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And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1 John 5,19

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I was a hopeless case

Donald Calloway

Every night I slept with a different chick and I got all the immaginable experiences of the sinnful life.I ran away from home and my friend and I started committing grave crimes.We stole motorbikes and cars, enormous sums of money during the bank hold-ups and we even became mixed up with the Japanese mafia´s intrigues. I was a hopeless case
Donald Calloway was one of the children who are growing up without God in today´s consumer society and whose love is hurt very often.I was a hopeless case for my parents and relatives.His conversion story is an eulogy about God´s merciful love and it should help all the readers never to condemn anyone no matter how deep he´d fall.
 
With P.Donald Calloway´s permission we can release what he told sister Emmanuela about his conversion in an interview.We were living only for fun .I wasn´t baptised before my tenth birthday.However,.I didn´t do it for religious reasons but only because I took a leaf out of  my step- father´s book.My step-father, my mother´s third husband, was a navvy officer.He was a good man but he wasn´t pious by no means.Our family was living in a very mondaine manner, actually only for fun.My step-father´s work involved moving house very often.Shortly after the parents´wedding ceremony we moved out of Virginia Beach into the Southern California where I came off strait and narrow and I thought that going to school wasn´t neccesary for me any longer.I preferred much more staying on the beach where I started using the first drugs and abusing girls at the age of eleven – actually I was still a child.
 
More and more often I was drunk, I smoked everything what I could and very soon I didn´t control myself. My parents didn´t have any influence on me anymore.When we moved into the Los Angeles´s vicinity, I kept on living in this way because I managed to find very quickly new friends who were on the the same wavelength.
 
One day my step-father told us: “I’ll be transferred to Japan.That´s why we´re gonna live there for a couple of years.”All the world collapsed about me when hearing this news. Everything that I liked should be taken away from me: My friends, drugs, the life on the beach, girls, alcohol. I thought: “They’ll destroy my paradise”.That´s why I made a very firm decision: “I´m gonna make my parents´ life sheer hell”.
 
Expelled from the country
 
Immediately after we came to Japan, I threw in my lot with a bunch of youngsters with whom I was doing uncredible things.I used drugs, opium, heroin every day and drank a high quantity of alcohol at the age of 14. Every night I slept with a different chick and I got all the immaginable experiences of the sinnful life.I ran away from home and my friend and I started committing grave crimes.We stole motorbikes and cars, enormous sums of money during the bank hold-ups and we even became mixed up with the Japanese mafia´s intrigues.
 
When I ran away from home, my mother was so worried that she had a nervous breakdown.She turned to a certain priest in despair who happened to be a Catholic army chaplain:”Where´s Donny? Is he dead? What´s wrong with him?”.When the priest´d consoled her, she started having stronger and stronger desire for becoming Christian.I didn´t learn it until a few years later because at that time it was all the same to me.I didn´t care about anyone - neither about my father nor about my mother.Everything revolved only around myself.
 
There was a time when my mother should come back to the U.S. to find again some accomodation for our family before the end of my father´s stay in Japan. As I was missing, my family had to leave Japan without saying goodbye to me.After some time, the state policy took note of me when they listened to my illegal calls from the American military base.They found me quickly and arrested me.I was interrogated bound and tied to a chair in the police office.But still, I managed to escape when I went to the toilet since I was very swift and smart.But they captured me again.As I was dangerous for the society, I was expelled from the country without trial.Escorted by four cops I was deported to the airport.I was even bound inside the plane and like this I was left in America.I was completely wild and my unkempt mane covered half the back.For the second time they´ve taken me everything that I´d loved:drugs, girls and my freedom.
 
I was living like a dying person.
 
As I was a minor and my crimes were committed in Japan, I couldn´t be charged in the U.S.
At the airport I was handed over to my father´s supervision who I surprisingly allowed to accompany me to our new house in Pensylvania.There I was welcomed by my sobbing mother.We hadn´t seen each other for a few months.I looked into her eyes and told her only these words:”I hate you”.Yes, I hated my parents, I hated every person.I hated myself.I didn´t have the faintest idea about God or about the religion.
 
The state police instructed my parents to put me into the approved school from which I ran away after short time.The very first night I drank up all the bottle of Vodka and got drunk, so like this I took up my old way of life but it was even worst than before.My food consisted of maccarones, cheese, sedatives, tranquillizers and of the hardest drugs that are coke, LSD, and H.And dames, a countless quantity of dames.I spent every night with a different girl…In the meantime, my loose hair reached down my belt.I had my breast tattoed with a big picture.I came to know a music band that was called “Grateful death”that I followed around all the country until I ended up in a Louisiana´s prison.A friend of mine bailed me out and we left the country together.We always walked.As a consequence of my dissolute sexual life I caught a veneral disease which was curable, fortunately.I went to pieces, then I pulled myself together……. and my lifestyle went on like this.I was living like a dying person.Even nowdays I remember very well lying on the pavement when I used higher dose of drugs.My heart pounded so fast that I thought it´d break and my chest would be torn to pieces.As I was homeless, I stayed with my parents for some time.The deep sorrow that I’d caused them, induced my half-brother and my parents to become Catholics and they found the live faith.I was only making fun of them, especially when they treated me kindly and friendly.All I followed was the slogan:”Do what you like but leave me alone!” 
 
The woman of my dreams
 
On a day in 1992 – I was twenty years old and in actual fact, I was at the end of my life – all at once I felt an internal certainty that something crucial was gonna happen during this night.At any rate I knew: Tonight I must stay at home.Nobody was able to convince me to go out.I wasn´t accustomed to spending evenings alone and I was bored very much.So I rummaged through our bookcase in hope to find some interesting book I could while away my time by.Imperiously, I took a book in my hand that was called “The Queen of the peace appears in Medjugoria “. Naturally - I didn´t have the faintest idea about who this Queen of the peace is nor Medjugoria.I found this book full of unknown words: Jesus, Mary, Virgin, rosary, the Eucharist…..Never before in my life I´d heard such words.So, I had a closer look at the pictures: Children who were staring with concentration at the very same point.Their reaction got me and so, finally I began to read, although there were a lot of unknown words there.I literally devoured the book as if my life were at stake until I read it all – by about four a.m.
 
I didn´t know this Virgin Mary but still I had some intuition: That´s the woman who I’ve been looking for all my life. Since my childhood I´ve been longing for the perfect love but I´ve been looking for it in the wrong places.Nowit´s been obvious to me: What´s written in this book is right ! I believed every word that Mary´d told in Medjugoria.Although I didn´t see her, I felt she´d attracted me a lot! It seemed to me that I´d never met such a beautiful woman who was so perfect and so chaste.This woman won my heart. She belonged to me! And without knowing what it meant, I devoted myself to her fully and without reservation.
 
The moment that´s changed my life
 
The moments before the beginning of the new day dragged on infinitely.Unconditionally, I had to talk to a Catholic priest.because during that night my heart´d inhaled all the Catholic faith.When it began to be dawning, I ran to our military chaplain who I – naturally - hadn¨t seen so far.I dashed into the sacristy and started saying an avalanche of words.But the priest asked me to sit down in silence at the back of the church and come again after the end of the Holy Mass. I thought: ”The Holy Mass - another unknown word!”. I sat down shyly in the last pewandwatched women saying the rosary.I had never before seen nor heard such a thing.After some time, the priest went out of the sacristy but he was dressed in a different way than before.I thought:”Now it´s gonna begin something like a theatre performance.That´s great.What are they going to show here? I really didn´t have any idea about what was going to happen.The.women´s demeanour was the most captivating thing here. All of them stood up simultaneously, then sat down simultaneously, spoke the same words and I was unable to find where they read it from.Then there was a moment of consecration..The priest raised a small round wafer.At that moment the omnipotent and kind God gave me a clear and deep understanding.This Host is Jesus Christ! I bowed to him with every cell of my being and I knew : this is what was written about in that book which I’d read off at night. When I’d seen the believers going forward in order to receive the Holy Communion, I burnt with envy.I craved so much for him!
But I couldn´t approach him as I felt my own unworthiness.I could hardly wait for the end of the divine service.I was looking forward to running again to the sacristy.There I pounced upon the priest with a question :”Father, but that was Jesus! Is it true that Jesus was here?! Please, tell me something more about Jesus!”
 
Unfortunately, the priest was very busy that morning and so, he couldn´t hold a long conversation with me.He asked me to come again tomorrow.He gave me a cross, the picture of God´s heart and the picture of the pope ( John Paul II.) for that day.Actually, I didn´t know what these things were but I took them.
 
When I came home, I started adapting my room.I filled up seven big waste bins with the stuff that´s so far meant a lot to me.My mother stood in the entrance hall smiling.I understood in my heart what she´d said within herself:”My God, thank you”! Then I hung the cross and the picture of the pope over the door of my room and the picture of God´s heart on the wall.
And Now the tears of repentance and happiness? What should I do now? Simply wait for another day so that I could talk again to that priest? Or could I simply do it in the same way as the children did in in my book? I opened the book on the page with photos that represented children “during prayer”.Then I thought:”Uhm, why not pray? We´ll see what it is!”. I don´t remember if I’ve ever prayed in my life.And nor did I know what it was : to pray.So I looked at the photos and I tried to copy what I’d seen.I put the picture of God´s heart on the ground, I knelt down, I folded my hand and looked up.Then I thought: O.K. I´m ready! Say your prayers!” But I didn´t have any idea what to do.Nothing happened.So I simply gazed at the picture that was before me: Jesus who’ s blessing with a hand and and pointing at his heart with another one.When I looked at the picture, all at once I perceived clearly in heart of my hearts: “This is God – human who died on the cross for me and shed his blood for me.This open heart was for me! And all that Virgin Mary told children in Medjugoria, said to me as well.”I started crying, yes, sobbing as never before in my life.
 
I cried so much that all my clothes were soaked with tears.It seemed to me that every drop of my body´s liquid´d run out of my eyes.I was sorry about all I´d done: all the girls that I´d abused: all the women I´d made love with: my friends who I´d robbed, cheated on, deceived: my parents and my brother whom I´d done so much wrong…..At the same time I knew: in the course of time, the tears of contrition were mixed with the tears of joy of the internal happiness because I realised as a repenting sinner: “This picture, this Jesus Christ, this Messiah, God – human died for me because he loves me!”My heart was gradually filled with unspeakable happiness.This experience was so deep that I couldn´t remember anymore how long I´d been praying and crying before the picture of God´s heart.All I know is after that I lay down on the couch completely exhausted.For the first time in my life I´ve been free and I felt unspeakable peace in my heart.After that I had a snooze for some time.
 
Donny, I´m so happy
 
Half sleep I experienced something that can´t be described by words.My body was still lying on the couch but my soul, my spirit – I don´t know which it was – was directly extracted from my body.I didn´t know what to do. I paniked. I wanted to cry but not even a word came out of my mouth.I shouted with all the strength within myself: ”HOLY MARY!” She was the only person who I was thinking of at that moment.All of a sudden, my “SPIRIT”was pushed back into my body with a powerful force.Then I could hear a woman´voice, the tenderest woman´s voice that I´ve ever heard said:”DONNY, I´M SO HAPPY!” Nobody expect my mother called me Donny. I knew who´d been this woman.The voice was so soft and tender as if it had been liquid love.It was incredible! At that night I slept like a child in his mother´s arms.
 
My honeymoon with the living God.
 
The next morning I went to church again.I didn´t long for any cigarettes, drugs, alcohol nor women anymore after this night.I was incapable of looking at the woman lustfully.There was a time that I´d liked to call “my honeymoon with the living God ”, my bridegroom.I spent infinite numbers of hours in the church.I said the rosary and Stations of the Cross, I read the Saints biographies and works about the Saint Catholic Church, the Saints´ lives.I immediately knew in my heart which book´s content is right.When I heard on TV about “big preachers” who´d won recognision here in this country, I realized again:They aren´t announcing the right Jesus.”The desire for belonging fully to God and becoming a priest was stronger and stronger.”
But it involved studying intensively for a lot of years because I hardly finished the fifth form at the basic school.However, I wished to do what the Virgin Mary´d wanted from me.Where did she want me to be? I´ve written an application for more than two hundred congregations and when I´d received plenty of affirmatives, I decided to choose the one that had two names Maria in its title.I chose my current congregation – THE MARIANS OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – which I became a member of in 1993.After ten years´study – after great effort and fidelity I was ordained priest on the 31 May. First I was a vice-chancellor at the National Sanctuary of the merciful JESUS in Stockbridge,USA for some time and today I work as a superior of  Marian study house in Steubenlive, in the state of Ohio.
 

The source: Fr.Donald Calloway with the incredible testimony, September 2008

 

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