The greatest thing that ever happened to me was becoming a Catholic. At the time of this writing in May 1998, I am a 48 year old man who was raised a Southern Baptist and then became a Holy Spirit filled Pentecostal after college in the early 1970's. Over time, on a personal level, I grew to feel that there was more available to me in the Christian experience than what I had. I found it all - all the missing pieces - and far more than I could have ever imagined or dared to dream - in the Roman Catholic Church.

Jesus Christ is still the one that I exclusively worship as a Catholic. This is obvious to any Catholic, but I am saying this because of the misconceptions that I had prior to my conversion, and I know that there are many who do not realize that Catholics *only* worship the Triune God. To do anything else as a Catholic is strictly forbidden and is considered a very grave sin, as it should be - since *only* God is worthy of worship.

The story of my conversion - from a bible thumping, hard-boiled Baptist/Pentecostal may be of interest to a few people so please allow me to outline it briefly. At my very heart I am a seeker of truth. In academics I labored long and hard and with some success, having been awarded a Masters in Mathematics as well as a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. For many years now I have been a professor of engineering in an Ivy League University, while simultaneously enjoying a very successful career as a research scientist in a very large US Navy laboratory, with many patents and articles under my belt.

I say this only to provide a background for what I wish to say next, which is my conversion testimony to the Catholic faith. I did not just casually stumble into a Catholic church one day and decide that I liked the service or the sanctuary and so I would become a Catholic. No way. When I told my dear wife that I was going to convert to the Catholic faith she was in total and absolute shock and said "Of all the things you could have told me, that is the *absolutely last* thing that I would have ever expected to hear from you. In fact, she said, I would have bet everything that you, of all the people I know, would *never* convert to being a Catholic!"

No doubt in making this assessment she was highly influenced by my ardent devotion and intensely informed past as a Protestant as well as my past track record of being a "mad-dog anti-Catholic" for a lack of a better description.

Well convert I did. She is still amazed - but now - with time and careful observation (as my wife and best friend) she is quite happy about it and has completely accepted it. Of course I see her changed attitude as being very constructive and I pray daily that she will eventually convert also.

Well then what got me to convert? It was a long road of study and prayer. It began with researching various topics of interest, such as abortion. While researching abortion I noticed a pattern emerge. It was consistently true that the best written articles that showed absolute consistency with scripture were written by Catholics - time and time again. But I was very hard boiled at the time and each time this would happen I thought "oh well, so they got one right - they are still *Catholics!* - anyone knows that they can't be right."

But after researching more and more topics like divorce and then the subject of sin. I eventually started coming to a slightly different conclusion that "well, it is all just a very clever deception - sure they have it right on a few issues - but no doubt that is just the devil throwing in some truth to hide the really bad stuff."

But privately I was beginning to panic. "OMY - what if these Catholics are *right!* and I have been wrong all this time??" But I would *never* have publicly admitted this fear to anyone - or even to myself. On the outside I was still a hard boiled Protestant. But privately at this point I began to *really* study the Catholic faith - and I mean scientificly. I took it apart - totally - and examined it in excruciating detail - but as I did this to my absolute horror I could find no fatal flaw anywhere. Believe me I was searching for that fatal flaw!!

This whole process took a long time and was accompanied by intense prayer.

But as I said before - I am a seeker of truth. I would not let go of this pursuit until I had the answer - and I was determined to see it through until that answer was absolutely clear in my mind and spirit. One day as I pursued this matter with fervent study and prayer I was challenged by a prompting in my spirit - which was very clear - almost audible - "Are you really seeking the truth?" Startled by this, I replied as best I could, "Yes to the best of my ability." There was a clear response "If you become convinced that the Catholic faith is from God will you then convert to being a Catholic?" ...OMY what persoanl agony that question caused me!!... actually trembling I responded "I will need help - and much courage to do so - but yes I am willing. As long as it is the absolute truth."

Now in retrospect, from point on, my sense of 'this is true - and from God' grew by leaps and bounds. It was still a while before I actually converted - and I actively prayed and studied the whole time. Truthfully, I was looking for the slightest flaw as an excuse not to convert. I dragged out the process - just sure that the flaw would make itself known.

But there was no flaw.

So I converted.

Today I am an ardent Catholic. I go to Mass almost every day and when possible will go twice a day. I pray (at least) fifteen decades of the Rosary every day, as well as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and other devotions. The point being - certainly not to brag - but to say that I don't do things half way. For me the issue is eternally settled. I am 100% Catholic. I finally came home to my true home of faith in the Catholic Church - and I am grateful to God every single day of my life for my new life as a Catholic believer. I have never been so happy and satisfied with my life, not even close.

Looking back at the years I spent as a Protestant, I thank God for all the study of holy scripture that I had done as a Protestant because this detailed knowledge of the Bible helps me truly appreciate the depth and richness of my precious Catholic faith.

May God richly bless you for reading my testimony and may He give your soul many graces to assist you in your faith journey.

Richard Hubbell

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