Deborah Dryden Danielski
A backslidden, anti-Catholic Pentecostal journalist, I began my journey home to the Catholic Church on my 42nd birthday. (See "My Search For the Full Gospel") Twenty years earlier, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, embracing the Gospel first in a Baptist church and later in an Assembly of God where I became firmly entrenched in anti-Catholicism.
After suffering a serious health problem and a second failed marriage, I fell away from my faith entirely. I still believed in Christ, but no longer trusted my previous experiences with Christianity. My journey home began with a miraculous reunion with my first-born son, whom I'd given up for adoption at birth. (See "My Journey Begins With a Reunion")
A community newspaper editor for more than 12 years, I received many awards, including a first place award from the Illinois Press Association for an editorial about racism in my community. I left the newspaper business three years ago and am now freelancing. My stories have been published in New Covenant, Envoy, This Rock, Catholic Faith, Our Sunday Visitor and Medjugorje Magazine. I am currently in the process of expanding my life story into a book, tentatively titled "By Grace Alone: A Woman's Search for Love and Truth." I am also in the process of writing a book on the Mass called "The Eucharistic Celebration: In Spirit and in Truth," and am Associate Director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois for Pro-Life Activities.
My husband Ed is the Human Resources Manager for an electronics manufacturor. He was born into a Catholic family, attended Catholic schools and served as an altar boy. While still a child, he received an award for five years of perfect attendance at nocturnal adoration. At age 13, he decided to become a priest and entered a seminary for his freshman year of high school. While there, he realized he had one small problem -- he didn't believe in God. He left the seminary after one year, transferring to a Catholic high school and continued to attend Mass regularly -- but only because his parents expected it. When he left home to attend college, Ed also left the church.
During the summer of 1994, we began an incredible journey together that led to my decision to convert, and Ed's decision to return, to Catholicism. My journey is chronicled in several stories on this site. For Ed's story, see Our Journey Together, the transcript of a speech we gave at the 5th annual San Antonio Marian Conference in July 1996.