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Sweden: How did Nation’s Prominent Protestant Couple Become Catholic?

New Book Tells Story of Ulf and Birgitta Ekman

Every Catholic convert has their own unique story of the journey that led them to the Catholic Church. For Ulf and Birgitta Ekman, theirs played out in public in secular Sweden, where they led an enormous, worldwide Protestant organization, Word of Life. The Ekmans’ incredible journey to the Catholic Church is chronicled in the new book THE GREAT DISCOVERY: OUR JOURNEY TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

The uniqueness of the couple’s path to the Catholic Church encompasses their innate desire for unity within Christianity, which they sought in all their travels and preaching. Growing up, both Ulf and Birgitta were taught that the Catholic Church is evil, that they should stay far away. But when the Ekmans met Catholic priests, sisters and lay people who turned their view of the Church upside down, they were forced to reconsider their entire worldview.

THE GREAT DISCOVERY is written from both Ulf and Birgitta’s points of view. Even though they came into the Catholic Church together and experienced many of the same aspects of conversion as a couple, their journeys were different. Their curiosity in Catholicism initially began when Birgitta took an interest in St. Birgitta of Sweden, who was also married to an Ulf. Many saints, including Padre Pio, St. Faustina, St. John Newman and Maximilian Kolbe, and apparition sites in Lourdes and Knock all were key influencers in the Ekmans’ conversion.

Ulf Ekman founded Word of Life and was its pastor for 30 years. He preached and traveled extensively, especially to the former Soviet Union. Birgitta Ekman founded a humanitarian organization for needy children in India. THE GREAT DISCOVERYreveals just how many obstacles the couple needed to overcome in their own world in order to convert to Catholicism.

“Ulf and Birgitta Ekman spent decades as evangelists,” says Scott Hahn, Ph.D., author of Rome Sweet Home. “Ulf was known as ‘Sweden’s Billy Graham.’ This book is their amazing story. You don’t have to be Catholic to love it. If you’re human, it will move you.”

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