Confessions of a Convert (Benson)

Confessions of a Convert (Benson)

The Cenacle Press at Silverstream Priory

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Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914), the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was educated at Eton and Trinity College. Drawn toward the High-Church tradition, Benson was ordained an Anglican priest by his father, but began to investigate the claims of the Catholic Church during a trip to the Middle East in 1896. He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1903 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood the following year. Amid his various ecclesial duties, he was a well-known preacher and a prolific writer, and his works span many genres, including science and historical fiction, contemporary novels, children’s books, apologetics, plays, poetry, and devotional material. In this work of autobiography, he chronicles his journey to Roman Catholicism.

Mgr Benson's 'Confessions of a Convert' are edifying and entertaining in equal measure, and a fascinating snapshot of the Anglican and Catholic scenes in his day. They remind us of the great soul-searching and also personal suffering undertaken by the generations of converts, from Newman up to the 1950s, who enriched the Catholic Church in the British Isles while the Church was subject to the soft persecution of prejudice and social exclusion.—Joseph Shaw PhD, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford University, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

This is a story about a man who was obedient to the Truth, wherever it led. By worldly standards, Benson had everything to lose by converting to Catholicism, and nothing to gain. As an affluent, cultured, and well-connected son of an Archbishop of Canterbury, he lacked no opportunity to build for himself an exquisitely pleasant life as an Anglican priest. But he left that life behind, because it was not built upon the foundation Christ had established for His Church. This is a moving story of deep loss, but even deeper joy, as the author realizes that what is True is also equally Good and Beautiful. — Thomas Ward PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University