This page lists historic individuals who at some point in their lives, sometimes on their deathbeds, formally adopted the Catholic faith without having been born into it. Individuals who were baptized Catholics, but who as an adult practiced a non-Catholic faith (such as evangelical Protestant), then returned to the Catholic Church are technically "reverts" and are so noted where known.

List of people who converted to Catholicism





Converts who later left Catholicism

  • Mary Kathleen Valentine Ackland, English poet: converted and left twice, in between which she was a member of the Communist Party
  • Annie Dillard, renowned nature writer (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) who converted during the early 1990s but left the Church during the 2000s.
  • Rod Dreher - Conservative "Crunchy Con" columnist who converted to Catholicism from Methodism and then later converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.
  • Ammon Hennacy: Christian anarchist and activist who was Roman Catholic from 1952 to 1965. His essay On Leaving the Catholic Church concerns his formal renunciation of the religion.[48]
  • David Kirk: Mississippi-born and reared (as a Baptist) civil rights activist who became a (Melkite) Catholic priest, but late in life converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Halldór Laxness: Icelandic writer who converted to Catholicism in 1923[49], but later became disillusioned with it.[50]
  • Robert Lowell: American poet who converted to Catholicism in 1940 but left the Church after only a few years.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Franco-Swiss philosopher, writer and political theorist who converted to Catholicism as a young man but later reverted to Calvinism in 1754.[51]


  1. BBC
  2. Gennadius Library
  3. Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. Władysław Anders on Technical University Rzeszów (Polish)
  5. The Guardian
  6. BBC Profile
  7. Guardian Unlimited Books: "I wanted it for hellfire and candles. I was married in a Catholic church and I prefer going to a Catholic service, but it changed, like everything else. Even in the Catholic church now they tell you to turn round and shake hands." She looks aghast.
  9. Notre Dame
  10. BBC NEWS | UK | Tony Blair joins Catholic Church
  11. Contemporary Catholic Converts Tell Their Stories
  12. Shropshire bio
  13. The Tablet
  14. Boston Globe: McCloskey personally baptized Judge Robert Bork, political pundits Robert Novak and Lawrence Kudlow, publisher Alfred Regnery, financier Lewis Lehrman, and U.S. Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas
  15. Catholic Encyclopedia
  16. PBS
  17. Time Magazine: Bush recently made perhaps the ultimate leap for the son of the ultimate Wasp: he converted to Catholicism.
  18. Washington University St. Louis: He became a Roman Catholic in 1935 and fought for Franco in Spain.
  19. Royalty site
  20. [1]: "She accepted him when he reverted to Anglicanism but canceled their wedding plans when he "went over to" Rome for a second time. Collinson's parents disowned him, and he was reduced to begging from his friends in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood."
  21. Gifford Lectures
  22. Catholic Encyclopedia
  24. Biography at Catholic Worker's site
  25. Catholic Encyclopedia
  26. The Guardian
  27. Madonna House
  28. Kirjasto
  29. Catholic Encyclopedia
  30. Catholic University of America
  31. Crisis Magazine
  32. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  33. Black Elk Speaks: Black Elk saw in Catholicism a way for his people to practice religion within the confines of the United States laws, and "at the same time, he was able to fulfill the traditional role of a Lakota leader, poor himself, but ever generous to his people"
  34. Prodigious Thrust: A Memoir of Catholic Conversion by William Everson ISBN 1-57423-007-7
  35. Catholic Encyclopedia
  36. 1911 Encyclopedia
  37. The Guardian
  38. Catholic Encyclopedia
  39. 39.0 39.1 [2]
  40. William F. Buckley, Jr., "Howard Hunt, R.I.P" National Review, March 5, 2007: "Howard Hunt was my boss, and our friendship was such that soon after I quit the agency and returned to Connecticut, he and his wife advised me that they were joining the Catholic Church and asked if I would serve as godfather to their two daughters, which assignment I gladly accepted, continuing in close touch with them."
  41. The Standard
  42. Wikisource-logo.svg "James Longstreet". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  43. The Tablet
  44. McTutor
  45. Ignatius Insight: Adrienne von Speyr
  46. "...he was an atheist arguing for religious values, a man writing an essay on religion 'in a spirit of irreligion.'... He would not convert to Catholicism for two decades, but his need for religious authority was acute even in 1930." Allen Tate: Orphan of the South, p. 167, biographer Thomas A. Underwood, Princeton University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-691-06950-6
  47. "Parents eyes"
  48. Catholic Worker
  49. Nobel Prize bio
  50. "Books and Writers"
  51. Encyclopedia Britannica: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

External links

  • [4] Historic Catholic Converts to Catholicism Produced by EWTN hosted by Fr. Charles Connor - Real Audio

See also

Main articles

Catholic related lists

Conversion related lists