Charles Fuller was lost. Like many in his generation, he was dealing with depression and anxiety in high school and was desperately looking for a way out. Most of all, he wanted to feel closer to God. Over the course of the next few years, he searched through history and literature, seeking out answers. That journey reached its peak this past December, when Fuller converted to Catholicism at Christendom College, capping off his first semester of undergraduate education in an atypical way in our modern world.
Fuller hails from Sacramento, California, and was adopted by his loving parents. While he was raised Protestant, he ultimately felt that his faith was not fulfilling him in the way that he wanted.
“I started pondering what faith meant to me when I was going through a really rough time in my life,” tells Fuller. “I was struggling with and continue to struggle with anxiety and depression. I found that I wanted to be closer to God, but that my Protestant faith wasn’t helping me in the way that I needed. I started asking questions, looking at history and literature to see if there was a way to run back to God instead of away from Him.”
As he dug further and further into his search for meaning, Fuller eventually came to a conclusion: the Catholic Church might just be the place where he could finally become closer to God. After a couple years of uncertainty, he decided to fully commit to converting in July of 2018 and continued learning as much as he could about the Catholic faith.
At this point, Fuller was about to enter his senior year of high school — meaning, it was time to begin his search for a college as well. After being homeschooled for most of his life in a classical curriculum, Fuller wanted to continue similar studies in college. Further, with his newfound commitment to becoming Catholic, he decided he wanted to attend a Catholic college as well.
His mother assisted him in the search and began looking online for him. Eventually, they came across Christendom and decided to make a visit. When Fuller arrived on campus, he found a place he felt could provide him with the plan he needed to continue growing in his classical education, but also in his conversion process as well.
“I appreciated the strong community and faith I found. I was also impressed by the types of academics and learning I saw in the classrooms,” says Fuller.
Fuller eventually applied and was accepted. During his first semester, the culmination of his classroom coursework helped him in his final stages of conversion. Outside of it, the community support he felt only brought him more in love with the Catholic faith.
“The community here is wonderful. Everyone I spoke to about my journey was supportive of me. When it came time to choose my godparents, I was able to turn to classmates William Stanmeyer and Michelle Kelly. They have always been willing to offer me advice when I need it,” says Fuller.
As the fall semester came to a close, everyone on campus geared up for finals. While Fuller was doing so as well, he was also gearing up for another, life-changing event: his reception into the Catholic faith he had been seeking for so long. On Thursday, December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Christendom’s daily Mass started per usual, but with a special addition: Christendom chaplain Fr. Marcus Pollard announced that Fuller would be baptized, receive his First Communion, and be confirmed as well.
In front of the entire community that had shown him so much love and support, Fuller completed this major chapter of his faith journey. Now, fully Catholic, he could continue drawing himself closer and closer to Christ — the goal that started him on this journey only a few short years before.
Now, Fuller is in his second semester of studies at Christendom. Back home, his parents joined the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church just this past month — a conversion they believe occurred because God used Fuller’s journey to help them in their own journey as well.
Christendom was founded to form lay people and give them the tools needed to impact the culture and restore all things in Christ. Fuller is the latest person to be transformed by the faith-filled community and education at Christendom, following in the footsteps of students like Max Dugan and others. He might still have years of study ahead of him, and fully expects there to be struggles and stumbles along the way, but now Fuller believes he has a community that will always be there for him, helping him continue on this road towards Eternity.
“I’m still growing in my faith, and I still struggle, because I am human. However, I am thankful that I persevered in my journey. Now, I have access to the fullness of faith through the sacraments and a community of faithful that will help me when I stumble,” concludes Fuller.