Student opens up about Catholic conversion on Newman podcast

May 08, 2024
Catholic items include a gold crucifix, chalice and monstrance.

The Newman Bond” podcast recently featured senior Charles Morrison, who shared his transformative faith journey as a student at Newman University.

Morrison was raised in a Protestant home and recalls his mother and grandmother’s strong Christian background. He also remembers attending church regularly in his younger years and how that “waned a little bit” later in life due to busy schedules.


“I never had that understanding that your spiritual side is something you really need to feed and maintain, just like food, water and your hobbies,” Morrison said. “Your spiritual life is a necessary element of life.”

Attending Newman University was Morrison’s first exposure to both a private school and proximity to the Catholic experience. He was drawn to Campus Ministry’s welcoming events, retreats and service opportunities and took part in several throughout his time as a biology pre-medicine major. He was also often spotted — and heard — playing piano in St. John’s Chapel from time to time.

“At Newman, you’re surrounded by people who really want to be here, and that usually comes with less bitterness and more happy, good people,” Morrison said. “I’m convinced it’s the Catholic faith here and the Holy Spirit that’s enriched these people and made them so happy and good to be around.”

Video: Charles Morrison (Joining the Catholic Church)

Morrison entered the Catholic Church in March after completing the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults through Newman. Since then, he has continued to experience God’s presence in everyday occurrences.

“When I went on a retreat, there it was a very beautiful place where I was sitting outside on a porch with birds all around flying in and out,” he said. “One of them sat on a beam right in front of me and just sat there for a couple of seconds. It was a very minuscule thing, but I very clearly felt, ‘Okay, God is present in this moment. This is in some way a gift to me.’”

I’m convinced it’s the Catholic faith and the Holy Spirit here that’s enriched these people and made them so happy and good to be around.

Charles Morrison

Morrison finds it fitting that he chose to attend Newman University, named for St. John Henry Newman who also struggled with the question, “Should I convert?”

“And he did,” Morrison said. “It’s such a beautiful thing.”

Morrison attends a Campus Ministry swing dance night on Newman University's campus.
Morrison attends a Campus Ministry swing dance night on Newman University’s campus.

However Morrison’s life unfolds, he is determined to keep his faith at the center of it all.

“Loving Jesus isn’t an obligation, it’s a privilege and it gives you a lens with which to appreciate the rest of your life,” Morrison said.

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Newman University is a Catholic university named for St. John Henry Newman and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society.