Steve Cocklin is living proof that an inquisitive mind can lead to a life of faith.  Steve joined the Catholic Church this Easter. Born in Peoria, Illinois, Steve and his family relocated to Wadsworth, OH when he was 10 years of age.  After graduating from Wadsworth High School, Steve studied computer networking at Stark State College.  Today Steve works as an IT Support Analyst for the Reliable Solutions Group in Middleburg Heights.

The Radio Voice

Growing up, Steve and his family attended Protestant churches.  Over the years he heard many stories about what Catholics supposedly believe.  “I always listen to ‘talk radio’ wherever I go,” said Steve.  “Back in 2016, I was driving behind a car with a bumper sticker for AM 1060 (North Canton’s Catholic radio station), so I decided to tune in.”  One featured speaker grabbed his attention.  “I started listening to ‘Catholic Answers’ when Jimmy Akin (a renowned Catholic apologist) was speaking.  After he finished, I thought, ‘Well, that’s not what I heard about Catholics years ago!’”  The investigative nature of this IT Analyst prompted him to start reading about Catholicism and learning as much as he could on his own. 

The Inner Voice

One day last year, while sitting at his office at work, he began looking out the window and noticed the beauty of the outdoors.  “Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by a feeling.  Something inside me said, ‘You need to go to church.’  I’ll never forget it.”  When he first moved to Parma Heights in 2020, Steve received a letter from St. John Bosco Church which welcomed him to the community, so the existence of the parish stayed in his mind.  “It was a Thursday, so I went to church that very evening.”  Impressed by Eucharistic Adoration and the Mass, Steve e-mailed Fr. Matt and Deacon Roger with an inquiry about religious formation.  Fortunately for Steve, the RCIA program was fast approaching, so he enrolled, but true to his form, he also scrutinized.

“I felt God moving in my life, and I started going to Mass.  But I also wanted to make sure that I agreed with the Catholic Church’s teachings.  I did a lot of self-study.  Growing up Protestant, you just don’t get the full picture of what Catholicism is.”  Steve enjoyed the group discussions of RCIA and gave high marks to instructors Anne and Mike Ference.  “I particularly enjoyed the Augustine Institute videos, which explained fundamentals of the Catholic faith,” said Steve.  Ultimately, Steve received the Eucharist and was confirmed on Holy Saturday, 2023.  He adopted St. Therese of Lisieux as his confirmation saint.  “She stressed simple things of faith, which is good for me because I over-complicate,” he laughs. 

Steve participated in the Exodus 90 program and is truly happy to be a member of the parish.  For those contemplating conversion to Catholicism, Steve advises, “Don’t be afraid to come to church.  No one is going to judge you.  If you hear an inner voice, listen to it.  Be honest about your faith when you share with others.”  Steve, the SJB family gladly welcomes you.

Submitted by Christine and Bob Martuch