Drawn From Shadows Into Truth: A Memoir Review

My most recent review is from The Catholic Company called Drawn From Shadows Into Truth: A Memoir. This is a true conversion story of how a married ordained minister followed the quest for truth which led him out of the Episcopalian Church and into the Catholic Church. Fr. Ryland, in a detailed format, outlines his journey from childhood, other denominations and into the Catholic Church.

In my opinion, his book reads like an intellectual autobiography which felt like text book reading at times. I appreciated his use of footnotes to back up his points but I also felt the context jumped around which left me confused at times.   I would turn back a page or two to see if I missed something.  It’s not filled with emotion even though he experienced the same confusion, fear and resistance that others have gone through in their journey to the Catholic Church.

Fr. Ray Ryland has been given a dispensation from the rules of celibacy and is a married Catholic Priest.  I was glad to see in his last chapter, that he addressed the issue of him being allowed to be married as a priest. Fr. Ryland does not promote married priesthood and in fact he discusses the apostolic tradition of priestly celibacy and how he agrees with the Catholic Church.  He candidly admits, he is not as free as a celibate priest to serve God, His Church and his parishioners.  I applaud the encouragement and support his wife gave him as he walked this path with them.  It can not have been easy to make this decision even though knowing God is calling him to do so.  It takes courage and faith.

Overall, I liked the book but it took me a long time to read it.  I enjoy conversion stories but I was not captivated by this one.  I think it’s because I found it to be more of a challenging read than a lighter more emotional story.  I guess those are the ones I would choose to read first.  The reason I picked this one was because it is a conversion story and it was endorsed by other famous converts.  Would I recommend this book?  Yes, but with a warning that it’s not a light happy conversion story.

This book was written as part of the Catholic Company Reviewer Program.  I was given a complimentary copy of Drawn From Shadows Into Truth: A Memoir for my honest review.  The Catholic Company is a great resource for all your First Communion Gift ideas as well as many other great books, rosaries, and statues.

Peace & Blessings,

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