Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back Where I Began

After ten years in exile Lisa & I have finally crossed the Tiber back to Rome. The years spent in Protestant pastures have been quite an adventure. If I've learned anything during our sojourneying it's that the grass is not necessarily greener on either side of the fence. There is much that Catholics can learn from their separated brothers and sisters and vise versa. Having said that, I'm convinced that the best show in town is in the Catholic Church in spite of its own weaknesses and shortcomings.

It has been a difficult journey back to Rome, yet now that we've made that choice and been received back into communion it feels like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We've come out of the Catholic closet to just about all of our friends and have been blessed by their encouragement. I still don't know for sure what will happen to our community, Matthew's House. For our part we've decided to continue gathering on Sunday evenings with our small group and continue sharing our lives with one another while supporting each other in our pursuit of Jesus.

We've been warmly welcomed back into the fold by Fr. John Caulfield at St. Joseph's here in Lakeland. I'm sure there could have been a temptation for some finger wagging & "you should've known betters" but that didn't happen. He has been very understanding and encouraging to our great relief.

My hope & resolution is to stay more current and consistent with this new blog, althoughI think I've made that promise before with less than encouraging results. I want to post about our experiences over these past years to share what we've learned and how it translates into where we're going. Of course, I also want to be a little more proactive on posting about theology and current events as well. The name of the new blog, Mysterium Dei, loosely translates as the "Mystery of God". I can't help but think that it will come into use again if/when we ever realize our dream of developing an lay monastic community--yet another blogging topic.


+ Alan said...

Well alright then. One more secret I don't have to keep. ha! Grace and Peace to you and the family. The journey continues...

Tiber Jumper said...

Hey Tom:
I found your blog via the Creech Man.
Welcome home!!
I was left the Church as a 14 year old and it took me 31 years to navigate back.(Though it was the holy Spirit that brought me back, it's all grace!) I look forward to hearing your perspectives.
Thank the Lord your community was encouraging. That has been the hardest part for me, the shunning by friends and folks we were once close to.

God bless you.

onionboy said...

Welcome home. I am a former protestant minister of about 20 years. I moved from the evangelical mega church thing to toy with emergent but the logical and honest path was to Rome. I am still paying for it in terms of not yet having landed solid employment and a loss of many who were friends, however I would do it all again if I had too. Peace be with you.

O | |

MMajor Fan said...

Welcome home! Cradle Catholic here, looking forward to the creche filling up again.

Tom Mohan said...

I share the mysterious experience of being clearly led by the Holy Spirit to live and work as part of Christ's mystical body apart from my original life as a Roman Catholic only to be just as clearly led back again. I think we share in some small way in the apostolic experience of St. Paul.

I have followed the Holy Spirit and found myself clinging to driftwood wondering if the decision that led me there was correct (speaking of my own experience here not yours of which I am only partially familiar), but in the context of time it turns out to have been all part of God's full mission for my life.

My own return to full communion as a Roman Catholic came in the midst of training to be a Vineyard church planter - and I am certain that I received a rich deposit of teaching and training that I could not have received any other way.

I sense we live in a time where Christ's prayer for unity in St. John's gospel is coming to pass.

I am very encouraged when the experience of other families parallels our own because it gives me a sense I am moving in the right direction.

JP Manzi said...


I pray you find the peace that we all hope for!

Antonio said...

Y E S !!!!!

Welcome home!!!

tom said...

Thanks everyone for your support.

Joyful Catholics said...

Welcome Home. I never tire of reading and listening to Journey Home stories, such as yours.

Drop by sometime.


Craig said...

TOM!!!! I have been trying to get a hold of you for months. Lots of internet searches with dead ends. Today Bernie told me about your blog and your return to the Church. I can not tell you how excited I was to hear!

you can e-mail me at

Pax et Bonum,


Jennifer said...

This is the best news of the year! Thank you so much for sharing your journey all along the way. I've followed some of it online.. If you and Lisa and fam ever want to come to Rome italy, please get in touch!! Im living here and working on a phd in theo. My love to you all. God bless you!!! In Christ, Jennifer Coffey, fus '96