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, September 22, 2012

National Catholic Bioethics Center Conference

I spent the past two days at a bio-ethics conference in Philadelphia. I am in the process of getting a Certification in Medical Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. It was great learning how to apply the teachings of the Church to situations regarding end of life care, stem cell research, abortion, contraception, sexual assault, rape, Plan B pill, etc.  As a Christian physician before my conversion to Catholicism, I often had to "fly by the seat of my pants" regarding medical ethics because of the limited assistance that can be had from attempting to obtain all your guidance from the Bible alone.  I would not have ever considered reading anything that was remotely Catholic up until 8 years ago. Thus I deprived myself of the great benefit of the Church's teachings regarding medical ethics in real-world clinical scenarios in which I found myself on a regular basis.
   But the best part was meeting some great Catholic folks.  I met   people from around the country who wanted to learn more about the Church ethics teachings and bring them back home to their jobs and parishes. I also had the opportunity to chat with many religious sisters, and some real Carmelites in full habits carrying those awesome huge rosaries on their side that look like lassos! The sweet sisters without habits were lovely as well, but there's something about a nun in a habit that can move this Catholic guy to tears. They all love the Lord, the Church and her teachings!
     The best surprise was finding out that a quiet priest I was sitting near was Father Paul Schenck, Jewish Convert to Methodist to Assembly of God pastor to Episcopal priest to Catholic priest! I saw his story on EWTN's Journey Home several years ago which is where I first heard of him. He founded the National Pro-Life Action Center (NPLAC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and remains its chairman. He now is the head of the pro- life Office in the Diocese of Harrisburg PA, and is married with 8 children. He has a twin brother who is an evangelical pastor and pro life leader/activist and evangelist as well. Father Paul Schenck and his brother Robert are my age (53), born in Jersey as I was, and had their born-again conversions around the same time my brother and I had as well. (1973)
   We had a great time of fellowship and we will be praying for each other and our families. Catholicism makes the world so small!
Check out Father Paul's testimony here (before he was ordained as a priest)


Anonymous Renee Lin said...

My Baptist sister is caring for our mother (who has dementia). She will frequently call me with questions related to medical ethics as she attempts to care for our mother in the best possible fashion. You are right, Russ - using the Bible alone on this issue really leaves you out to sea. Perhaps you could consider posting some of what you have learned from your studies. There are so many of us out there who want to do right by our elderly parents, but are having trouble determining what "right" actually is....

September 23, 2012 9:00 AM  

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