Fr. Dwight Longenecker

About the Author

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. 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.

Join Fr Longenecker for a free daily Blobble study. That is a Bible study on a Blog. He will be leading readers at his blog Standing on My Head. Each day features a reading and a short reflections. The comments box is then open for discussion and comment.

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
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 [...]

St. John DamasceneSt. John Damascene

Idol Speculation

I was brought up in an independent Bible church in the USA, so my first visit to a Catholic church was a big culture shock, and it confirmed everything I was told about Catholics. There were racks of candles guttering away in front of statues. There were images of Jesus on the cross, Jesus with his heart on the outside, Mary [...]

Oak TreeOak Tree

Send My Roots Rain

When teaching my personal development course called ‘Ordinary Hero’ I show the students a picture of an ancient tree and explain how our lives have three levels: the branches and leaves represent our everyday concerns — our daily worries, joys, tasks and choices. The trunk of the tree symbolizes our conscious beliefs and values. We can discuss our religious and [...]

giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.comgiulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

Kissing “Ugliness” — More than an example…

“We see shining in their lives the deep truth of the Christian message. They are not simply setting a good example. It’s more than that.” Do you remember when the cameras caught Pope Francis reaching out to embrace the “monster” of a man covered with warts and boils? How could he kiss that ugliness? St. Francis kissed a leper, and if [...]

Catholic ClergyCatholic Clergy

The Practical Practice of Almsgiving

One of the dreariest tasks of a parish priest is to stand up and ask for money. One can almost hear the moans of the parishioners and hear them thinking, “Here we go again. Father’s always asking for money. That’s all he ever thinks about is money.” This complaint is more accurately aimed at the complainer. Father Frugal — like [...]

Sacred Heart of JesusSacred Heart of Jesus

Love God and Do as You Please

Sally’s baby was crying in church again. He didn’t howl during the hymns when it might have been excused as singing along. He screamed during the sermon and the prayers. He really screamed at that moment when the silence of eternity was meant to touch our lives with its tendrils of tenderness and power. Instead our ears and hearts were [...]

Pope FrancisPope Francis

Is Pope Francis a Reformer or Revolutionary

From the first days of his papacy Francis has been hailed as a radical reformer. The mainstream journalists have enjoyed creating a new narrative: The shadowy Dan Brown-type Vatican (as we all know) is worm eaten with secret pedophiles, a cadre of homosexuals, mobsters running the Vatican Bank, an ancient, sinister international conspiracy and Cardinals who are shady, secretive and [...]

"Adoration of the Lamb"
by van Eyck"Adoration of the Lamb" by van Eyck

Solemnity and Celebrations

Some months ago I was down to take a wedding on a Saturday. The couple had been prepared by the deacon. The groom was from a nominally Catholic family, the girl was unbaptized. So the wedding party turned up for the rehearsal on the Friday and, as usual, people were in high spirits, but in this case there was some [...]

storm-seas-sky-featured-480x300

Naked Evil and the Boston Bombings

When trying to make sense of the recent bombing in Boston or the tragedies of Sandy Hook and the Aurora massacres, we are faced with mindless violence – an absurd, howling kind of insane violence. It seems like the devil himself is stalking the streets – seeking whom he may devour. An exorcist told me one of the most disturbing [...]