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Larry Fleury

I’m a 29-year-old male who grew up without much of any religion in my household. I did have a vague faith. I attended my friend’s church on occasion and went to a Presbyterian church sometimes during college.

But while in college, friends of mine also introduced me to writers like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other atheists. I enjoyed their rhetoric and arguments, but at the same time, I felt like there were questions that weren’t answered, an itch that I couldn’t scratch. Years later, I was invited to a men’s group at the local Catholic church in Wichita, KS. I only went a couple of times due to scheduling issues, but I really enjoyed it. They put me on their email list and would occasionally send an email with a video attachment. One of them was Bishop Barron’s. It was his video on love and marriage, and I was really impressed and intrigued by what I heard. I ended up binge watching all of his videos available on YouTube.

That was the beginning of a journey. I started diving into books by St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as other theologians and philosophers, and I would read and watch anything about the Catholic Church— all during my free time after work and before bed. I even started having dreams where people would speak in Latin or I was talking with saints! I started reading Thomas Merton who I felt talked and breathed his early life in the same manner I had.

After all of this studying in secret, I attended a Catholic wedding and told the priest I was interested in joining the Church. He told me to attend these classes (RCIA) where you learn about the creeds, prayers, and sacraments before confirmation could take place. So I signed up, and I’m currently going through the process. I feel more connected, logically and emotionally, than I ever have my whole life.

I just wanted to say thank you! You were the initial Catholic voice that grabbed my attention. You speak simply, yet not simplistically. I always feel the Holy Spirit’s breath when you speak. Keep speaking, keep evangelizing, and I hope our paths may cross someday!

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