The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore

“Rome Sweet Home – Our Journey To Catholicism” : short reflections Posted on 3rd Nov 2012, 4:01pm by Alvin

I hadn’t realized that its almost been a year since I wrote a blog post here.

I used to consider myself a relatively prolific writer, but somehow along the past year, the ink dried up and the pen was left inside its casing, as other commitments appeared along the way.(Not that writing’s ever left me – I still enjoy (reading) a good article here and there.) And the thing about work is, that it tends to suck up every iota of your attention. Its as if there’s been an ongoing spiritual drought that went by un-noticed within me. Even being steeped in religion-related work didn’t seem to bring some much needed rain to the desert that was slowly forming.

These past 2 weeks of recuperation have given me a valuable treasure that’s been neglected so often – time. Being stuck at home with a painful back can be really painful, especially when there’s nothing else to do other than think (about your painful back). A good friend passed me a book which he thought would be up my reading alley. Personally, other than the SMJ CME articles and textbooks for exams, I can’t really recall the last time I read something else – The Straits Times not counted of course. 😛

An even greater irony being that this was an atheist friend who passed me these 2 Catholic books for reading – and I definitely don’t profess to be a “religious zealot” kind to read such stuff. But I figured that I should do justice to the books right?

This blog post isn’t a book review – no, I don’t think that I’m in anyway qualified to do a book review on a Catholic book. But having read it, I do feel compelled to pen down my thoughts here for sharing! =)

“Rome Sweet Home – Our Journey to Catholicism”, by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
For those who have not read, the authors, Scott & Kimberly Hahn, are a lovely Catholic couple with children. For them, the journey to Catholicism wasn’t an easy path – this book, is an autobiography of their journey from Protestants to becoming Catholics.

The book makes for an easy read with its narration split into separate husband and wife’s viewpoints. The at times candid, frank, and no-holds-barred narration, brings you into his / her world easily. Starting off as a staunch Protestant couple, the book does talk a bit about the foundations of Protestants, and some of the common misconceptions of Catholicism – in fact, the candidness and at times, brusque choice of words, leaves the reader wondering whether to laugh along, or to reach for a table lamp to batter the author over his head for his ridiculous misconceptions.

As you accompany the couple on their deep research into theology, you are woven into their family life and how religion has played such an important role in theirs. And as they sift through the various misconceptions of Catholicism, the answers are paraphrased into very layman language for us common folks who might not be that much into Theology – to understand and help us glean a better understanding of our own religion. As 1 particular striking line in the book goes, “Yep, sometimes it takes an immigrant to explain it for the natives.”

How many of us can claim to be able to defend our faith as rigorously as some of our other Christian counterparts? Another striking line in the book says, “Catholics can and must memorize Scripture – Protestants have no special gene that makes it easier for them to do it!” It brought a smile to the face, yet at the same time, struck a chord within me on how true it was. How many bible verses can we quote of hand? These are our brothers and sisters who have come Home after taking the long route and experiencing God’s loving grace – what more about us, who have been living in God’s grace for so long – shouldn’t we be more familiar with his Holy teachings?

I suddenly had a brief realization of what it felt to receive manna in the desert – in fact, so much that I almost tried to buy the book for myself to keep as a copy (I may, once I get better enough to roam out of my house to a reputable bookstore.)

If you are like me, a Catholic, who unfortunately does not seem to take a very vigorous interest in your own religious roots, then this book is definitely for you. We all need a reminder at times in our busy lives – a reminder of God’s presence in our lives, of our roots, of our beliefs.

Most importantly of all, we all need a bit of manna in our spiritual deserts.


  1. Thomas Seng says:

    Hi Alvin, i hope your back is better………..sorry………..going to the bookstore now to buy this interesting book……..Thanx & God Bless……………..Thomas

  2. Alvin says:

    Thanks Thomas! I’m feeling better now.. Hope you enjoy the book! Merry Christmas!

    ~ alvin

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2012 Dec: The Lost Art Of…
2012 Nov: Rome Sweet Home – Short Reflections
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