One of the greatest commonalities I find among families is that all of us have at least one person who has left the Catholic faith. For those of us with teen or adult children who have left, it is often very painful and confusing. Especially when it is one child that has left, while the others in the family have stayed. Sometimes it is a brother or parent who has left. Other times we have friends who we love dearly but have no faith in God or are of the “spiritual but not religious category” so many claim today. We want to reach these people, but we don’t know what to say.
Enter Brandon Vogt’s new book, “Why I am Catholic (and You Should Be Too),” from Ave Maria Press. You may be familiar with Brandon Vogt, from various videos he’s made, past books, or know that he works for Bishop Robert Barron. This is the first book of his I’ve read, and I enjoyed it very much. First, he is honest and open about his own conversion to Catholicism. Secondly, its tone is conversational, not heavy-handed, as he lays out our faith. He doesn’t skirt around the tough topics people are at odds with the Church about. And he lets readers know where to find more information about those topics, since he can’t cover them all fully himself. Lastly, he doesn’t rely solely on his feelings and opinions but quotes the great thinkers of our faith in a way that is accessible.
I highlighted many passages, but I think this is my favorite:
Maybe in a strange and confused world, the Catholic Church looks so backward because everyone else is facing the wrong direction.
Because really, deep in my soul, there are many times when I want to say to many people, “It’s not us; it’s you that is wrong about marriage, birth control, the death penalty, abortion, women priests, and on and on.” I don’t go around saying that because it’s not the right way, but Brandon’s book, politely and firmly, using truth, beauty, goodness, and facts points out why you should be Catholic, too.
Remember, this book is not meant for a Catholic firmly planted in the Church, so don’t read it that way. You will learn from this book, though, and you can use what you learn to draw others to the faith. I will be buying a few copies to give to people who are questioning, who wonder if the Church is for them, who have wandered off. I can also use some of Brandon’s examples when I talk to people. I encourage you to read this book and help yourself in your evangelization efforts!
©Deanna Bartalini, 2017