My Conversion by Tom HubbardI was born on September 21, 1948, in Louisville, Ky. I was born to Presbyterian parents in a Catholic hospital, St. Josephs, and was born on the feast day of St. Matthew. Only God could have planned that combination. As I grew physically, I must say that I did very little growing spiritually. Although I was baptized as an infant, and later confirmed in the Presbyterian Church at around age 12, my family overall was not a regular church going family. Actually the neighborhood I grew up in had many Catholic families, and my closest friends growing up were Catholic. I can remember my friends speaking about taking Latin in school, and going to Mass, and talking of Fatima and it all seemed interesting to me. I really once thought of asking my parents about becoming Catholic, but never got around to it.
As I entered adulthood, my belief in God tumbled to non-belief. I married in 1968, and entered the Air Force in 1969. It was during my Air Force years, that I convinced myself that God could not possibly exist. I mean how could a being create the universe, and know literally everything you do during the course of your life? I could not imagine this as fact. I think it is also important to mention that during this time, that I had an interest in the occult. I read a lot about occult practices, and began trying to read Tarot Cards etc. Later though I rejected all this as superstition. I think from around 1970 to 1973 I really had no belief in anything, except for maybe UFO's.
Somewhere around 1973 or 1974 I began to get my belief in God back again. It was not a sudden thing, just something that began to happen. I still did not go to church, and felt that I was ok here on earth. I was a father now, and things were going ok. So, I was satisfied to let God stay in His heaven and I would call on Him if I felt the need. I basically kept this attitude until around 1989. I had two children by this time and life was decent. I had no need for church. Sunday's were just another weekend day. God understood, it was a day for rest, and I did just that.
During late summer of 1989, I saw something on T.V. that would eventually take me out of my spiritual slumber. I was in the kitchen one afternoon, and thought the kids were watching T.V. in the family room. I still don't know why I went from the kitchen to the family room, but I did. The T.V. was on, and the local news was showing. What I saw then fascinated me. A local news crew had gone along with a group to Yugoslavia, to this little out of the way village named Medu-something. They were showing video footage from that had been taken during the pilgrimage. I heard people talking about rosaries turning gold, and visionaries, and the Blessed Mother making appearances in this little village to six children. I watch this in utter amazement. Did I convert on the spot? No, I rejected the whole thing as silly. A bunch of religious fanatics running off to a communist country because they thought the mother of Jesus was appearing to six kids? No way I believing this. What I didn't realize then, was that a seed had been planted. I had heard about Medjugorje.
The next day at work I presented this info to a friend of mine who was a cradle Catholic. He had seen the report also, but was reserving his judgment. He believed in Lourdes and Fatima, but he needed more information on Medjugorje. I didn't , I thought it was ridiculous. However, about two weeks later, things began to happen.
At work one day, my friend walked in and was very excited. He had some information on Medjugorje and shared it with me. The whole story of Medjugorje was written in some fold out pamphlets he had. The visionaries were introduced and I focused on Jakov. I read about him and thought to myself, how could a nine year old make up a story like this and not break when questioned and threatened? I thought back to when I was nine, and there was no way I could have done what Jakov had unless, I was actually seeing something. In his case the something was the Blessed Mother. It was after reading this little paper, that I felt something in my heart. It was Our Lady and she was reaching out to me. I knew that Medjugore was real and in my heart, I had to go. I longed to go, it was in my blood. Nothing had ever hit me like this. I read and literally inhaled everything I could get my hands on about Medugorje, the Church, Saints, prayers, whatever. My friend at work gave me a rosary, and I learned to pray it. Later it turned gold. Then, and now, I thought of the Blessed Mother throughout the course of each day. The seed she had planted earlier, had now exploded and I could not get enough of learning of her. I went to Marian Conferences and eventually in 1991, I converted to the Faith.
In 1995, I finally made my first pilgrimage to Medjugorje. My wife did not stand in my way of either converting, or going to Medjugorje, although she has not felt Medjugorje in her heart yet. I went back to Medjugorje in 1996 and 97, and hope to go again this coming June in 2000.
Well, basically this is my conversion. Not as dramatic as some, but for me it was as dramatic as it needed to be.
Hvaljen Isus i Marija