A Jewish convert’s remarkable journey to Catholicism recounted in a fascinating new book from Ignatius Press
San Francisco, April 23, 2015 – Ignatius Press has published another poignant and astonishing story of a Jew who discovers the truth of the Catholic faith. This latest book, From the Kippah to the Cross tells the moving conversion story of Jean-Marie Élie Setbon. Raised in a non-observant Jewish family, Jean-Marie first encountered Jesus Christ on a crucifix at the age of eight. He felt an inexplicable attraction to Christ on the cross and would spend hours contemplating Him and began to develop a deeply personal relationship with Christ.
Jean-Marie knew that this growing love for Jesus would not be tolerated by his family but his attraction to Christ was so intense that he could not fight it. His practice of making the sign of the cross and praying after his family went to bed soon turned into sneaking off on Sundays to visit Sacré-Coeur church and even to attend Mass. Finally, at fifteen, unable to bear his double-life any longer, Jean-Marie resolved to convert to Catholicism in spite of the scandal it would cause. But God had other plans.
Instead, Jean-Marie ended up delving deeper into the faith of his ancestors, moving to Israel to pursue rabbinical formation and returning to France eight years later as an ultra-Orthodox Jew. There he found work at a Jewish school and synagogue, married and had seven children. But, in spite of his sincere dedication to his Jewish faith, Jean-Marie’s love and attraction to Jesus remained, becoming the source of a long and difficult internal struggle.
Jean-Marie’s moving and unusual conversion is a story is about his battle between loyalty to his identity and fidelity to the deepest desires of his heart. Above all, it is a love story between Christ, the lover —the relentless yet patient pursuer— and man, his beloved.
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, author of Mary of Nazareth: The Life of Our Lady in Pictures, calls From the Kippah to the Cross, “An absolutely riveting story! Filled with twists and turns, it will keep you on the edge of your seat.”
“Conversion stories touch the heart and mind deeper than a mere theology. They are theology put to story and song. From the Kippah to the Cross is such a story. It takes us soaring on the wings of eagles as Setbon’s story unfolds and we glimpse the panorama and beauty of the whole story of salvation,” says Steve Ray, author of Crossing the Tiber.
“From the Kippah to the Cross takes the reader on a remarkable journey. It is a witness to the persistent and transformative love of Christ, and gives readers valuable insight into the unique difficulties and questions of Jewish seekers and converts,” says Holly Ordway, author of Not God’s Type.
Roy Schoeman, author of Salvation is from the Jews, is another Jewish convert who was drawn to Christ and eventually converted to Catholicism. He says this book is “A gripping, unspeakably beautiful account of a human soul intensely in love with and seeking God, and a God who is intensely in love with, and seeks us. Along the way the reader learns a great deal about how Jesus works in the soul, the many ways He reaches out to us, and the way that the Catholic Church is the ultimate fulfillment of Judaism’s love for, and longing for, the Messiah – Jesus.”
About the Author:
Jean-Marie Élie Setbon was born in France in 1964. Trained in Israel as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, he entered the Catholic Church in 2008. He is currently a lecturer and an educator specializing in theology and biblical exegesis.
Please note: The author of From the Kippah to the Cross does not speak English and therefore is not available for interviews. However, Roy Schoeman, a fellow Ignatius Press author, Jewish convert, and friend of the author, has agreed to do interviews and introduce readers to From the Kippah to the Cross.
To request a review copy or an interview with Roy Schoeman, please contact:
Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press at (239) 867-4180 or email@example.com
Title: FROM THE KIPPAH TO THE CROSS
A Jew’s Conversion to Catholicism
Author: Jean-Marie Élie Setbon
Release Date: April 2015
Length: 156 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62164-018-9 • Softcover
Order: 1-800-651-1531 • www.ignatius.com