Joseph Calvert hated Christianity so much in the 1980s that, while studying at university and working in a fast food restaurant, he purchased and distributed several copies of mathematician Bertrand Russell's Why I'm Not a Christian.
According to Russell, in fact, "the Christian religion, as organized in the churches, has been, and still is, the main enemy of the moral progress of the world," Calvert explained to ReligionEnLibertad.
In college, Calvert embraced militant atheism and devoted himself to Buddhist meditation.
"In my opinion, Catholics were unthinking lemmings, who believed in superstitions only because they had received them from their parents. The Catholic Church was just another entity eager for power and wealth. I thought that the Pope, who was Saint John Paul II, was just a spreader of superstitions and I ridiculed him when [they] talked about him."
However, it was by reading some of the works of Saint Teresa of Avila that he understood.
"Her life and writings were irreconcilable with what I had been taught in universities about the Church," Calvert continued. "They had told me that the Church crushed women for two thousand years. But here we had a brilliant, super-strong intellectual woman, and precisely from Spain during the time of the Inquisition. [She was] full of joy and love for life and for the Church."
From that moment on, Catholics began to regain dignity in his eyes.
“So I read the Catechism from cover to cover and found nothing that was not logical or reliable.”
Then on Dec. 23, 1995, at the age of 35, Calvert entered the Catholic Church with the sacrament of Confirmation.
"I let go of my last objections; nothing brings more peace of mind and joy than doing the will of God," he said.
Today, Calvert is now a permanent deacon:
"Jesus didn't say, 'Just be a good Catholic, keep your back porch clean, and go about your business.' He said, 'Go and make disciples of all nations.'"