⟲ Go back home
My name is Evan McGregor. I am 31 years old and the younger of two children. I grew up in family of different faiths. While my father was Protestant and my mother converted to Judaism when I was young, my mother was raised Catholic and had me baptized at the age of two.
Even though I was not raised in a devoutly Catholic household, my parents made sure that I went to Sunday Mass and CCD regularly. I was fascinated by the Mass and my faith from a very young age, but also confused by it. While in middle school, I became contentious during CCD. I felt that I either knew everything they were trying to teach or that it wasn’t worth knowing. I also had serious questions that I did not believe my teachers could answer. I didn’t understand the role of Mary or transubstantiation, and I took this lack of understanding as confirmation that these teachings didn’t make sense. To say that I lacked humility would be a kind understatement.
When it came time for me to be confirmed, I informed my mother that I could not affirm my belief in the Church and her teachings. My pride stood in the way of loving God. Through the first half of high school, I was in a state of faith foreclosure. I still believed in God, but it was an abstract faith at best. My prayer life became nearly non-existent, and during these years of adolescence I lost sight of my purpose in life. I started searching for something to fill the void and form my own purpose.
This wandering led me to join my school’s music program. Through music, I found a way to focus, and was finally a part of something bigger than myself. Playing in the school orchestra was almost a transcendent experience for me, and I knew, at that point, that I was not made for myself but to serve others; in that moment, I knew that God is truly real and loves me. I had a purpose at that point to try to give to at least one more person what I received through music, so I followed the path to be a music teacher. I started to actively search for that Truth I denied as a child but experienced in a significant way through music.
It was not too long into my career as a music teacher that for the first time I heard a musician who sounded like he was trying to tell me the truth. And that was Bob Dylan. He became a hero to me, and when I started to dig into what he was saying, I was led to a video by Bishop Barron explaining songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Rolling Stone” as expressing the liberating power of the Holy Spirit. Then I heard about Word on Fire’s CATHOLICISM series, and figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot.
CATHOLICISM started to show me the beauty of my abandoned faith. It not only answered so many of the questions that confounded me as a young teen, but also inspired me to ask all of the questions that I had been too proud to ask. I couldn’t avoid the Truth of our faith any more! For the first time in about 20 years, I went back to meet the Lord in the confessional. The grace of reconciliation flowed abundantly, and mere months later, on Pentecost, I was confirmed. Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire ministry helped me better understand the beauty of the Mass and how Christ is present in the Eucharist. They’ve helped me better know Mary as my mother and how she can bring me to deeper faith in Jesus. In a similar way, Word on Fire has also helped me see God in so many things. Whether it’s in the music of Bob Dylan or other media, Word on Fire has helped integrate all of my self-formed identity through my faith to knowledge that I am no more or less than a child of God. I have come from being a prideful kid who wanted to define his own purpose and self, to the person who is now seeking who God wants me to be. I’m happy to say that I’m now discerning the priesthood, and every day takes me one step closer to entering the seminary.
Word on Fire and Bishop Barron have helped me to see how the path God took me on cultivated certain gifts within me and how I can use those gifts to serve God dynamically through the priesthood. I actively stepped away from my faith because I just couldn’t see the beauty and truth of it. I’m so thankful for Word on Fire helping me to truly see what I once refused.
God willing, I will one day do for someone what Bishop Barron through the power of the Spirit has done for me.
“How many times can a man turn his head // And pretend that he just doesn’t see? // The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind // The answer is blowin’ in the wind.