This is a unique tale of one man's spiritual adventure, tracing God's unusual plan of providence from 1950s America to England and back again. Dwight Longenecker's conversion story is a roller coaster ride through fundamentalism, Oxford, Cambridge, and the modern Catholic Church.
Brought up in an Evangelical Protestant home, he attended the fundamentalist Bob Jones University, and continued his education by studying theology at Oxford University before being ordained as an Anglican minister, serving as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge, and a country parson on the Isle of Wight.
Realizing that he and the Anglican Church were on divergent paths, in 1995 Longenecker and his family were received into the Catholic Church in England. For ten years they continued to live in England where he worked as a freelance writer and charity worker. Then in 2006 the door opened to return to the United States and be ordained as a Catholic priest.
This story of one man's amazing journey from Protestant fundamentalism through the Church of England to the Catholic priesthood offers an inspiring tale of God's providence, and the truth that "all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose."
"There and Back Again is unflinching and tremendous, yet it preserves the enchanting innocence of someone simply in love with the Lord. Honest, provocative, and full of plot. Father Longenecker has that rare ability to defend the faith and tell a good story at the same time."
— Tyler Blanski, Author, An Immovable Feast
"Frank, forthright, and utterly captivating, Father Longenecker chronicles his quest for truth from his youth to his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. I couldn't put it down. It touched every emotion."
— Johnnette Benkovic Williams, Founder and President, Women of Grace
"Written by a master storyteller, this highly engaging work tells of the Hound of Heaven's long, adventurous pursuit of Father Dwight. Told with robust wit and poignancy, Father Longenecker's story reveals the life-changing reasonableness of the Catholic faith."
— Dan Burke, President, Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
"This is more than an autobiography. It's a spiritual epic. There's war and peace. There's wisdom and whimsy. Above all, there's love. Thank God Father's story isn't over yet. We need another volume—at least."
— Michael Warren Davis, Author, The Reactionary Mind; Contributing Editor, The American Conservative
"Father Dwight has written one of the most comedic conversion stories I've ever read. His thoroughly enjoyable autobiography is a rollicking read. Best read wearing a smoking jacket, with pipe and scotch in hand."
— Marcus Grodi, Host, EWTN's TheJourney Home
"Father Longenecker is such a fine writer that his story has the riveting pacing of a good novel. It is full of the good humor that is the fruit of true humility and shines forth in the spirit of irrepressible joy with which he takes the road to Rome. It is this indomitable joy, the mark of the true disciple, that makes the reading of this book such a joyride."
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Faith of Our Fathers: A History of True England