophobia) could feel free to come in for some information, non-threatening discussion and hopefully answers to their questions. Think "Catholic Science Reading Room" and you get the picture. We are considering this because our diocese is not necessarily a "hot bed" of the Catholic revival yet. (I'm not complaining, we do have some excellent parishes and priests, mine included) But, sadly our diocese has some of the lowest numbers of new converts entering the Church in the US based on Crisis Magazine's research recently published. The idea would be that if a person expresses more interest, we direct them to their local parish RCIA program .

As PD and I discussed this, the idea of finding a location, paying rent and attempting to get 501(c)(3) status, etc became overwhelming. Then suddenly she remembered the festival I played at where our local Baptist Church set up a booth. Holy St. Francis!~! What if we purchased a small ice cream truck or RV and loaded it with books, apologetic tracts, free rosary beads, prayer cards, teaching CD's etc? We could travel to fairs, festivals, Walmart parking lots, parks, campgrounds and provide information to anyone interested. Maybe, I could play a little hammer dulcimer while PD shares the Good News. A modern-day Catholic version of a Travelin' Medicine Minstrel Show offering the "Medicine of Life." No snake oil here folks, just the Truth!
Yeah, we are going to pray about it a bit before we go RV shopping and sell our house.

19 Comments:

Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

If you were to do this, I would promptly stalk you and grab as many books on Catholic theology that I could get my greedy little hands on. I've been wanting to read Steve Ray's Upon This Rock and Scott Hahn's Reasons to Believe and The Lamb's Supper.

August 19, 2007 4:18 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Whoooaaaa, Tiber. Don't forget you're Catholic now! You were already thinking of location, rent, 501 C status, the color of the drapes, etc.

The first thing you should think of us getting permission from your local ordinary. He may like the idea or he may not. You have to obey what he says. He and your priests would also be the best sources for advice.

Sorry, I hope I didn't rain on your parade. I haven't been very popular on some other Catholic (convert) blogs because of apprehensiveness to Protestant-like evangelization.

August 19, 2007 4:20 PM  
Blogger tara said...

This is so funny! What a great picture--and this is a very good idea--any way to give information to others--great. I often think of distrubuting Catholic tracts in our neighborhood--hmmm.

August 19, 2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

Holy BROTHER LOVE! Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies! And tell Neil Diamond to belt it out again only with Catholic lyrics. : )

AND when you do (okay, must speak "Catholic" IF you do get the blessing and permission) make sure OMAHA is in the list of "places to go" and we'll get you on KVSS for live radio updates on the pilgrims progress.

susie

August 19, 2007 6:00 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

PA:
I'd trade you those books for a tuning on just 26 keys of my piano, but I don't think it would be worth the cost of the gas for the trip!

August 19, 2007 6:05 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Hey Joe, yes You are right, we definitely could/would not proceed without approval of the diocese. "Where the bishop is, there is the Church."

But, if St. Francis de Sales had a Winnebago, just think.....:)

August 19, 2007 6:13 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Tara; Thanks so much.
We should always be ready to give an account of the hope that is in us.
I printed up a little three fold testimony of my conversion to distribute at a local Fair last year.
We had a few interesting conversations. I keep meaning to keep some in my car.
Maybe I'll post it as a blog entry sometime .

August 19, 2007 6:18 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie, we will have tunes blastin' from the speaker system like the cheesy carnival music on the ice cream trucks. Can you imagine when the neighborhood hears Ave Maria playing?

"Quick, Dorothy, get the kids in the house, it's the Vatican Van!"

August 19, 2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Besides, why should the JW's have all the fun?

August 19, 2007 6:24 PM  
Blogger omniscientthefirst said...

TJ,

Sign me up to drive!! I'd even be willing to donate some of my bumper stickers that I have on my car including the "Have you hugged a priest today?" "I love my German Shepherd: Benedict XVI" and "I'd rather be roasting heretics!"

I have a copy of JP2 singing the Our Father in Latin if you'd like to play that after Ave Maria! Haha!

August 19, 2007 6:40 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Uh oh... scary, creepy carnival music, conjuring up images of...well, I won't go there.

Don't forget "Vatican Van Vespers" at dawn and dusk.

You know, seriously, that idea would be wonderful for traveling to these smaller rural parishes where the faith is running cold and kids are being proselytized by other denominations. One priest we know is losing kids (then parents) because the school bus driver is the Assembly of God minister who's busy drawing the kids to his church.

Now Father's parish has dwindled from the struggling 20 or so families and barely keeping afloat. But this VAN IDEA??? TJ...it's brilliant! Some could start it up in our respective cities, towns states and then have a big VATICAN VAN PALOOZA each year before the RCIA's start up, and Louis Palau could get some KICKIN' competition.... just thinkin' sayin' dreamin'

August 19, 2007 7:48 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Vatican van palooza! There ya go!

August 19, 2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

I would only accept hard cover copies, you know. Besides that, if you ever gave me a real invitation to your house, I'd tune your piano for free for a chance to jam with you!

Now, as far as Vatican Vanpalooza goes, I can only picture Monty Python driving through neighbourhoods with tinkling ice cream music and shouting "Psychiatrist! Psychiatrist!"

August 19, 2007 11:47 PM  
Blogger MMajor Fan said...

I'm intruigued and somewhat speechless thinking of the possibilities!

August 20, 2007 12:41 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

What a great idea! I love this. The anti-Chick.
This is very needed. I run into misinformation about the Catholic Church OFTEN.
I have heard a story similar to the Assembly of God minister. I heard from someone who lives in our area, where there are a lot of Mexican immigrants, that a Baptist church in his town rounds up Mexican children and buses them to that church, and then they are fed pizza, etc., all before the parents know what is going on.

August 20, 2007 8:40 AM  
Blogger japhy said...

Just think! You might travel around with the Bishop of Tiber Jumper's RV (a titular see, of course).

You might even acquire an Apostolic Nuncio!

All kidding aside, there does need to be a better effort made to evangelize (both within and without the Church).

August 20, 2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes, Japhy, the opportunities for evangelism are endless! Can you imagine the impact if Catholics went out two-by two the way others do!

Bishop of Tiberia, I don't know 'bout that one :)

August 20, 2007 3:21 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

PA:
Hard covers only? What do you think I am a doctor or something?

August 20, 2007 3:31 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

yeah Julie, pizza seems to be the universal grease for the wheel of evangelism .

Drug companies did it with us doctors:
"Here's a couple pizzas for your office for lunch, by the way please remember Zocor to lower your patient's cholesterol."

August 20, 2007 3:34 PM  

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