Fr. Dwight Longenecker

About the Author

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He conducts parish missions, retreats and speaks at conferences across the USA.

His latest book is The Romance of Religion - Fighting for Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Visit his blog, listen to his radio show, and browse his books at dwightlongenecker.com.

Catechesis teaches us what to believe and how to behave, but Catholics also need down to earth advice for putting their faith into action. For help in your practice of the Catholic faith sign up for FaithWorks! -- Fr Longenecker's free, weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith.

Visit Fr. Longenecker on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frlongenecker.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is an American who has spent most of his life living and working in England. Fr Dwight was brought up in an Evangelical home in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the fundamentalist Bob Jones University with a degree in Speech and English, he went to study theology at Oxford University. He was eventually ordained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge and a country parson.

Realizing that he and the Anglican Church were on divergent paths, in 1995 Fr. Dwight and his family were received into the Catholic Church. He spent the next ten years working as a freelance Catholic writer, contributing to over twenty-five magazines, papers and journals in Britain, Ireland and the USA.

Fr. Dwight is the editor of a best-selling book of English conversion stories called The Path to Rome - Modern Journeys to the Catholic Faith. He has written Listen My Son - a daily Benedictine devotional book which applies the Rule of St Benedict to the task of modern parenting. St Benedict and St Thérèse is a study of the lives and thought of two of the most popular saints.

In the field of Catholic apologetics, Fr. Dwight wrote Challenging Catholics with John Martin, the former editor of the Church of England Newspaper. More Christianity is a straightforward and popular explanation of the Catholic faith for Evangelical Christians. Friendly and non-confrontational, it invites the reader to move from 'Mere Christianity' to 'More Christianity'. Mary-A Catholic Evangelical Debate is a debate with an old Bob Jones friend David Gustafson who is now an Evangelical Episcopalian.

Fr. Dwight’s Adventures in Orthodoxy is described as ‘a Chestertonian romp through the Apostles’ Creed.’ He wrote Christianity Pure&Simple which was published by the Catholic Truth Society in England and Sophia Institute Press in the USA. He has also published How to Be an Ordinary Hero and his book Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing was published by Our Sunday Visitor in May 2008. His latest books are The Gargoyle Code - a book in the tradition of Screwtape Letters and a book of poems called A Sudden Certainty, Adventures in Orthodoxy and The Romance of Religion.

Fr. Dwight has contributed a chapter to the third volume of the best selling Surprised by Truth series and is a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine, St Austin Review, This Rock, Our Sunday Visitor and National Catholic Register. Fr. Dwight has also written a couple of children’s books, had three of his screenplays produced, and is finishing his first novel. He’s working on a book on angels and his autobiography: There and Back Again.

In 2006 Fr. Dwight accepted a post as Chaplain to St Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. This brought him and his family back, not only to his hometown, but also to the American Bible belt, and hometown of Bob Jones University. In December 2006 he was ordained as a Catholic priest under the special pastoral provision for married former Anglican clergy. He is the Administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina, and an oblate of Belmont Abbey.

Fr. Dwight enjoys movies, blogging, books, and visiting Benedictine monasteries. He’s married to Alison. They have four children, named Benedict, Madeleine, Theodore and Elias. They live in Greenville, South Carolina with a black Labrador named Anna, a chocolate lab called Felicity, cat named James and various other pets.

Author Archive Page
Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Religion and Spirituality

Sometimes, Catholics get stuck… Some get stuck on their “Sunday obligation” — which is the minimum commitment and they think that’s all that’s required. Others get stuck on religious rules and regulations and think if they just mind their manners they’ll be just fine with the Lord. Others get stuck on doctrine and dogma and liturgical regulations and think if […]

"Guardian Angel" (detail) by Pietro da Cortona"Guardian Angel" (detail) by Pietro da Cortona

Encounters with Angels

A visit to the local bookstore will reveal a whole shelf of books on angel encounters, angel channeling, and angelology. There’s even a book called The Physics of Angels which tries to blend quirky physics theories with the theology of St Thomas Aquinas. A quick look at the books on offer make you realize that the New Age understanding of angels stretches […]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

Irrationality and Infallibility

Not too long ago I spoke with yet another Protestant minister who is about to leave his ministry and join the Catholic Church. He said he ended up in this situation because he had a seminary professor who kept challenging his students to, “Think it through.” He tried to think through his opposition to Catholicism because he had a parishioner […]

"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers

True Grit and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As a convert to the Catholic faith it took me a while to appreciate the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion. To tell the truth, it seemed kind of sappy, sentimental and well… French. All hearts and flowers and perfume – almost like a Valentine from Jesus. Yucch. Then I learned about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and realized that she, like […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

I’ll Forgive You If…

Have you ever held back from forgiving someone because they hadn’t met your conditions? That happened to me once. I inadvertently offended someone and I sincerely apologized three times. I noticed that the person did not accept my apology or offer forgiveness. I finally said, “You know, I have now apologized to you three times very sincerely. I really am […]

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

Are the Gospel Stories a Myth?

One of the most common pronouncements by the atheists is that “Christianity is a myth.” When they say “myth” what they mean is “fairy tale” or “silly story everyone knows is untrue.” They use the term “myth” to indicate a funny story about gods and goddesses that simple people made up long ago. When they say “myth” what they really […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

When I was a Protestant I wondered why Catholics had so many statues of saints in their churches. There were two problems. First, I had been raised to believe that carved images were wrong because they broke the commandment “you shall not make to yourself any graven image.” Second, I was told that Catholics worshipped the saints, and sure enough, […]

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

Doubts and Difficulties

I’m glad doubting Thomas is a saint because gives us permission to question our faith. While we call him Doubting Thomas it might be better to call him Difficult Thomas or “Thomas who  had difficulties”. There is a difference between a doubt and a difficulty. Blessed John Henry Newman wrote, “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.” When we […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

Rapture or Rupture

Last December, the Rev. Harold Camping, who predicted the second coming of Christ several times, finally got to meet Christ. Before his death’ he had predicted the end in May 2011. When it didn’t happen’ his followers didn’t experience the rapture, but they did experience a rupture–in their belief system. I was brought up in a fundamentalist church that followed […]

"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail)
by Edmund Blair Leighton"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail) by Edmund Blair Leighton

These Two Commandments…

When Jesus was asked which of the commandments was most important he replied that we should love God and love our neighbor, and he added that on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. He might have added that on these two things hang everything that matters to everyone everywhere. Most importantly, it is the love of […]