By Fr. Bill Kneemiller
Dion DiMucci’s book, “Dion the Wanderer Talks Truth,” published by Servant Press, is only 143 pages long, but has all the components of a great read: A street-wise musician from the Bronx meets Jesus and shares conversion stories of rock-solid faith that will touch your heart and soul.
The “Wanderer” is an apt metaphor for Dion himself who early in life drifted from his faith and his God. But after 11 gold records and being a millionaire several times over, he realized that he had everything on the outside, but nothing on the inside.
The “Wanderer” metaphor also fits well with the social forces shaping the Catholic Church in recent decades. Dion was right in the middle of many of these forces. He came from a nominally Catholic family, but in the late 1960s he had a re-conversion to Christianity and spent decades as an evangelical Christian. Dion’s return to his Catholic roots is another amazing turn as the “Wanderer” comes home.
A couple of years ago, I came across his conversion story and managed to find his home phone number in Florida. I called Dion and asked him if he wanted to come to Iowa to help us get rocking in the right direction. He told me that his schedule didn’t permit an Iowa visit because he has so many other commitments. However, I believe his book can touch many people here in Iowa and elsewhere with the story of his devotion to Christ and his holy Church.
One other media gem that everyone will enjoy is a CD by Ann Marie Schmidt, “To Hell and Back — Divine Love and the Cross,” distributed by Catholic Lighthouse Media. This CD tells the story of faith of a young woman who spent time in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. I’ve listened to hundreds of CD-recorded talks over the years; this one is not only among the best stories of faith I have ever heard, but I believe it will make the Scriptures come alive unlike any other talk you may have heard.
In Romans 10:17, St. Paul tells us how we grow in faith: “Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Also these items make great “gifts of faith” for confirmation or birthdays, and all of us need to be on fire to inspire!
(Father Bill Kneemiller is pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Hills and St. Mary parishes in Lone Tree and Nichols.)