What follows is a full page ad placed by Steve Wood in the May 6, 2004 Wanderer newspaper. In a few places notes have been added to the original ad to clear up ambiguities:
The most astounding conversion story you’ve ever heard…
Jewish convert stuns the Catholic world – sends shockwaves through the Jewish community – reveals amazing secrets for the first time
Dear Wanderer Reader,I guarantee you’ve never heard a conversion story like the one I’m about to tell you. When I told it to my radio audience, the response blew the roof off.
What caused this sensational response? It was my interview with a Jewish convert to the Catholic faith, Roy Schoeman. He’s the author of a remarkable new book published by Ignatius Press called Salvation Is from the Jews.
Let me introduce myself to you. I’m Steve Wood, a former Presbyterian minister who converted to the Catholic faith in 1990. I’ve dedicated my life to promoting the teachings of the one true Church, and I love interviewing other converts. To prepare for my interview of Roy Schoeman I read his book. It shocked me. It gave me key theological insights. It altered the way I look at current events.
What stunned the radio audience more than anything else was Schoeman’s conversion story – which is unlike any conversion story I’ve ever heard before. He was reluctant to tell it. Incredible as it sounds, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and gave him a private audience for about 20 minutes, graciously answering his questions. He didn’t want to include his conversion story in his book because it’s so personal. He didn’t want to toot his own horn about conversing with the Mother of God. But at the insistence of his publisher, he told his story as a postscript to the book.
But he didn’t reveal everything about his private audience with Mary in the postscript. He withheld a fascinating detail. I feel privileged that he told me this detail during the radio interview. No wonder the response blew through the roof.
I’ll tell you about it in a moment.
Because of the intense subject matter and the vast scope of Schoeman’s message, I took the unusual step of holding all calls. I instructed the listening audience to give me their questions by e-mail only.
Let me tell you a little bit about Roy Schoeman’s background. His parents lived in a Jewish suburb of New York City and brought Roy up in Conservative Judaism. At the age of 16, Roy came under the influence of a Hasidic Rabbi and became even more devoted to his Jewish faith.
But Roy started to fall away from his faith when he went to college at M.I.T. and Harvard. He was influenced by paganism and accepted the moral norms of the 1970s. He became an agnostic.
The astounding experience that changed Roy’s lifeIncredible as it sounds, he landed a teaching position at Harvard Business School at the age of 30. This is practically unheard of. His dream had come true. But then a funny thing happened. He realized he should be happy because everything was going his way. But he felt spiritually empty inside. Spiritual hunger gnawed at his soul.
Roy told me that he was walking on the dunes of Cape Code when it happened. He said it was the most spectacular grace of his life. He “fell into Heaven.” He realized he was in the immediate presence of God. It was like an after death experience. His entire life flashed before him. He looked back on his life with God – as if he had already passed into the next world.
He had two overwhelming regrets: 1) The time he had wasted worrying that he wasn’t loved – when he had always been surrounded by an ocean of God’s love without even realizing it. 2) The time he had wasted doing things of no value in the eyes of God.
Roy wanted to know God’s name. He made it clear to God that he would do anything. He was willing to become a Buddhist or a Hindu or follow whatever God revealed to be His true religion. The only thing he wasn’t willing to do was to become a Christian. That would be unthinkable. In other words, Roy asked God to reveal His name – but he made it crystal clear that he didn’t want it to be Jesus Christ. God honored his contradictory request and withheld His name. But Roy prayed every night at bedtime to know God’s name.
At last, God reveals His name to RoyExactly 365 days passed before Roy learned God’s name. A glorious woman appeared to him – the most beautiful woman anyone could imagine. Roy knew hardly anything about Christianity, but he did know that the lady who appeared to him could be none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She offered to answer any questions he might have. [Note: Although this experience "felt" as though I was awake, and the memory is as though it had been a wide awake experience, it took place while I was physically asleep.]
He was in a state of ecstasy. She was so exalted and magnificent that he was overwhelmed with a desire to honor her. But he was tongue-tied. He wanted to say the “Hail Mary,” but he didn’t know the words. He was embarrassed about that. It distressed him that he couldn’t even say one proper prayer to her.
Here’s where Roy revealed a secret to me that he had withheld from the conversion story that appears in his book: He asked Mary, “What’s your favorite prayer?” She said, “I love all prayers to me.” Not satisfied, he replied, “Come on. You must have a favorite prayer.”
Mary relented. She told him the one prayer that delights her above all others. She recited her favorite prayer to him in Portuguese – a language Roy doesn’t understand. He transcribed it phonetically and had it translated later. [Note: Mary recited this prayer as a favorite prayer to her, not the favorite prayer. My best attempt at reconstructing it phonetically result in thinking it was the Portugese for "Immaculate Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"; in Portugese as a reflection of a particular quality of Faith still found in Portugal, an allusion to her apparitions in Fatima, and because this prayer is the one most often first taught to infants in Portugal.]
You’ll get all the details – including the English translation of Mary’s favorite prayer and why she loves it so much – when you hear the tape of this fascinating conversion story. I’m anxious to rush it to you. [Note: this radio interview is available to be heard via the internet on the "Audio Resources" page of this website.]
After Mary had appeared to Roy, he knew that it was Jesus Christ who had been with him on the dunes of Cape Cod 365 days earlier. He knew he had to become a Christian. It was that simple. But he knew little about Christianity. He didn’t know a thing about the differences between the various Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church. So he flipped open the Yellow Pages and started visiting churches and talking to preachers.
He asked the preachers about Mary. When a preacher disparaged Mary, he said to himself, “I’m out of here,” and looked for a different church.
Roy tells priest: ‘Baptize me!’Before long Roy realized that the Catholic Church was the one true Church and that he had to become Catholic. He approached a priest and insisted that he baptize him. The priest asked, “Why do you want to be baptized?” Roy replied, “Because I want to receive Communion, and you guys won’t give it to me unless I’m baptized!” He thought the priest would throw him out on his ear for giving such a blunt answer.
Instead, the priest thoughtfully observed, “The Holy Spirit is at work here.”
So Roy became Catholic. But he considers Catholicism a fulfillment of his Judaism rather than a conversion from it. He says Catholicism is post-messianic Judaism, and he sees himself as much more Jewish than he could possible have been without entering the Catholic Church.
In fact, Roy says that Jewish thirst for God can’t be satisfied outside the Catholic Church. They need the Blessed Sacrament to be fulfilled. And he firmly believes that Jews are condemned to a life of spiritual frustration if the truth of the Gospel is withheld from them.
Roy is deeply disappointed that so many Catholics have turned their backs on the Jews and aren’t even hoping for their conversion.
Make no mistake. The Jews play a huge role in God’s plan for salvation. Roy points out three stages of salvation history:
Roy sees the Holocaust as a Satanic attempt to frustrate and thwart the third and final stage of salvation history. One way to prevent the Jews from entering the Catholic Church is to kill them off – which is precisely what the German-Moslem coalition during World War II tried to accomplish. But the Holocaust has had another disastrous effect: it has made Catholics reluctant to approach Jews about Jesus being the true Messiah.
There’s no need for the Jews to wait for the Messiah. He has already come. But Catholics tend to be shy, bashful, and uncomfortable about sharing the Good News with the Jews. Why? Largely because of the Holocaust. Roy admits that it’s difficult for Catholics to reach out to the Jews – while it’s easy for him to do so since he’s a fellow Jew.
Hitler & Islamic leaders had lots of common groundWhat really shocked me was what Roy said about the Nazi-Moslem connection. I didn’t realize that Hitler worked hand-in-hand with the Moslems to wipe out Jews. Roy proves it.
Consider this. Hitler had a close relationship with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. They had a lot in common since they both hated the Jews. Husseini even organized Moslem SS troops for Hitler in Bosnia, and these SS troops committed horrendous atrocities against the Jews. They also destroyed Christian churches.
Husseini was glad to cooperate with Hitler on the condition that Hitler would allow him to take care of the Jews in the Middle East after the war. Of course, he assumed that Hitler would win the war. Hitler had no problem with Husseini’s condition.
You may not have heard of Husseini before – unless you’re a history scholar – but I’m sure you’ve heard of his nephew [Note: indirect, not direct, nephew]. His nephew is frequently in the news. His name is Yassar Arafat. To this day, Arafat considers his uncle a “hero.”
Another Moslem-Nazi leader was Khayrallah Tulfa, who led a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in 1941. In 1947, a 10-year-old nephew lived in his house, which consisted of a large living room and small bedrooms. A huge portrait of Hitler dominated the living room. I’m certain you’ve heard the nephew’s name: Saddam Hussein.
You probably remember that Anwar Sadat was known as an Arab “moderate.” Well, there’s definite proof that Sadat idolized Hitler. If Arab “moderates” admire Hitler, can you imagine how the extremists feel about him?
Bestseller in Moslem world today: Hitler’s Mein KampfI didn’t realize that the popularity of Nazism has never ceased in the Moslem world and is as strong as ever. In 1999, Hitler’s Mein Kampf ranked sixth on the bestseller list of Palestinian Arabs. The preface to the Arabic edition of Mein Kampf says, “Adolf Hitler is one of the few great men … a man who bequeathed an ideological heritage whose decay is inconceivable.”
We all know that Hitler was evil, but did you know that the chief exorcist of Rome says it’s certain that Hitler was personally consecrated to Satan? That’s right. Roy verifies that in his book. The Nazis emerged out of an occult brotherhood that included widespread homosexuality.
Roy makes an interesting observation about the spiritual origin of Islam. He points out that Islam is the only world religion that began after God had revealed the fullness of truth through Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. He asks whether this bloodthirsty religion has a human or spiritual inspiration. If it has a spiritual origin, then what kind of spirit is behind it? Good or evil? Draw your own conclusion.
I already knew that the Islamic fanatics hate the Jews. But I had no idea of the Moslem-Nazi connection until I learned about it from Roy. Nor did I fully appreciate the central role the Jews must play before the Second Coming – and how Satanic forces are frustrating and thwarting that plan.
You can be sure of this. Satan doesn’t want the Jews to become Catholic. But Jesus Christ does. What we’re seeing is a titanic struggle between principalities and powers – between the forces of good and the forces of evil.
Miraculous conversion stories will set your heart ablaze
You’ll have a hard time putting down this book – and not just for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. In addition to his own conversion story, Roy also summarizes other spectacular conversion stories of prominent Jews. One of them is Rabbi Zolli, the former chief Rabbi of Rome during the Nazi occupation. His conversion was arguably the conversion of the 20th century.
An even more amazing conversion was the wealthy Jewish banker Alphonse Ratisbonne in the 19th century. I don’t have time to fully tell you about his conversion in this letter. But let me give you just a few of the astonishing details.
One of Ratisbonne’s friends dared him to wear a Miraculous Medal and to recite a short prayer to Mary. Since Ratisbonne was an atheist, he accepted the dare. He considered it ridiculous. Before long, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him. During the apparition, Rabisbonne, who knew little about Christianity, was miraculously infused with full knowledge of the Faith. After the apparition he desperately wanted to be baptized as soon as possible because of his acute sense of Original Sin.
Within a short time Ratisbonne was received into the Catholic Church. He needed no instruction because he already knew the Faith. You’ll read many other inspiring, true stories in this book – including the martyrdom of St. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert who died at Auschwitz. This book will set your heart ablaze and renew and deepen your faith. When you’ve finished reading Roy’s book, you’ll certainly want to pass it on to a friend or loved one.
[Steve Wood's website is www.familylifecenter.net. The book and the hour-long interview can be ordered from the site, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling his ministry at (941) 764-7725. Other sources for the book can be found on the "Links & More Info" page of this website, and the interview can be heard on the "Audio Resources" page.]