Finally, the last of four excerpts from EWTN’s ‘The Journey Home’ in which interviewer Marcus Grodi allowed ex-convict and convert to The One Holy Catholic Faith to tell his conversion story from protestant to Catholic.
… ‘Mary Help Of Christians’ never, ever let us down.
One of my sons in there… Tonto, he had a drug problem and that’s what got him locked up.
His wife had abandoned the family.
He’s got five children.
His wife had abandoned the family before he got locked up.
And when he got locked up he got worried about what would happen to these kids.
His oldest, now I think she’s 12 or 13, at the time I think that she was eleven, and the youngest I think (was) seven or eight…
He came to me when he was a Catechumen and said, ‘I’m worried about my kids.’ And I just said, ‘Pray to Mary Help of Christians.’
So, he did.
And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, these two Habited Sisters walk up to his brother’s house (his brother)… was keeping the kids, knocks on the door and say, ‘We want to take these kids into our school free of charge.’
And, they all became Catholic, in short order and very spiritual, especially the oldest girl, which he calls his ‘Conscience’ and ‘Guardian Angel.’
He would talk to his kids every week on the phone, very expensive to make a phone call from prison.
And his brother said, ‘I don’t get it. Every night at five o’clock these five kids come into the living room, make a circle, plop down on the floor and pull out these beads and start prayin’.
And Tonto told him, ‘Well, that’s because they’re praying with their Dad. I’m sittin’ there on my bunk doin’ it at the same time with them.’
Well, the kids got so deep into the faith, the youngest boy is allergic to the sun.
And he burns (snaps his fingers) ‘like that’.
Well, one day it was overcast sky and the kids are all out in the yard playing , and as kids do they get busy and don’t pay attention to things.
Sun came back out and they were still playing.
And the boy ended up getting 3rd degree burns on about 20% of his body, from the sun, before they got him to the hospital.
Whenever Tonto was talking to his daughter he said, ‘Boy, I bet the boy is screaming a lot.’
And she said, ‘Daddy, he never screamed a bit. Never even complained and when we asked him why he said that ‘he’s offering it up to the people in prison’ and he meant the people in Purgatory.’
That’s the kind of thing we experienced as a result of this apostolate.
- Russell Ford’s Online Ministry (fccmission.org)
- Russell Ford and His Ministry Part I of IV (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
- Above excerpted transcript from the Marcus Grodi Interview with Russell Ford on The Journey Home Show (ewtn.com)