From Despair to Devotion: Caleb Perkins' Inspiring Journey to Catholicism and Ministry

From Despair to Devotion: Caleb Perkins' Inspiring Journey to Catholicism and Ministry

Caleb Perkins, 29, shared his transformative journey from a tumultuous past marked by family issues, anger, depression, and drug addiction to finding solace and purpose in the Catholic Church. Speaking to a global audience of 800,000 during the Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, Perkins revealed more of his story in an interview with EWTN News.

Growing up in Indiana in a Christian family, Perkins faced challenges as his parents divorced after 22 years of marriage. Struggling with a sense of identity, he turned to drugs, including marijuana and synthetic cannabis, to cope with the void in his life. Despite attending church, Perkins spiraled into self-harm and suicidal thoughts during his senior year of high school.

His life took a positive turn when he met Natali, now his wife, whose relationship with Christ inspired him to seek a deeper connection with his faith. Despite a temporary breakup, Perkins found unexpected inspiration while working at a tattoo parlor, where he encountered individuals embodying Christ-like qualities.

Feeling at a crossroads, Perkins embarked on a gradual journey to the Catholic faith, rekindling his relationship with Natali. Inspired by a friend named Mitch, the couple became more involved in their church, with Perkins considering a path towards becoming a youth pastor.

A biography of Christian music artist Rich Mullins, who had contemplated converting to Catholicism, played a pivotal role in Perkins' journey. Overcoming misconceptions about the Catholic Church, Perkins delved into the writings of figures like Mother Teresa, St. Augustine, and St. Francis of Assisi, deepening his appreciation for Catholicism.

Three years ago, Perkins officially embraced Catholicism, finding joy, meaning, and a sense of self-worth through the sacraments, particularly confession. He encouraged others facing a similar sense of purposelessness to heed the words of St. John Paul II, emphasizing that true satisfaction is found in Jesus.

Today, Perkins and his wife are co-founders of Shema Culture, a ministry in Fort Wayne, Indiana, dedicated to teaching Christians, especially Catholics, to lead reverent and prayerful praise and worship. Perkins serves as the praise and worship director for the youth ministry at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Fort Wayne.

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