Steven Ray to lead mission at St. Thomas the Apostle

Author to share his conversion story and offer insight on defending the Catholic faith

From staff reports

Best-selling author, intrepid world traveler, and Catholic convert Steven K. Ray never set foot in a Catholic Church until 1994.

In March, Mr. Ray will share his story on how he eventually became Catholic and will offer tools for explaining and defending the faith during a special mission at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

“Mission 2020: Living the Catholic Life… Defending Our Faith” will take place March 29-31 at the St. Thomas Parish Family Life Center. There is no charge to attend.

“I was raised in a very anti-Catholic, Baptist home,” Mr. Ray said. “When I was 39, my wife and I discovered the fullness of the faith of the Catholic Church, and I am going to tell that story.”

His biography states that the couple “backed their way right into the Catholic Church” during their travels and study of the early Church in Europe. The Rays officially entered the Catholic Church at Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Pentecost Sunday in 1994.

St. Thomas parishioners Shawna and Warren Hunt were instrumental in bringing Mr. Ray to East Tennessee.

“I think this is a very convenient opportunity to hear from a well-known and respected Catholic author and speaker, and to learn more about our faith without having to drive out of state to attend a conference,” Mrs. Hunt said.

Two years ago, a similar mission at St. Thomas featured Gus Lloyd, morning show host on Sirius XM Radio’s The Catholic Channel.

“Warren and I first heard Steven speak at Franciscan University in Steubenville (Ohio) in 2012. Steve is so on-fi re for the Catholic faith and his enthusiasm is infectious,” Mrs. Hunt added.

The Hunts have traveled with Mr. Ray to the Middle East and Poland.

Mr. Ray has led nearly 200 pilgrimages to the Holy Land and has been dubbed “Jerusalem Jones” by the National Catholic Register according to Mrs. Hunt.

The St. Thomas mission will take place each night from 6:30 to 8.

In addition to a discussion on his Catholic conversion (March 29), Mr. Ray will speak on defending the Catholic faith (March 30). His final presentation (March 31) is titled “Swimming Upstream and How to Live a Catholic Life in a Pagan World.”

Mr. Ray and his wife Janet are the producers of the Catholic DVD series The Footprints of God: The Story of Salvation from Abraham to Augustine, which is featured on EWTN and Netflix. Mr. Ray is also a best-selling author and a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, Ave Maria Radio, Relevant Radio, EWTN, and many others.

“It’s a Catholic mission and I am looking forward to meeting people who want to live their faith stronger and understand it better,” Mr. Ray said.

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