Religion: Faith Abstracted

For nearly a week, the slim, greying American walked through the winding streets of Assisi, pausing now and then before the office of Father Giovanni Rossi, founder of an institute for lay Catholics called Pro-Civitate-Christiana. Finally, he burst in on the priest. "Of course," he blurted out. "I must be converted." Two weeks later, Artist William Congdon was baptized as a Roman Catholic, and —as he puts it—"fell into the church as a child abandons itself to the mother."

Religious conversion touches the very being of a man, but Bill Congdon has been more deeply affected by new faith than most....

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