In the coming into the Church Dr. Erik Peterson of the University of Bonn, Germany, said: "I am now forty years old. I have studied theology circumspectly for twenty years. My action (in embracing the Catholic faith) was prompted by my conscience that I might not be a castaway of God. Whoever judges me, let him know that I shall appeal against his judgment to the judgment seat of God."
Bishop Duane G. Hunt of Salt Lake, Utah diocese tells us why he came into the Church. "It was during a post-graduate course in a law school that I finally made up my mind that I must be and would be honest with myself, and that since logic led me unmistakably to the Catholic Church, I would follow. I could not be a mental coward, I came into the Catholic Church, therefore, because I could not stay out."
Augustine J. Roth, another illustrious convert, gives us his reasons. "The answer to the question, why I became a Catholic, can be summed up in a few words. I became a Catholic because, after an extensive investigation lasting years, I found the Catholic Church to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I became a Catholic for the same reason that nearly half a million souls became Catholics last year, for no man can know the true Church and feel content to remain outside her communion. I hated the Catholic Church so thoroughly that I would have abandoned the inquiry even though it meant staking my salvation and losing what little faith I had left. That I took the step later on is a proof for the mysterious working of God's grace in my life, which took me step by step through the emptiness of other churches and then bestowed upon me the greatest of all gifts, the gift of Faith."
Dr. Expedit Schmidt, a German scholar, has this to say of his conversion. "The logic of Catholic doctrine, if this expression is permitted, led me into the Catholic Church, just as the lack of logic drove me away from Protestantism. At the time of my conversion I was nineteen, and to this day I have not regretted for a single moment that I then followed the superior logic of Catholic dogma or, shall I say, the superior promptings of God's grace"
Says Hans Carl Wendlant, noted religious writer of Germany: "Next to the grace of God and the intercession of the Blessed Mother, I attribute my conversion to the recognition that Truth and Love have found their highest expression in the Catholic Church."
Professor Dr. Paul Kotaro Tanaka, Professor of Law at the Imperial University of Tokyo writes: I became a Catholic through God's grace eleven years ago. All I would say is God forcibly took hold of me, and I took hold of Him more and more.
Photo: Jesuit novices taking a break from working the vineyards of the Sacred Heart Novitiate.
Location: San Jose, California, 1953
Photgrapher: Margaret Bourke-White