Conversion stories are popular. They give Catholics a chance to look at the Church from a different viewpoint and they give Catholics a greater appreciation of other faith perspectives and the dynamics of conversion. There is a flip side for the Catholic apologist. More often than not, an apologist encounters fallen away Catholics who either lost their faith or join another church. One thing I always try to get a handle on is the mechanics that led to this change. What failures occurred within the Catholic community and what was the persons understanding of the Faith when they left? Usually, these failures fall into three catagories, (1) disengaged or nominal Catholic parents, (2) poor or no catechesis and evangelism, (3) the inability of some to provide an intellectually satisfying explanation as to why we believe what we believe (i.e. poor apologetics). There are others, but these seem to be the big three. That is why Im interested in conversion stories out of the Faith because they sometimes reveal areas that need attention.
One recent figure that has received a lot of headlines is Adam Gadahn, who is being sought in connection with possible terrorist threats against U.S.. Gadahn is an American who became a Muslim and his conversion to Islam is available at:
Although Gadahns connection with Catholics was extremely marginal, youll find these same three glaring failures. I believe his story only serves to underscores the need to continue Pope John Paul IIs call for the re-evangelization of the West along with the renewal in catechesis and apologetics.