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.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Catholic Roots and Saint Therese

My mom who passed away 6 years ago this November was born into a Catholic family with a long history of Catholicism from French Canada. On their honeymoon, my parents went to the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec City . At least early on in their lives, their faith was important enough to include a shrine hop on their honeymoon. How many of us evangelicals spent our honeymoons in church or places of devotion? (Well, we didn't believe in shrines and stuff, but frankly, I wasn't trying to find the most on-fire churches during my honeymoon, nor do I recall even attempting to go to church during my honeymoon, but I digress)

In trying to find out more about my Catholic heritage, I recently re-connected to my mom's youngest sister. It turns out she has been a devout Catholic her whole life and was excited to hear about our return to the Church. She told me that my step-grandfather, who once was a religious brother had a devotion to St. Therese and gave her an old statue of St Therese of Lisieux. She asked me if I wanted it and I was thrilled to say yes, since Prodigal Daughter is particularly devoted to The Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux. As a matter of fact, some of PD's first toe dippings in the Tiber 10 years ago were through the writings of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Yesterday I received a package from my aunt and, lo and behold, there was the statue. What a great surprise since we talked about it a year ago and I thought she had forgot!
So I have a 1924 vintage statue of St Therese that has been a part of my spiritual heritage for all these years and we didn't know it. God is kind and merciful to give us these little blessings in our life. Thanks too St. Therese for your intercession, and Mom and Dad and all those unnamed saints who continue to intercede for us.

PS. The statue is now displayed on our hearth, but we don't worship it or pray to it. When we look at it, we think of St. Therese and her "little way" and we ask her intercession that we too would live a life clinging to Jesus. It also reminds me of my Catholic roots and I am thankful to have been once again reconnected to my spiritual heritage.


Blogger Kindred Spirit said...

What a beautiful statue! The Little Flower is one of my favorites, too. There is a wonderful book called "I Believe in Love" by Fr. Jean d'Elbee based upon the writings of Saint Therese; I highly recommend it. Saint Therese, pray for us.

December 19, 2009 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Owen said...

That's really wonderful Russ. I'm reading a book about her and Maurice Belliere by Bishop Ahern called Maurice & Therese The Story of Love which shed's much light on the the core of her theology and her final days on earth.

December 19, 2009 6:42 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I thought you'd like my northern roots :)
God bless you!

December 19, 2009 6:44 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

BTW, my wife just read a book by Fr. Longecker( Anglican to Catholic convert) called St Therese and St Benedict, The Little Rule and the Little Way. I'm just starting to scratch the surface of the Little Way

December 19, 2009 6:47 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholic said...

What a beautiful, tender witness of our Lord's bountiful, magnanimous mercy to provide such a gift to you and PD. I read Maurice & Therese, too, O. and she's a 'special friend' to me, also. I believe she's special to countless souls, stumbling on their way toward sainthood...and finding that "little way" to be "lifted" from time to time to the Heart of Jesus.

Mary Christ Mass, TJ!

December 20, 2009 6:51 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

To You too Susie!

December 20, 2009 10:17 AM  
Blogger George Weis said...

TJ, that is really wonderful! Just beautiful... is it a chalk statue? I love the coloration. God really is gracious isn't He? LITTLE surprises for the ones He loves.

Now, don't be praying to that statue too much ;)

Love ya Russ,

P.S. You might like this one sight I came across with antique Catholic Items...

December 20, 2009 8:33 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

George; it's some type of plaster, perhaps chalk?, but it's pretty hard.
How can you tell if its chalk?

December 20, 2009 9:56 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...


I'm not sure if I know how to figure that out... but at a glance, that is what it looks like. Check that site out, and you will see that alot of those come from France and are made of chalk... pretty cool!


December 21, 2009 12:01 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

Small world, Fr Longenecker & I were at each other's houses over the past week for Christmas, and to celebrate his ordination anniversary. He was ordained in our parish church.

"The statue is now displayed on our hearth, but we don't worship it or pray to it."
You're probably worshiping it but aren't aware!

December 21, 2009 9:32 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Very cool Kkol! You are blessed to have him as a priest and friend.
Deborah met him at a retreat In NC in the spring.
Ask him if he ever got my CD Way to Emmaus.

BTW Could you send me your home address at this address dobrodoc1 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Yeah, You are right, I probably am worshiping and just don't realize it :)

December 21, 2009 9:53 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

Beaupre is the #1 reason I want to revisit Canada....maybe wife & I should do a second honeymoon there.

December 21, 2009 2:42 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

I hope Tim sees this and remembers our mother, Therese, a devout Catholic. Maybe this is a sign?

December 28, 2009 2:40 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Nice to hear from you Jacob. I have a distinct sense that my departed mother prayed me back to the Church.
Best wishes for the New Year!

December 28, 2009 7:51 AM  

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