Q. What was your motivation for writing this book?
A. I can’t count the number of time someone has asked me to recommend a book to give to a Catholic family member or friend who has left the Faith or to a non-Catholic who has questions about the Faith. When I discovered that there was no book written to address this group of people, I set out to write one.
Q. Who’s this book designed for? Who’s your “target audience?”
A. The target audience is actually non-Catholics (or non-practicing Catholics), so the book is written in an inviting, simple style that explains what we believe and why we believe it. However, Catholics will benefit from reading this book by seeing different ways to share the Faith and answer objections to it.
Q. What do you recommend as a good way to present this book to someone that will get them to read it?
A. I would buy two copies and give one to a friend. You could tell him you think the book is really interesting and you would enjoy discussing even just a single chapter with him. Don’t pitch this as a book to convert him but rather as something to help him learn more about your faith and why it’s important to you.
Q. Did you learn anything about your own faith while you were writing this book?
A. I really enjoyed researching the stories about the saints I included in the book. While many I knew, I was able to go more deeply into the details, such as the story of St. Damien of Molokai who heroically served lepers in Hawaii. One story I wasn’t familiar with was that of Fr. Thomas Byle, who stayed aboard the sinking the Titanic and gave his life to hear as many confessions as he could.
Q. You touch upon twenty-five different things that Catholics believe in your book. Which of these do you think is the most difficult for a non-Catholic or ex-Catholic to accept?
A. Probably moral issues like contraception or homosexuality. These touch upon the most intimate parts of our identity. and it’s easy for us to reject arguments that run contrary to such strong desires. It reminds me of Jesus’ teaching, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21).
Q. Which Catholic teaching do you think is the easiest for a non-Catholic or ex-Catholic to accept? Would it be a good jumping off point for dialogue?
A. One teaching that can be helpful to start with is the Church’s opposition to moral relativism. In an age where almost everything must be tolerated, the Church’s clear opposition to evils (such as rape, sex trafficking, genocide) and her willingness to call such acts objectively evil, can be attractive to many people who just want the plain truth. From there you can discuss what morality is and how the ultimate standard of morality can be found in God and how the Church helps us come to know this standard of truth.
Q. Why are you Catholic?
A. I am Catholic because God gave me grace to accept the revelation of his Son, Jesus Christ, and his plan to unite his children in the Catholic Church. Through this grace I came to see that the testimony of Scripture and the early Christians supports the claim that the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church of Christ is the Catholic Church.
Q. Everyone loves a good story, especially one that results in a soul being transformed. The thing I like about this book is the way you weave real-life situations together with teaching points. Did you write it this way for a reason, or is that just the way the thoughts came to you?
A. I wanted to make sure stories would be a part of this book. An argument might go over some people’s heads, but a good story can help them see a truth clearly. I included not just aspects of my conversion story but also stories about saints that will help people see that Catholicism isn’t just true, it is good and beautiful as well.