Roads to Rome

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480 pages, 6"x9", Preface, foreword, introduction, notes, bibliography, appendixes

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Roads to Rome

A Guide to Notable Converts from Britain and Ireland from the Reformation to the Present Day

Beaumont, John

To be a Christian is to be a convert. The word “convert” applies in a real sense both to cradle-born Catholics and to those, traditionally regarded as converts, who become Catholics as adults. The Catholic Church is the divinely established framework of the program of a conversion, which Christ presented as a thorough change of mind and heart (metanoia). While for a cradle-born Catholic the implementation of that program is usually a gradual process, for converts it contains a momentous act as they vote, so to speak, with their feet, on behalf of Truth, by joining the Church as the One True Fold, the Sole Ark of Salvation, to recall hallowed phrases dear to John Henry Newman, easily the greatest convert during the nineteenth century.

The aim of this book is to summarize the lives of notable converts from Britain and Ireland and explain (by reference to quotations from their writings) why they entered the Catholic Church. These reasons were many. Some looked chiefly at history and saw the apostolic Church in their day to be residing in the Catholic communion. Others, though appreciating the fact of the gift of faith, saw reason as the chief support of the step they were taking. To yet others it was the endurance of both the Church and that remarkable office of the papacy that proved the necessary stimulus. Many were inspired by the witness of some unsung saint in their neighbourhood. Some were eminent even before their “move to Rome,” others almost completely unknown. Some found fame on their conversion, others suffered greatly for their zeal for the one true fold of Christ. Some came into the Church relatively early in life, others entered at the final hour, even while on their death bed.

Taken altogether these accounts provide a profound and moving witness to the operation of divine grace in human souls.

Marcus Grodi is host of EWTN’s The Journey Home, president of the Coming Home Network International. Joseph Pearce is editor of the Saint Austin Review (see p. 6 of this catalogue) and author of many books.