Book Sophia Institute Press Surprised by Life 10 Converts Explain How Catholic Teachings on Life Led Them to the Church (Madrid)

Surprised by Life: 10 Converts Explain How Catholic Teachings on Life Led Them to the Church (Madrid)

Sophia Institute Press

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Here you’ll read the eye-opening, often heartrending life stories of ten people who struggled with some of the most difficult issues human beings face – and who, as they struggled – were drawn out of pain and darkness by the beauty of Catholic teachings about life, marriage, and human sexuality.

Dramatic and thought-provoking, these intensely personal stories address virtually every controversial issue surrounding life, including in vitro fertilization, abortion, contraception, and more.

Gathered by popular Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid, they turn on its head the oft-heard charge that Catholics embrace the Church’s teachings on life only “because they are Catholics.” These good folks show the opposite: they are Catholics because of the Church’s pro-life teachings.

In these pages you’ll meet, among others:

  • AnneMarie S., one of San Francisco’s highest paid call girls, made pro-life – and then Catholic – by a Catholic radio talk show.
  • Leticia A., a victim of sexual abuse, whose life of wild promiscuity was brought abruptly to an end by her need for true marriage, which she found only in the Church.
  • Heather S., the pregnant teenager whose soul was awakened to the Faith by ten pro-life words from Pope John Paul II.
  • Jewels G., the post-abortion pro-abortion crusader, whose failed suicide left her alive long enough to meet good Catholic women who explained the Church’s teachings, turned her pro-life, and won her to the Faith.
  • Leila M., the contracepting, pro-sterilization wife whose views were overthrown by the stark contrast between Planned Parenthood and the sweet memory of the wise pro-life teachings of her college ethics teacher, Father Ryan.
  • Chris A., the sexually profligate Jewish lawyer, who too late came to see the evil of the abortions he enabled, and now works as a Catholic apologist seeking to end this American holocaust.
  • Plus others, who came into the Church after being “surprised by life.”

Editorial Reviews


"Saying 'yes' to life for ourselves and others is no easy task, but it is the only path to true freedom and love. The beautiful, sometimes humorous, and deeply thought-provoking testimonies in Patrick Madrid s new book, Surprised by Life, show the astonishing mercy of God in the midst of the worst confusion and hurt. I loved reading these stories and was inspired and encouraged by the brave men and women who honestly share their struggles and sorrows as they faced down enormous life challenges before discovering God. For all who may be questioning their own journey, and for anyone looking to be encouraged, Surprised by Life is a must-read! - Lila Rose
Pro-life leader, founder of Live Action

"Surprised by Life is a powerful group of testimonies of men and women who, by embracing the truth that all life is sacred, encountered the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself, and His Church. I enthusiastically recommend these personal stories to all who seek to proclaim and promote the Gospel of Life." - Most Rev. James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico

"Surprised by Life is powerful collection of deeply personal stories that address what is arguably the most important issue of our time. These unforgettable stories will change how you see the world. - Jennifer Fulwiler
Author of Something Other Than God and SiriusXM radio host

"The journey to the truth of life issues is also, at the same time, a journey to God. The testimonies in this beautifully written book are about this journey. Surprised by Life is powerful and profoundly moving an important book that I highly recommend to all who want to be surprised by life!" - Obianuju Ekeocha
Internationally acclaimed pro-life, pro-family leader, founder of Culture of Life Africa

About the Author:

Patrick Madrid has been a national speaker and writer for nearly 30 years and is the author of 21 books, including Why Be Catholic? and Does the Bible Really Say That?, which have sold over a million copies worldwide, including foreign-language editions. Patrick grew up in Southern California as a life-long Catholic, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix, as well as B.Phil. degree in philosophy and an M.A. degree in theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Patrick serves as an adjunct professor of theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and has also taught theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and is a research fellow at the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Studies.

Patrick and his wife Nancy have been married for 34 years and have been blessed with 11 children and 16 grandchildren.

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