UPDATE: I was able to stop at ave Maria Radio today and meet Erik. What a handsome gentle giant. We hugged and talked for a while and I was delighted.

“I’m sure you get tons of emails about how you’ve touched peoples lives. I would have liked to tell you this story in person, since I work every Friday at Ave Maria Radio in Ann Arbor now (I worked on a video for the interview you had with Al a couple months ago on your new Footprints video) but I don’t know if I will get the chance to meet you, and I am bursting at the seams to tell you what you’ve done in my life. 

“I first learned of you when you came to Saginaw, MI in February a couple years ago for the men’s conference held at St. Thomas Aquinas. I was at the beginning of my faith journey there. My girlfriend and I had just broken up because I was Catholic who didn’t know my faith and she was a Assembly’s of God Protestant. In a service at her church one day, when the pastor finished his sermon, he said something that disturbed me, though at the time I didn’t know why.

 ”He said, (paraphrase) “Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen, you are free to go. Oh! and if anyone wants communion, it will be sitting here at the corner of the stage. Just come up and take it if you’d like.” Something hit me that day that I knew that was wrong. Even though now I know they don’t believe in our Lord in the Eucharist, and that only a Catholic Priest can consecrate the host, it still effected me greatly. This in turn started the turmoil in Renee and I’s relationship. 

 ”Fast forward to the Men’s Conference, and you were giving your talk on Proclaiming the Gospel. The bit you do when you involve the congregation in the dangers of the lives of the early Christians put fire in me. How you say how our Parish suddenly get surrounded by Roman soldiers. The centurion comes up and says “We’ve noticed you Christians haven’t been burning incense to Ceaser! Now you will form two lines, one here to burn incense and receive a certificate as a Roman citizen in good standing. Or, you will form a line here with Brutus, who has a big ax, and you know what he’s gonna do with that.” 

 ”Then you paused. “Well?!” and then you paused again.

 ”Mr. Ray, if you had pause for even 1 more second, you would have had a 22 year old kid up in the Sanctuary with you, his head on the slab to die for Jesus.  

 ”Since then I have consumed and have been consumed with learning all I can about Jesus and His Church. I know I can always make more time for Gods word, and I know I can follow His Word better every day. Though its only been about 2 years into my faith journey and I can’t imagine a more wonderful time in my life so far. Now, Renee and I are engaged, (August 6th 2016 is the wedding) and she has started RCIA and I as her sponsor. Thank you Mr. Ray, and if you are ever at the radio station on a Friday, please look for me. I will most likely be right outside from Mike Jone’s office working on the middle laptop next to Dan. I would like to give you a hug.”

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If you read my blog regularly you remember that a friend of mine for over 15 years converted to Christianity and the Catholic Church about a month or two ago. He came here to my house and received the Rite of Election. You can read the post here with pictures

Turkey is 99.9% Muslim so Okan has a great price to pay. Here is an article about his conversion written by Bishop James Conley of Lincoln Nebraska. He was with me in Istanbul with our St. Paul Cruise. Okan asked him to lay hands on him for a blessing and he did. Okan felt heat rush through his whole body. 

You can read the article here. The “American friend” referred to in the article is me :-) This picture above is Okan coming out of Mass in Turkey.


My Friend from Istanbul becomes a Christian!

by Steve Ray on February 1, 2015

Okan and I have worked together for 15 years with filming projects, pilgrimages and more in Turkey. He was born and raised in Turkey which is 99.9% Muslim. 

Over the years I kept telling Okan, “Some day you will be a Christian.” In November 2014 while in Turkey on our St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise, Okan came to visit us and asked for Bishop Conley of Lincoln NE to bless him.

When the bishop’s hand was laid on Okan’s head he began to cry and felt heat rush through his body. He said it was the most important thing that ever happened to him.

He called me a few weeks later and said, “You were right Steve, I have decided to become a Christian. I want to join the Catholic Church. I know there will be a big price to pay, but I am ready to pay the price.”

He came to our house last week and we had him enrolled in the Rite of Acceptance. He was so excited. He goes back to Istanbul with a suitcase full of books, crosses, a Bible and other gifts.

Here is a video of his interview that day with Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio.


Our Friend Fr. Benedict Groeschel died Yesterday

October 4, 2014

It is with sadness that I mention that father Benedict died last night. Janet and I had gotten very fond of him and spent time in his retreat center. We will treasure the times we spent with him. Because of his habit and his beard I told him one time that every time I saw [...]

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Help Tom Peters the Papist

November 14, 2013

From and friend and fellow worker with the great young man Tom Peters: On a warm summer night four months ago, I received some terrible news.  As I was preparing to go to sleep that July night, my phone vibrated on my bedside table. A new text message. Then another. Then another. Something was urgent. [...]

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With Friends on the Sea

November 5, 2013

It is very infrequent that I get to see some of my best friends since they are as busy as me. But once in a while we are fortunate and are speakers together at the same conferences. This time we are on a Caribbean Cruise and one of the great joys is to be with [...]

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My Friend Al Kresta: Story of an Unsung Hero and Modern-day Prophet

September 30, 2013

This article is a great read and inspires one to hope for the faith and country. Al Kresta and I have been good friends since 1983 when I first met him upon my return from living in Switzerland. Al was dressed in knickers and a goutee at the time, playing the part of my then [...]

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Help for a Good Catholic Friend Looking for a Job to Support his Homeschooling Family

August 3, 2013

I have been friends with Dan Grajek for twenty years. He is exceptionally creative, a great Catholic writer and apologist and his kids are following in their parents’ footsteps. He just lost his job and I am posting his request and his resumé. If you know of any job possibilities, please let him know. He [...]

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Blast from the Past: Wow, Time Sure Changes Us!

March 22, 2013

I was just told about this picture on FaceBook. The picture was taken shortly after I had first become a Catholic in 1994. One witness says this picture was taken in 1997. Time sure changes us :-) This “Gang of Four” spoke at an apologetics conference in Dearborn Michigan sponsored by Thy Faith Inc. (Gary [...]

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Visiting and Speaking at Logos Bible Software; Dinner with Mark Shea

August 10, 2012

Today was a busy and exciting day. It started out with a meeting with my new friend Andrew Jones, a PhD in Medieval history and a Catholic scholar. He hosted us on a tour of Logos Bible Software in Bellingham Washington. Of the 300+ employees I think you can count those over 30 years onl [...]

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Wedding in Nazareth (almost Cana)

April 23, 2012

Our friend Nael Malouf got married on Sunday in Nazareth. We were happy to join the festivities. Traditions are still much like biblical, ancient times. This is a very traditional Palestinian Christian wedding (Catholic). Enjoy the short video HERE.

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UPDATE: Scott Hahn Home from Surgery

January 21, 2012

SATURDAY UPDATE: “Dr. Scott Hahn says: “Home at last… after several firsts: first time I spent overnight(s) in a hospital; first time I received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick; and the first time a surgeon looked at me and said, ‘Yes, you might die.’ So I am grateful beyond words for His [...]

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From Othodox Jew to Protestant to Catholic to Mother Superior

December 9, 2011

When a young Jewish woman in the 1960s read of Catholic nuns receiving permission to shorten their habits, she was shocked. How could these women who were supposed to be influencing the world for God succumb to the influence of the world? “I lost what wasn’t mine,” explained Rosalind Moss years later. Little did she [...]

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Fish, Mark Shea, Running and Talks near Seattle

August 30, 2011

One of the things I love about traveling around giving talks at parishes and conferences is meeting old friends. Mark Shea, fellow convert, blogger, speaker and all around fun guy, was free for lunch while I’m here giving talks at Holy Family Parish in Kirkland Washington outside Seattle. Mark and I went to a great [...]

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With Great Jewish Friend!

August 27, 2011

Always great to be with one of our favorite people: Rosalind Moss in her new Mother Superior habit. Sharing microphone with packed house at Fullness of Faith Conference in San Antonio TX.

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Nice Evening

May 13, 2011

John Hale, my wife Janet, Sister Rosalind Moss and me at our house for dinner with a house full of family and 9 kids! Wonderful evening.

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