The Deacon's Bench

“I don’t know that I wanted to become a Catholic so much as I became a
Catholic. I don’t know that it was volitional in that sense. Having
gone to the basilica (The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
in Washington) with my wife, who sings in the choir there, for about a
decade, I think it gradually grew on me. And when Pope Benedict came to
the basilica for vespers with the bishops, and my wife and the choir
were singing, and I was allowed to come as a spouse — I had been
talking with Monsignor Rossi, who is the rector of the basilica, for
about five years, just about faith, and secularism, the challenges we
have in the modern world with our civilization, and that afternoon
seeing Pope Benedict XVI fairly close up, and both really believing in
his central theme of ‘Christ Our Hope,’ and seeing the joy in his eyes,
fundamentally different than the news media portrait of a severe German
intellectual, something in me just was triggered. And I said to
Monsignor Rossi that night that I wanted to convert. And we spent the
following six or eight months studying with Monsignor Rossi, and it was
more a process of becoming more and more comfortable that this was —
this is — the place that I belong, and the taking of the Eucharist is
the experience that enriches my life.”

Newt Gingrich, explaining his conversion to the Boston Globe’s Michael Paulson.
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