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ENRICHING OUR FAITH JOURNEY

HolyLand USA: A Catholic Ride Through America’s Evangelical Landscape
By Peter Feuerherd: Crossroad, 2006.186pp. $16.95

by Lorraine Williams

book - holy land usa

My contact with evangelicals was practically non-existent until about ten years ago. That’s not to imply I was wrapped in a Catholic cocoon. In fact, I moved in an exceptionally large group of friends and relatives –including my husband– who belonged to mainstream Protestant traditions. At one point I’d participated in my parish charismatic prayer group, so I was familiar with the concept of speaking in tongues and of spontaneous spoken prayer. Yet my first encounter with real live evangelicals was not a happy one. I was on a motor coach tour with an evangelical church group to Pennsylvania Dutch country, to write a travel piece on the state-of-the-art Biblical theatrical extravaganzas produced there.

     I didn’t hide the fact that I was a Catholic. Bingo! Not once, but three times, on that trip I was told in no uncertain terms I was not a Christian. When I asked why, I was told, "Because you don’t accept Christ as your personal saviour and you worship the Virgin Mary." The shock and hurt I experienced was profound, though my fellow passengers treated me with kindness and even sympathy –as if I was a wounded animal in their midst.

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