Monday, February 18, 2008

Is It 2009 Yet?

With plans for the 2008 Real Catholic Men Conference in high gear, I am already planning for 2009.  

Why?  Well, because the best speakers in the world get booked very far in advance.  And if I want to make the RCM conference a "must-see" event, I need to get the best.

To that end, I have confirmed my first speaker for the 2009 conference.

Father Donald Calloway was introduced to me by my spiritual father, Steve Abrams.  I listened to Fr. Calloway's conversion story and his understanding of the message of the Gospel and was blown away.  Recently, I saw a DVD of an appearance he did in Spokane, Washington.  His insight to Mary's role in our salvation made my jaw drop.  I knew I had to get in contact with him.

One simple e-mail later, we were planning for a 2009 appearance.  You will not want to miss this.  Mark your calendars now for June 20th, 2009.

Below is a short biography I got off a website which gives you a brief example of what you can expect.

No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

What does it take to transform a die-hard agnostic into a fervent apostle of Christ? How does God's grace literally transform hearts - one step at a time? In this amazing new conversion testimony , you'll literally be on the edge of your seat as a former "Deadhead" and drug-addict candidly shares how he was unexpectedly led to the Roman Catholic Church and eventually into a Roman collar as an ordained priest. An incredible odyssey of faith, Fr. Donald Calloway's radical conversion can be compared to that of a modern St. Augustine as chronicled in his famous Confessions.

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

The son of self-proclaimed "hillbillies" from the back woods of West Virginia, Donald Calloway was raised without any religion or a father figure to model. Finally baptized as a Protestant at the age of ten, he never received any formal Christian instruction. And when his family moved to California, he slipped into the "MTV lifestyle" - sex, drugs and rock music. This pagan rebellion intensified to total mayhem when his family relocated to Japan and he ran away from home.

Satisfaction of the senses became young Donald's rule of life that escalated to a life of crime. Constantly on the move to avoid arrest, he and his friends soon got connected with the Japanese Mafia. During this time of endless wanton wandering filled with wine, women and song, Donald's mother became Catholic and fervently prayed for her fifteen-year-old prodigal son to return home. Like a modern-day St. Monica, she trusted that God would touch his soul with the grace of repentance.

Embrace the Grace

After many failures at drug rehab, Donald sought solace as a Grateful Dead groupie even as God was miraculously moving his entire family to convert to Catholicism! Resisting any attempts to be evangelized and turning once again to petty robbery in order to survive, in 1992 this rebel without a cause reached a breaking point in his life. Fortunately, he discovered a book on Marian apparitions and devoured its powerful message of repentance. The Blessed Virgin Mary had literally stolen his heart and introduced spiritual concepts like heaven, hell, repentance and sin. There was no turning back!

Full of unexpected twists and turns, No Turning Back will inspire you to recognize and embrace the countless graces God grants in your own life. Part of a new generation of priests, Fr. Calloway's amazing story powerfully manifests Our Lord's infinite mercy and faithfulness. Order No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest today and share this inspiring and unforgettable journey with your lukewarm family members, fallen-away friends and any lost souls that need a powerful reminder of God's love and faithfulness.

Rev. Donald Calloway, M.I.C., is the assistant rector of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. As a convert to the Catholic Faith, Father Calloway left a rebellious life of wine, women and song to embrace God's saving truth. After studying at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., he was ordained to the sacred priesthood in 2003.

No comments: