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Reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church at age 33, Susan is a wife and mother of six. She began a job as a lifeguard as a teenager and as an advocate for her autistic adult son, knows that treading water and swimming is an eternal job. Her hobbies include tending to living things like plants, pets, and a Granny. Mary, our Blessed Mother, is her heroine.
Joshua Baldwin is a full-time aerospace software engineer and a convert to the Catholic Church, having first received the sacraments at Easter 2015. Joshua comes from a Baptist background, and in his final semester of college he discovered, much to his surprise, that the the truth, beauty, fullness of the Christian faith was found in the Catholic Church--one of the last places he expected. Joshua volunteers regularly in a variety of capacities and serves actively at the All Saints Catholic Newman Center, the parish where he first discovered the fullness of the faith.
Joshua recently completed a bachelor of science degree in computer science in ASU's Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering. While in college, Joshua actively served the pro-life movement through ASU Students for Life by promoting outreach through innovative uses of web and social media, helping to propel ASU Students for Life to receive the top Group of the Year Award at the 2015 Students for Life of America West Coast Conference. His patron saint is Saint John Paul II.
Joshua has long been passionate about serving where God has called him to serve and lead in the Church. For years, he taught and led Sunday School and AWANA groups and actively participated in a wide variety of Bible studies. While attending community college, Joshua actively promoted and led Christian Challenge, a group dedicated to knowing God and making him known on the campus he attended.
Joshua is looking forward to seeing where God is leading him as he lives out his Christian faith in its fullness as a Catholic. Joshua is passionate about teaching the Christian faith and about mastering apologetics, which he has frequently used as a platform to come alongside those who most need to experience the grace of Christ in their lives, and is looking forward to deepening that platform by serving as an RCIA assistant. Joshua also enjoys and welcomes any opportunities that come his way to clarify the fullness of the faith with non-Catholic Christians and to help Catholic Christians better understand the treasures that they possess through their unity with the Church that Christ himself founded 2,000 years ago so that they can shine brightly and live out the New Evangelization!
Jenny Bernal de Baker
Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Jenny has lived in the United State since she was 4 years old and is proud of being both Colombian and American. She is married to a wonderful New Englander and together they have a beautiful son. Although she grew up culturally Catholic, Jenny did not fully embrace her faith until she was in college and found herself surrounded by a culture of “anything goes.” While in college she began asking serious and important life questions that eventually led her back to her Catholic faith.
Life has been an incredible and, at times, difficult journey and she knows that God has been with her every step of the way. Jenny has spent the last year at home as a homemaker and mother and before that she worked at Catholic Charities in Washington DC and for the Archdiocese of Washington DC.
This summer she began her studies towards a dual degree Masters in Theology and Pastoral Ministry [with a Hispanic Ministry focus] and Masters in Social Work [again focusing on the Hispanic/Latino community through the Latino Leadership Initiative] at Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Emily Borman is Editor-in-Chief for Conversation with Women, a website where Catholic women anonymously share their stories of struggle, and ultimately joy, in living the Catholic faith in regards to marriage, sexuality, chastity, and society.
After 30-some years as an uneducated lukewarm Catholic, Emily moved to the Arlington Diocese and was exposed to the truth and riches of the Catholic faith. Though it was initially jarring, she is very grateful for that exposure.
You will generally find her trying to bring the faith, with its incumbent joys and struggles, to anyone who will listen (including the dog). Emily is a Master Catechist for the Diocese of Arlington and holds an Advanced Certificate in Youth Ministry from the Diocese of Arlington in conjunction with the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Emily and her husband Bill have been married for 28 years and are the parents of 3 children and 2 intercessors in heaven, their babies lost to miscarriage.
In 2012, I could not have imagined that I would ever be a Catholic. In 2015, my husband, three children, and I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church at St. John the Apostle in Oregon City, Oregon. How that all came about is, like all conversion stories, a long one full of twists and turns.
I grew up in a loving Christian home and attended a wonderful Presbyterian (PCA) church, where I learned to know, love, and serve God. As a college student and young adult I found my way into the non-denominational Evangelical scene and found new ways to engage my faith. But I also began to have questions about how different Christians could read the Bible and come away with opposing understandings. My faith in the Reformation principle of sola scriptura was beginning to be shaken...and the shake-up didn't end there.
It was a 2+ year journey with lots of reading, conversing, researching, arguing, praying, crying, and soul-searching. Catholic radio, blogs, and websites played a huge part in teaching me the faith and what it looks like in family life. I hope that God will use my own writings to encourage other Christ-followers to explore the merits of worshipping Him under the auspices of the Catholic Church and to live out the beautiful fulness of faith which--unworthy as I am--I've been blessed to receive.
Tim is Senior Manager of Tax Technology for DMA. Tim's conversion story was published in Journeys Home 2 by Marcus Grodi's Coming Home Network. Tim is married to Sandy and has one daughter, Katie. He a volunteer for the Coming Home Network and at their parish, St. Charles Borromeo, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Regina Czupinski is a nanny and writer living in Michigan. Born and raised in a loving and passionately Catholic home, Regina developed a love for her faith at a young age. That love pushed her to seek out the answers to deeper questions and eventually to study theology both in school and on her own. She earned the status as the Catholic go-to person among her friends and sees no reason why she shouldn’t own it. When not studying theology and answering questions, she works with kids and writes fiction.
Janie de Lara
I am a Catholic convert living in the Deep South, and was raised Independent Fundamental Baptist (the scary kind that can quote entire chapters of KJV verses at you). I love my new faith so much, I wish I could hug it. I have an interracial marriage and a son from a previous relationship, so I am no stranger to controversy and I am a working mom who is pretty bummed about suffering from infertility, but trying to see all the bright spots in this crazy, hectic life. I don't write for anyone or anything in particular, just when something gets laid on my heart or if I am dying to share something. My greatest desire (besides a passel of babies) is for everyone to get along--races, creeds, cultures, political views...todo...everyone just get along!
Lindsay resides happily in Mesa, Arizona. It is here that she was raised, is currently attending college, and imagines herself living for the majority of her life. Her greatest joys are rooted in the friends that surround her, the family that supports her, the Church that sustains her, the Sacraments It offers her, and the Most Holy Trinity that beckons her. It is through these things that Lindsay also keeps herself busy. She’ll seek any opportunity to attend Mass, volunteer and catechize at the parish she’s proud to call home, or make memories with her beloved friends and family—whether it be catching the latest film with her young adult group or playing video games with her sisters, nana, and parents.
Lindsay’s Confirmation Saint is Thérèse of Lisieux, whose gentle and simplistic disposition she strives to imitate. With so many saints like Thérèse encouraging her, Lindsay has made it her goal to share with others the love that Christ shared with her on the Cross. Having this desire in her heart and being open to new experiences and people, Lindsay looks forward to any chance she may get to meet others, learn more about them, and serve them. If you’re in need of a prayer, a friend, a conversation, or an answer to a question, be encouraged to visit Lindsay’s Facebook or Twitter page and contact her there.
R. Ashley Hall
R. Ashley Hall grew up in the foothills of East Tennessee, but has lived in the plains and Midwest for several years. He is a convert to the Catholic faith, being originally exposed to Catholicism while attending a Catholic high school in Knoxville. After college and seminary, he was ordained as an Episcopal priest before finally converting to Catholicism along with his wife on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which by the Divine sense of humor was the exact day of his ordination five years prior, when May 1st fell on the Feast of the Ascension. He took as his patroness saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American canonized by the Catholic Church because he is part Cherokee and the most meaningful part of his Anglican ministry was among the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota.
With degrees in history and political science, history has always been a field of study about which Ryan is passionate. His master's thesis revolved around the ongoing political effects of the English Reformation some centuries later on the political and religious culture of the American South and the rise of the Confederacy. His other hobbies include gardening, herbs, cooking, home canning, parenting, Bible teaching, Patristic and Moral Theology, calligraphy, and walking his dog, Brutus, whom he rescued from a pile of rubble and power lines in the small town in Nebraska where he currently works after a tornado came through on Mother's Day, 2014.
Sherry Hinton is a Catholic convert from Baltimore, Maryland. She was raised Baptist, became Anglican as a teen, and converted to Catholicism during her college years. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regent University with a degree in Theology & Church History. She lives outside of Baltimore with her husband, Allin Hinton. They hope to attend St. John's in Annapolis to go through their Western Classics program together.
Annette Krulisky, earned a Master of Arts in Adult/K-12 Education in Curriculum Design, worked in the computer field as an engineer and technical trainer for 25 years, is married for over 30 years, and has seven adopted special needs children. Now retired, still cares for six children ages teenage to adult. Earned a black belt in a Korean form of martial arts, Kuk Sool Won, having practiced this art for over ten years. Grew up in Michigan as Fundamental Baptist protestant. Aunt Mary planted the seed of the Catholic Church at an early age. Began the final journey home to the Catholic Church in 2012, and love the depth and fullness of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church Jesus founded. Besides loving family, martial arts, and praying, also love reading, learning, experiencing, and writing about anything Catholic.
Micah Newman came from a thoroughly Protestant evangelical background and was first introduced to the Catholic Church via the writings of Peter Kreeft. It was a longer road after that than it needed to be, but he capitulated to conscience and reason in the end and was finally received into the Church.
As his confirmation saint he chose St. Frances de Sales, patron saint of writers, whose tireless efforts in writing and preaching as Bishop of Geneva eventually led to the conversion of thousands of Calvinists back to the Catholic Church. Like his confirmation saint, Micah would love to help others find the timeless truths that have always been waiting for them in the Church, and use his philosophical training to make those truths clear and compelling in spite of the confusions that the traditions of men have wrought upon sincere believers. Micah has helped led RCIA classes since his conversion, and is glad for the opportunity to now write for Shine Catholic and further that apostolate.
Therese is a Cradle Catholic who hails from Northern New Jersey. Being a cradle Catholic doesn’t make being Catholic easier (it just means Therese needs to know her stuff and has no excuses…as her dad would say haha) which is why Therese has made studying and growing in her faith a lifelong pursuit. She was introduced to the Latin Mass right before her First Communion and instantly became hooked! Now as a lover of incense and all that crazy Latin stuff, Therese spends her Sundays singing with her parish choir and being an active member in her parish community.
Therese has been writing basically her whole life. She started 13 years ago and has just kept on going. She now works as a copywriter for an advertising agency during the day, writes as a freelancer on the side, but is MOST happy when she can share her Catholic faith through her writing at Shine Catholic.
When not writing at Shine Catholic, you can usually find Therese writing about her misadventures at her blog On the Brink of Discovery. She enjoys intense discussions about sushi, has a voracious appetite for philosophical essays, theological works and fantasy novels. She is absolutely terrible at math.
Kim Tisor is from South Western Kentucky and spent four decades as a Southern Baptist prior to converting to the Catholic faith during the Easter Vigil Mass, 2013. Her husband, Randy, converted at the same time, and their three children were baptized later that year.
Her work in public relations and broadcasting spans more than twenty years, primarily working for the U.S. Army. But she’ll tell you that the most fun she had while receiving a paycheck was when co-hosting a morning show for a Christian radio station in Colorado. She’ll also confess that spending five years waking up at 3a.m. ruined her of ever being an early bird again.
Kim is grateful for her current season in life that allows her to be a stay-at-home mom to her children, whom she homeschooled until the current 2015-2016 school year. She’ll devote her new-found, additional, daylight hours to her blog, Our Catholic Way, where she shares her journey into the Catholic Church. She’ll also continue work on her weekly podcast, interviewing other converts who recount their conversion stories. She also plans to pursue volunteer opportunities at her church and children’s school, as well as squeeze in some new hobbies: sewing and candle making.
Cynthia Trainque is an author who is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) Program for the Laity at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA. She has served the church for several years as a worker, writer, and volunteer and is presently an active member of Our Lady of the Lake in Leominster, MA.
She has a great love of sacred art and objects and enjoys photographing them. She is certified in R.C.I.A. and loves Church History and Canon Law. She loves to write about the Catholic faith and explaining its doctrines and dogmas in simple terms. Her favorite saint is Catherine of Siena and she considers many other sasints to be a part of her little communion of saints.
Cynthia is available to come to speak as a guest speaker/teacher on the beauty of the Catholic faith. She gives talks and also creates custom PowerPoint presentations about the teachings of the Church. She has previously been published by www.catholiclane.com, www.catholicexchange.com, www.chnetwork.org and www.catholic365.com. She may be contacted at Catherineofsienamedia@yahoo.com.