September is 2012’s Catholic Speaker Month which you can read all about over at Brandon Vogt’s blog. The list of Catholic speakers has been narrowed down to the top 100 and my dear father, Marcus Grodi, has made the cut.
I have volunteered to supply his speaker profile for the month so read on and be sure to support and appreciate ALL the great leaders and communicators who spread the good news of our faith.
Marcus Grodi was raised Lutheran, had a Christian re-awakening in college (after, among many things, studying the biology of the human eye) and went on to seminary to become a Presbyterian minister. As time went on, seeing the myriad of conflicting opinions and scriptural interpretations in the Protestant world, he began to have doubts about his authority to preach the gospel. He began to pray and study. Through a chance encounter with his former-seminary-friend-turned-Catholic Scott Hahn, reading the Early Church Fathers, discovering scriptures he had never seen before, getting pooped on by a sparrow in response to requesting guidance from heaven, and after much candid prayer and discernment he eventually left his pastorship and entered the Catholic Church. (Click here for a longer version of Marcus Grodi’s conversion story)
Marcus is best known for hosting EWTN’s weekly television program The Journey Home for 15 years running, during which he has interviewed converts to the Catholic Church from all denominations and walks of life. In addition, his radio program Deep in Scripture explores many of the scriptures Marcus and other converts just never “saw” before their conversion.
Marcus is the founder and president of the Coming Home Network International, a Catholic non-profit organization that offers fellowship, education, and advocacy to men and women on the journey to the Catholic Church. The Coming Home Network International especially focuses on standing beside clergy converts and those on the journey, like Marcus himself and Dr. Scott Hahn, individuals who risk career, friends, and family to seek the fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church.
Marcus edited a book of conversion stories entitled Journeys Home as well as a recent collection of his conversion-related articles in the book Thoughts for the Journey Home. In order that his father, an avid reader of fiction, could better understand his conversion to the Catholic Church, Marcus penned two fictional works – How Firm a Foundation and the recently released sequel Pillar and Bulwark. These novels chronicle the struggles of a protestant minister, his family, and those around him as he wrestles with issues of his authority to preach, the interpretation of scripture, and his growing sympathies for the ancient Catholic faith.
His most recent work is a smaller book entitled What Must I Do to be Saved? in which he addresses the “Jesus and me” individualism of modern Christianity. The book powerfully walks the reader through the continuity between Old Testament Judaism and New Testament Christianity showing that being part of the family – the “body”, the Church! – has always been a integral part of one’s cooperation with God’s salvific plan.
To put on the “son” hat again for a moment, my life and the lives of my mother and brothers have been blessed immensely both by Marcus’ courage and humility in bringing us home to the Catholic Church but also in all of the wonderful work he has done for the Church since. A hallmark of Marcus’ speaking, hosting, and writing is that he communicates from a pastor’s heart that dearly and clearly loves Our Lord Jesus Christ. That same pastor’s heart and love for Christ has made him a wonderful and inspiring father.