Former denizens of evangelical arenas are finding new homes in the age-old sanctuaries of Catholicism.

It took Mark Shea four tries to become a Catholic.

Raised without any religious instruction, Shea had embraced evangelical Christianity as a college student at the University of Washington in the late 1970s. “There was a little non-denominational group that came together on the dorm floor next to mine,” Shea says. “We got together for Bible study, Saturday night praise and worship, that sort of thing.”

Shea took his conversion to Christianity seriously, reading the Bible regularly and embracing the doctrines of his new faith with vigor. Over the next few years, though, he found that there were things that troubled him about evangelical Christianity, such as the way interpretations of scripture seemed to vary from congregation to congregation. Shea’s way of dealing with his doubts was to read voraciously. As he did so, he found himself increasingly embracing Catholic answers to his questions.

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