Brother Lawrence grew up as an evangelical Protestant, and became Catholic after accepting the hard answers to the questions he had.
When he was twelve he moved from Colorado to Papua New Guinea with his parents, who were Pentecostal missionaries. Through his teen years, his openness to learn new things led him back to the U.S. to attend Brown University, which he said was a bigger culture shock than being a missionary in a foreign country. He started to feel this weight on his shoulders, the weight of other people’s questions he could not answer.
This is how the Catholic Faith “snuck up” on him. He spent some time in the Middle East, and the questions became more and more pressing. Through research, he noticed he was in a crisis because he identified with the beliefs of the Catholic Church more than with his own evangelical upbringing. At this time, the following Gospel verse was reassuring to him:
“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water’” (Matthew 14:28).
He faced his fear and became Catholic, which was like going to a foreign country at first. Eventually, he came to know that it was in fact Jesus who was bidding him to join the Church.
Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx. The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ. Discover beautiful music from the CFRs here.