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Chosen: How Christ Sent Twenty-Three Surprised Converts to Replant His Vineyard Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Chosen: How Christ Sent Twenty-Three Surprised Converts to Replant His Vineyard + Prodigal Daughters: Catholic Women Come Home to the Church + Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 495 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586173405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586173401
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pet Rock 235 on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chosen is an intriguing collection of conversion stories written by two dozen entirely dissimilar individuals. The converts include fallen-away Catholics, fervent Protestants, atheists, Jews, a skin-head thug, a long-term prisoner, ex-hippies, professionals, and many others. These individuals come from all parts of the country, social strata, and professions. The one tie that binds them all together is their wholly unexpected call to Catholicism. Their collected stories make for fast-paced reading; each tale being short enough to squeeze into a busy day. This is a good book for anyone interested in Catholicism, especially prospective converts. It is also good take-home reading in an RCIA class. I enjoyed these stories and was edified by the converts' commitment to finding truth, regardless of the unexpected direction in which their search eventually led them. I recommend this book highly.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one book you will not only want for yourself, but it would be a great addition to your church library. Steichen has done an outstanding job at finding interesting conversion stories.

They range in diversity from well known intellectuals such as Elizabeth Fox-Genovese to vegetarian radicals to a witch to a prisoner still behind bars.

Every one of the stories is both entertaining and moving.

It is also clear how incredibly quickly our culture has changed, from a Christian nation to dabblers in New Age cults talking about becoming ascended masters and avatars.

Shannon Counihan was once a practicing witch who was told by "the priest warlock of our coven the secret 'truth' of witchcraft...that there is no such thing as white or black magic; they are the same" (p 412). It appears the coven members spent much of their time furiously casting spells on the other members.

This is a woman who now has eight children and is homeschooling a number of them.

The happiness and the peace these people have found in the church is so wonderful.

I laughed out loud at how a man who is now a priest tried bargaining with God about the priesthood. He slyly suggested that if God would let him get married "I could have a dozen children and they would all be priests and nuns" (p 217).

A few of the stories are truly heart wrenching, especially the conversion story of a man who is in jail.

"It may shock the average reader to hear it, but the reform of prisoners by conversion to Catholicism was not welcomed by Alabama's penal system" (p 465), a heavily Protestant state.

Later, he notes that Catholic conversion has worked. About "70 to 80 percent of convicts return to prison within two years of release...but only 1.6" of the Catholic converts return.

One book you will want to keep.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Caelo on February 13, 2010
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This book details the conversion stories of twenty-three individuals to the Roman Catholic Church. I found all the stories to be well written and engaging. These converts come from a wide variety of backgrounds (e.g. Jewish, Protestant, atheist, witch, fallen-away Catholic, New Age, etc) which definitely adds to the appeal.

This book does two important things: (1) It gives non-Catholics a certain view of what it's like to be a Catholic, and (2) it presents a looking glass to us Catholics who have never experienced a powerful conversion such as those depicted here, and allows us to gauge the extent of our fervor and commitment by comparing it to the joyful and loving response to the call of Christ shown herein by these converts.

Very positive and inspiring!! Highly recommended.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By G in Ohio on December 9, 2009
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This book promises to be a collection of stories about conversions DESPITE uninspiring homilies and banal masses, but doesn't mention these things after the introduction. That's my only critique of what turns out to be a fascinating group of conversion stories of very different people, from secular intellectuals to Protestant missionaries. Some are well-known in certain, ardent Catholic circles, some are "regular" people who came to their faith in interesting ways. All show that there is no one way to the Church, but that Truth (in one aspect or another) is always a driving force.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lance Eccles on June 15, 2011
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This is the most absorbing collection of conversion stories that I have read. Each of the 23 personal accounts is completely different from the others, and the trials that some of the writers had to go through are astounding. One wonders how anyone, experiencing such tribulations, could ever arrive at the certainty of accepting Christ and all that his Church teaches. And yet, having arrived at that certainty, their lives are transformed.

What is particularly striking is the number of writers who, in their search, are led on by their conviction of Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist. Any Catholic reading these stories will come to a much deeper appreciation of the Mass, the Eucharist, and the sacraments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chad on January 31, 2013
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This book is great for those searching for Truth or Catholics who may not appreciate their faith like they should. Hear how Protestants living in missionary countries converted to the Church without a single person guiding them there.

There are several stories of atheists, agnostics, New Age and Wiccan (or Pagans) as well swiming the Tiber and being welcomed into the fold.

This is a great book, I highly recommend it.
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Chosen: How Christ Sent Twenty-Three Surprised Converts to Replant His Vineyard
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