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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Support Catholic Answers

When I was in the process of re-crossing the Tiber River ten years ago, there were a few extremely influential and helpful resources in my journey. The first was the movie, The Passion of the Christ. The second was the book Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray which exposed me to the writings of the Church fathers for the very first time. (Was I ever ticked to discover the early Christians actually believed Jesus was physically present in the Eucharist, and no one ever told me this in 31 years of Protestantism!)
   The next book I read was Karl Keating's seminal work Fundamentalism and Catholicism. It answered pretty much every question I had regarding the doctrines and practice of the Catholic faith.
I always keep a copy on hand to give away to someone interested in the faith. I have also referred to Karl Keating's organization, Catholic Answers for their excellent apologetics articles and videos at
   They are experiencing a serious financial shortfall this summer and I would ask you to pray about contributing to this great work that builds the Church of Jesus Christ.
Here's the link

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Reason # 978 To BE Catholic: The Church is Everywhere!

Everytime I go on vacation, which is not as often as I would like, my faith is encouraged when I find a nearby Catholic Church and the opportunity to worship. When I was not Catholic, we would usually skip services on Sunday. Why? We just figured we wouldn't find a church that had all our preferences in worship style, doctrine, preaching, etc. This past week we went to a rural part of New York State. We already had checked and knew there was a parish for Sunday worship about twenty minutes from our campsite. As we drove towards our destination, we noted a little sign on the road "Transfiguration Monastery." What a treat to discover a Benedictine monastery 10 minutes from where we were staying that had daily mass! Not only that, but the day we found this monastery on our vacation was the Feast of the Transfiguration, celebrated by the Universal Church! The cool thing about monasteries, even cloistered ones, is that they are usually open to having guests worship with them at mass and pray the Liturgy of the Hours. We were blessed to be able to continue our routine of daily mass, even on vacation in rural New York State! And that my friends, is yet another reason to be Catholic!

 PS: If you are looking for a quiet retreat about 20 minutes from Binghamton, NY, check out the sisters at the Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor, NY. They have guest houses for retreats and have a priest available for confessions and daily mass all the while enjoying the idyllic pastoral surroundings of rural New York.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Rich Mullins - Patron Saint of Dulcimer Players

Rich Mullins was a giant in the Contemporary Christian Music industry. He had written songs that had become anthems that are still sung in many evangelical churches. Sing Your Praise to The Lord and Awesome God, and Creed are some of the most well known. He went to be with the Lord as a result of a traffic accident on September 19, 1997.
   What is not as well-known is that Rich was on his way to conversion to Catholicism. One of his last albums was called "Liturgy, Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band." In his liner notes Rich explains that it is a concept album mirroring the liturgy; "Cuts 2-6 of this album loosely follow the pattern of a liturgy - a tool used for collective worship. In it there is proclamation, praise, confession of sin, affirmation of faith and celebration of grace." (cf. liner notes on LLRB album 1993).  After graduating from college  (again)with a BA in music education in 1995, he moved to a Navajo Indian reservation to teach children music. He attended daily mass while there.  One of his last works was a musical about the life of Saint Francis basing it in the Great Plains. (Canticle of the Plains)
   Three weeks before Rich died, he was staying with a family in Elgin, Illinois in preparation for a recording. The young man whose parents hosted Rich recently wrote to my wife telling us a little  about Rich's spirituality. The host mom said jokingly to Rich, "so are you going to worship Mary now?"
    Even though Rich was not officially received into the Church before died, his music and theology expressed during his concert chats was clearly Catholic. He believed in baptismal regeneration and did not believe we could be saved by faith alone. (Faith without works is like a screen door on a submarine, is one of his songs)  A priest is on record stating that Rich was going to be received into the Church on September 22nd, 1997. Check it out here.
    So can a non-Catholic be a saint? Yes, in the sense that we are all going to be saints if/when we get to heaven. Can Rich be the un-official patron saint of dulcimer players? I think so based on the Creed: "I believe in the communion of saints."  Rich prays for us, and I believe he, like others in heaven, is now perfected and righteous and his prayers "availeth much."  Here's a little tune in honor of the unofficial patron saint of hammer dulcimer players:


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Big Families: A Sign of Contradiction to the Culture.

I was at a dulcimer festival last weekend in upstate NY. It was an annual gathering of hammer dulcimer, mountain dulcimer and autoharp players. It was a series of workshops preceding a concert headlined by the 2010 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion, Ted Yoder.  He was talking to someone before the show and mentioned that he had seven children. The person was aghast, but Ted said "when I see a little baby, I want to have another!"  My wife added: "Mother Theresa said children are like flowers, you can never have too many of them."
   I was so thankful that this young man was open to life and was a sign to his generation. During his concert he joked and said people ask him if he is a Mormon or a Catholic when they find he has so many children. He tells them: "I'm a Mormon Catholic."
    After the show, I told Ted that he is more Catholic than many Catholics! He is a sign of contradiction to a generation that believes children are a burden and is showing us all that life can be full of joy because of being open to life.  By the way, you can support Ted by going to his web site and purchasing his amazing CD's and dulcimer stuff.  God bless Ted Yoder and his family.