Catholics Come Home – Set Free From Addiction
Articles Blog

Catholics Come Home – Set Free From Addiction

November 16, 2019


[music] Tom:In recent decades,millions of peoplehave drifted away from Jesusand their Catholic faith.Sadly, many may neverfind their way back.I’m Tom Peterson,and I believe that Godhas called me to usemy background in mediato be a catalystin the New Evangelization.Our organization producesinspiring and creativeevangelization messagesthat have helped leadhundreds of thousands ofinactive Catholics, converts,agnostics, and atheists,Home to Jesus,and His Holy Church.Join us as we travelacross North Americato bring you stories ofheartbreak, redemption,and transformationas the Holy Spiritleads His people Home.God has an extraordinary plan for each of our lives. He wants us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him, and bring as many people with us as possible.This is“Catholics Come Home.”Now, I welcome you to my home to hear their amazing stories. [music] Welcome to ‘Catholics Come Home.’ In today’s episode, we’ll meet a man from Silverton, Oregon who works in a paper mill. He was born into a large family, and baptized Catholic, but never really practiced his faith.As life went on,he got involved in addictionsand drifted further from God.But, through God’s graceand mercy,and seeing a‘Catholics Come Home’Evangomercial,our guest returnedto his Catholic heritage.Like everyone elsein this series, today’s guest came home to the Church with the help of ‘Catholics Come Home’ and responding to a call of the Holy Spirit. I’d like you to meet Aurelio Castillo. [music] Aurelio, welcome Home to the Catholic Church. And welcome to our program. Aurelio: Thank you, Tom. Tom: We’re so glad you’re here to tell your story and share your testimony. But, I think a great way to start, and what the viewers love to hear, is about your childhood, where you grew up, little bit more about your family growing up. [music] Aurelio: Well, I was born in 1957, a little townin Texas,Edinburg, Texas,about an hour from the Mexican border. And, my family, I’m 1 of 12. Tom:Twelve!Aurelio:Yes.Tom:Where do you fallinto that?Aurelio:I’m 3rdfrom the youngest.Tom:Well, God blessyour parentsfor being open to life.Aurelio: Well, they were open to life. Unfortunately, I, my father left the family when I was about 5 years old. Tom: Oh, my gosh! And your mom had to raise the 12 children alone? Aurelio: Well, she did. And she had help with my older sisters and brothers. Tom: Yes. So, it was tough. Huh? Aurelio: Very tough! [music] Tom:And what did your mom dofor a living?Or was she just pretty muchtaking care of you guys?Aurelio:Well, we lived actuallythe little housewas a 2-bedroom house.And it was on a dairy farm,where my dad used to work.And honestly,I really don’t knowthat part of my life.Tom:You were young?Aurelio: I was too young and don’t know what happened with my parents, and why they divorced, or why they separated. Tom: And were you poor growing up, with that many children, and not 2 incomes? Aurelio: I can remember not having a whole lot of things. We didn’t have any toys. We were really, really poor. Tom: Tell us about your faith background. What was your mom’s faith like, and your dad’s, while he was around? But, what was your faith background like? And what influence did you have in your life? Aurelio: Well, my mother was a devout Catholic, although, I don’t remember us going to Church on Sundays.But, I knowshe prayed a lot. And she had pictures of certain saints. Tom:Sure.Aurelio: And she prayed all the time. Tom: And you did make some of the sacraments when you were young? Aurelio:Well, we,I was baptized,probably about 6 months after I was born. And I don’t know who my Godparents are. [music] A lot of times; it could’ve been drinking buddies of my dad. Tom:Wow!Did you make your First Holy Communion? Aurelio:I didn’tmakemy First Holy Communion until 1967. Tom:Okay, a little bit later.Aurelio: Yes. So, it had been 10 years later. Tom:Yeah, and how aboutreconciliation or confirmation? Aurelio: Somehow or another I was never confirmed. Tom:Yeah, until later in life.Aurelio: Until later in life. Tom: Yeah. So, what was life like growing up? And did you stay in Texas for a while? Aurelio: Well, we were in Texas about 6 years. And then, we basically followed; my dad took off and went to work in the states up north, in the United States. Tom:Yes.Aurelio: And so, we didn’t have much in Texas, a very poor little town. Tom: So, did you move as well? Aurelio:Yes.Tom: And where did you end up going? Aurelio: Well, we moved to the state of Washington. And we lived in Washington until 1978. Tom: And what was your faith background like, in those years, as you were getting a little older, and as you moved? What do you remember about faith back then? Aurelio: Well, when we moved to Washington, I do remember going to Church occasionally. And I know that my mom, my mother needed us to be catechized. And so, they sent us to CCD classes. Tom: Good. Aurelio:And that would’ve beenabout 1967-68. And I got 3 years of CCD education. Tom: Did you like Church? And did you have a relationship with the Lord at that age? [music] Aurelio: I can say that I didn’t really like church, and didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Tom: And as you grew up, did you go to school, or get married? What happened next? Aurelio: Well, I was going to school, and really not practicing my faith. Tom: It wasn’t part of your heritage, right,part of your background much?At least…Aurelio: No. No, it wasn’t. [music] About 9th grade I was the oldest of the family by that time. Tom: Yes. Aurelio: All my brothers and sisters were married. And so, I dropped out of school. Tom: Oh? Aurelio: And I went to work full-time. Tom: Oh. And where did you work? Aurelio:Well, I workedfor a companythat produced fertilizersin the state of Washington.Tom:I see.Aurelio:And I was,I got a part-time job at first.And then, I dropped out of school to go to work for them full-time. The money was too good. Tom: And how old were you at this point? Aurelio: I would’ve been 17. Tom: Wow! Aurelio: Sixteen, seventeen years-old. So, I was trying to be the breadwinner for the house. Tom: And you eventually met your wife and got married? Aurelio:I met my wife, Mariaabout the 1st year that I started working full-time and… Tom:So, you were young!Aurelio: We were very young. Tom: Did you get married in a Catholic Church? Aurelio:We did!That was becauseMaria wanted to havea Church wedding.Tom:Good for her.Aurelio:And I couldn’tunderstandwhy it was so important.Tom:It wasn’t on your radar!Aurelio:It wasn’t on my radar.Tom:Yeah.Aurelio:Maria wanteda Church wedding…Tom:Good for Maria.[laughs] Aurelio:…with all the detailsthat are Catholic. Tom: Yeah. And so, that was your journey. And you’re done! You came home to the Church, and everything is smooth sailing after that? Aurelio: Not really, Tom. [Tom laughs] We were married in 1978. And I also lost my job that year.And so, we moved to Oregon.We made our life in Oregon.[music] Tom: Coming up, you’ll find out what prompted Aurelio to take another look at the Catholic faith. Aurelio: So, on the outside everything was perfect. On the inside, I felt miserable. I felt [music] like I was, [music] I WAS living a lie. Female:There will come a daywhen each of uswill be asked to reviewthe movie of our life,and give an account to God.We will sorrowfully relivethe bad times,and joyfully revisit the good.Thankfully,no matter what you’ve done,there is hopesince Jesus came,not to condemn the world,but to save it.So, if you’ve been awayfrom Church for a while,we invite you to come homeand find the peacethat only comes from God.Visit CatholicsComeHome.org.[music] Tom: Aurelio, you had a Catholic wedding. You had a wife who cared about her faith. And you started growing in your faith with your wife for a few years.Correct?Aurelio: We did. It was 1978. And the Father that married us, Fr. Bill Vogel, just the nicest person you could ever run into. He really cared about the two of us. Tom: That’s awesome. Tell us about your faith life for the first few years of marriage. Aurelio: About the first 6 years of our marriage we started to volunteer at St Luke’s Catholic Church in Woodburn, where we were making our home. Tom:Nice.Aurelio: And we were just really learning our faith. And we were able to share itwith our…Tom: Beautiful. Aurelio:…parishioners.Tom: And did you start having children? Aurelio: We started, we tried to have children right off the get-go. Tom: Yeah. Aurelio: And Maria had 2 miscarriages, almost back-to-back. Tom: Oh, I’m sorry. But, you eventually had 3 daughters. Aurelio:Yes,we have 3 daughters.Praise God!Tom:So, in the 1st few yearsof marriage,you were growing in faith.The priest was helping you.What happened that startedpulling you awayfrom the Catholic Church,and your faith?Aurelio:Well, about 6 yearsinto our marriage,we thought we were doing great in our faith. And I have a few siblings that had already left the Catholic Church and they started to kind of draw us away from It. Tom: Were they doing other things in other faith communities or no church at all? Aurelio: They joined other churches. They were basically evangelical Christians. And they were pretty adamant about their faith, and persistent… Tom:To help pull you outof the Catholic…Aurelio: …to pull us out of the Church. Yes. Tom: What did you and Maria do, faith wise? Aurelio:Well,we asked questions. We, I remember personally going to the priest, and sitting down with him and asking the priest, “Well, we’re baptized. We’re Christian, aren’t we?” And the father answered, “Of course you are.” Tom:Yes.Aurelio: “You have.., you have the sacraments and you’re a Christian.” Tom: Well, you went to the right source to get the answers. But, that didn’t solve everything. You ended up drifting away from your faith. Or, at least, you said, making excuses not to go to church. Aurelio: Yeah. After more persistence from my siblings, I started to question my faith. And I started to drift away from the faith. I tried to find every excuse not to go to Church on Sundays. Tom: And you had worked nights at a Paper Mill. So, you were tired, and found that as an excuse not to go to churchas well?Aurelio: Oh, I certainly did. Tom:Your life hit rock bottomat a point, because you started getting into an addiction. What was that all about? Aurelio:Yes.I started working at a Paper Mill. And I was working a rotating shift, which changed every 9 days. Tom:Which is hardon your body, working days and nights and different hours. Aurelio: It certainly is. It really took a toll on me. And I had very little time to think about Church. [music] And so, I got involved in pornography. And it was not internet pornography. There was no internet at that time. It was basically, you can pull over to a bookstore, and in Oregon, there’s quite a bit of places where… Tom:That’s a prettysecular area. Aurelio:It’s very secular.And it was easy.And it wasn’t hurting anybody. Tom: Or at least you thought. Aurelio: Well, I was certain that it wasn’t hurting anybody. Tom:At the time.Sure.Aurelio:Yes.Tom: Although, it was hurting you, and obviously your family, but you didn’t know it at the time. How long were you addicted to pornography? Aurelio: Well, I would say, it was from 1986-2011. Tom:Wow!So, it was about 25 yearsthat you were addicted to pornography? Aurelio: Yes. Tom:What was your life likeduring that? And what was your family life like during that time? Aurelio: Well, if you would’ve looked at my family life, we had an ideal family. I have 3 daughters, a beautiful wife, and we had a really nice house. And I had really good work. And we had a good income. So, on the outside, everything was perfect. Tom: And how did you feel inside though? Aurelio:On the inside,I felt miserable. I felt like I was.., I WAS living a lie. Tom:Yeah.There’s a word called“duplicity” where you feel like you’re living 2 lives, one for the public, and one that you know inside. And you feel torn, because you’re two different people. Aurelio: That’s true. I know I was living 2 different lives. We could go to Church on Sunday. And Sunday evening, I had to go to work at night. And I could stop by a bookstore and pick up pornography. Tom: And had you gone to confession during this timeandtried to get out ofthe habit?Aurelio: I had not gone to confession, since before we got married. Tom: So, those graces that are available in the sacrament of reconciliation, you weren’t disposing yourself to them. So, you were fighting this battle, or in this case, not fighting the battle, just kind of living that life. And it all started because you were tired. Aurelio: True. Tom:I give a talkat parish missions on Confession. And one of the little acronyms I use is HALT, when we’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, we’re more vulnerableand the devil can attack us.You were obviouslya little bit lonely, working those different shift hours, and certainly you were tired. And you were at a weak point. And he found a door in to your soul to help influence you. Aurelio: Yeah. It was an addiction that I felt wasn’t hurting anybody. And I, and it would take care of the needs that I had for either loneliness, or just desires that I feltI was never… I was never given any opportunities to learn how to be a father. Tom: Mm, so during these years, you were feeling lonely. Did you think about God or want to stop? Or, what was on your heart at that time? Aurelio: Well, I always thought about God on Sundays, the Sundays that we would go to Church, you couldn’t help but think about God. Tom: But He wasn’t part of your life the rest of the week? Aurelio: He wasn’t part of my life the rest of the week. And I felt guilty about that, that there’s a feeling that I knew I was doing wrong. And yet, since I’m not hurting anybody, I can still continue to do this, and still go to church on Sunday. Tom: That was the lie that the evil one was trying to tell you and you were buying into it,because it was easier to stayin that lifestyle.And maybe, perhaps, you didn’t know how to crawl out of the hole? [music] Aurelio: Yeah. I didn’t know how to crawl out. And I kept getting deeper and deeper into that. Tom: What happened next in your life that gave you some hope, helped you to crawl out of the hole? Aurelio: Well, usually on my way home from work late at night, I could either stop at somewhere that wasn’t good for me or I could just go straight home, because I was tired. Tom: Right. Aurelio:And I couldturn on the radio perhaps, or get home and watch a television show. Tom:Sure.Aurelio: And I accidentally bumped into a radio station. And it happened to be an EWTN radio station. Tom: Praise God! Aurelio: About 2:00 in the morning. Tom: Ah! And what did you hear that changed things? Aurelio:Well, I hearda parish mission, I believe it was talking about sin, and how the devil works his evil lies. [music] And I found myself thinking, that’s me! Tom:Yeah.You felt convicted. And said, suddenly the lightbulb went off. Aurelio:Yes.Tom: What did you do about it? Did you go to confession? Did you want to make amendsand change your life?Aurelio: Oh, I didn’t go to confession. By that time, it had been probably over 25 years since I’d been to confession. Tom:Wow!Aurelio: I was too afraidto go to confession.Tom: Why were you afraid? Aurelio: I’m a bad person. Tom:Yeah.Aurelio: I thought I was a bad person. Tom:See, that’s the lie…Aurelio: They don’t want me. Tom:…that the accuser,and the devil’s called and nicknamed ‘The Accuser’ for a reason. He wants us to think we can’t be forgiven, we won’t be, we won’t be accepted. But, that’s opposite of Christ’s loving mercy, where that priest in confession, in persona Christi, wants to welcome us home, wants to forgive us!In our movie Evangomercial,we talk about“Christ didn’t cometo condemn the world,He came to save it.”But, the devil lovesto tell that lie that,“oh, you won’t be forgiven.You won’t be accepted.”And you were buying that lie,weren’t you?Aurelio: I was certainly buying that lie. Yes. Tom: So, what was the catalyst? And how did ‘Catholics Come Home’ fit in, that helped you to suddenly take another look at faith, and get back into the sacramental life? Aurelio: Well, at that time, I don’t believe ‘Catholics Come Home’ was on the air yet. Tom: Uh-huh, not as the TV show, but we had Evangomercialsand the websites.Aurelio: So, I found that I needed to come home. I didn’t know how. So, what I did, after work one morning, I went to the local Catholic Church there where I work… Tom:Nice.Aurelio:…to talk to a priest. Tom: Praise God! And what happened? Aurelio: He welcomed me with open arms! Tom:Awesome!Aurelio: He first provided me with a Bible, and some literature, and said “You need to get back to Church and you need to get back to confession.” Those were his first words. Tom: And how did you feel when you went to that sacrament of reconciliation for the first timein 25-30 years? Aurelio: I was terrified, to tell you the truth. Tom:Going in?Aurelio: Going in. But as I came out, I’ve heard different stories from several people that say, “I felt a load come off my back.” Tom: Yes. Aurelio:Well, Tom,that’s what it felt like. I felt cleansed from within. I felt like a load of bricks had been taken off my back. That’s all I can say about it. Tom:We havean Evangomercial called‘Heavy Burdens.’And we’ve heard that testimonyfrom so many people that say,“I felt I was carryinga hundred pound bag of rockson my back.And after confession,I felt free.I feltfor the 1st time in my life that I didn’t have that burden.” That’s exactly how you felt. Isn’t it? Aurelio: Yes,it is. [music] The Father also recommended that I get back to the Church, and go through an RCIA program. Tom: To learn your faith? Aurelio:To learn my faith.Tom: Because, you really never learned it to begin with. Aurelio: I really never learned my faith. [music] And so, I took a year of RCIA.And it was the best thingI could have ever donein my life.Tom:Praise God![music] In our final interview segment, you’ll learn what helps Aurelio grow in his Catholic faith. Aurelio: And we meet every Tuesday. And we do a short Bible study. And we do adoration at the Blessed Sacrament. Tom:Beautiful.Aurelio: And it just has really changed my life. Male:For 2000 years,our family has celebrated life,and prayed for our world.We cared for the poor,started hospitals,blessed marriages,and educated generationsof children.Guided by the Holy Spirit,we compiled the Bible.We are the Catholic Church,with over 1 billionin our family,in the Churchstarted by Jesus.[music]If you’ve been away,come home to your parish.And visitCatholicsComeHome.orgtoday.[music] Tom: Aurelio, after never having really formation as a child, after finding excuses, and having the addiction of pornography, and drifting away from the faith, you finally were taking that step to come home, enrolling in RCIA. How did ‘Catholics Come Home’ play a part in your journey back to the faithand to strengthen your faith?Aurelio: Well, I remember one Sunday after getting home from Church. And it’s kind of a lazy afternoon. And I turned on EWTNand there’s a show called‘Catholics Come Home.’And I started to watch it. Then, I started to get emotional. And realized, what’s, I’m that person in that show. Tom: Sure. We all have a past. Huh? Aurelio: Yeah, we all have a past. And I just get, kept getting more emotional, emotional. My wife comes into the living room, and said, “What’s the matter with you?” “Oh, nothing, I was just watching some show on TV.” Tom: [laughs] You didn’t want to fess-up to the fact that you were crying, because you knew God’s mercy, just like those folks on this showwe’re talking about.Aurelio: That’s true. I realized that God uses every method He can to reach my heart. Tom: Praise God! And I’m glad He did! And I’m glad you opened your heart, and that you had this good priest who helped you to come home. And I’m glad ‘Catholics Come Home’ played a part in keeping you strong in your faith. Now that you’re home to the Church, how has your marriage changed? Aurelio: Oh, it’s amazing!I tell Maria,“I love you more nowthan the daythat we got married.”Tom:Praise God!Aurelio:And she looks at mewith a look like,I don’t get it.And so, I can’t explain it.But, that’s the love that Godhas given the two of us. Tom: Right. You felt God’s love. And now, you’re reflecting thatto yourown wife.What other thingsare you involved in at the parish? What other practices do you have that helped strengthen your faith? Aurelio: Well, soon after I finished RCIA, local Knights of Columbus group grabbed meright offthe get go,and said,“You’re gonna be a Knight.”Tom: [laughs] Good for them! Aurelio: And then, there’s also a new Bible Study group. And it’s aHispanic Bible study group…Tom: Wonderful! Aurelio:…in our local Church.And a couple of years ago, they invited me to be part of their group. Tom:Nice.Aurelio: And I speak Spanish. But, I don’t speak it at home as often as we should. Tom:Right.Aurelio: And this group of just awesome men is bringing the real man out of me. Tom: Gottcha. And you have accountability! You’ve got a faith group now that tells you what it’s like to be a real father, a real husband,a real man,and a son of God.Aurelio: Yeah. We meet every Tuesday. And we do a short Bible study. And we do adoration at the Blessed Sacrament. Tom: Beautiful. Aurelio:And it just hasreally changed my life. Tom: Aurelio, we thank God that you’re home to the Church. We thank God for His mercy on your life, to get rid of the addiction. We thank God that you are now spreading the faith and sharing it with others, and a strong Catholic.Welcome Home!Aurelio:Thank you, Tom.[music] Tom: “Be not afraid.” “Be not afraid” was the mantra of Pope Saint John Paul II. It’s what Archangel Gabriel told Mary at the Annunciation. And it’s in the Bible 365 times, 1 for every day of the year. Decades ago, in college football, a young man named Roy Riggles recovered a fumble before halftime. As he heard the crowd cheering, “Go! Go!” But, in his confusion, the crowd was actually yelling “No! No!” as he ran the wrong way to the wrong end zone. He was so dejected during halftime, and afraid to face the fans by coming back into the game. Just then, the coach approached the humiliated ‘Wrong Way Roy,’ and said, “Roy, we need you on our team. It’s not about you. It’s about our team. Now, get back on the field and play!” Roy played the best 2nd half of his life, and was transformed. Sometimes we, too, try to avoid circumstances or are afraid after a bad experience. When I traveled to Barcelona years ago, I saw a bullfight arena. In a bullfight, the little 5-foot Matador, takes on a 1 ½ ton bull, much of the action centers around a little red cape. Most bulls chase the little red cape, until they give up. And some die at the hands of the Matador. However, if those big bulls would ever realize that the real enemy was not the waving red cape, but the little Matador, the little Matador wouldn’t stand a chance. You see, the devil distracts us with those mirages, or little red capes too, traffic jams, co-workers, bills, unanswered emails, unkind people, or dwelling on past regrets like Wrong Way Roy. But, St Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12, “Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers.” So, let’s learn how to be not afraid by trusting in the Divine Mercy of the Resurrected Lord, Who already won the victory for us. [music]Here’s your chance to get activein the New Evangelization.Visit theCatholicsComeHome.org website,and click on the Shop tab,Here, you can ordera Catholics Come Home book,evangelization cards,a DVD of the Evangomercials™,or a car magnet.If you or someone you knowhas Come Home to the Church,thanks in part toCatholics Come Home,let us know!Or if you have a comment,question,or want to support our mission,email us at[email protected]or write to us atCatholics Come Home,PO Box 1802,Roswell Georgia 30077.Like us on Facebook,and follow us on Twitter.[music] Aurelio was 1 of 12 children. And he was baptized as a Catholic, yet only had nominal faith formation in his youth. He rarely attended Church while growing up. As an adult, Aurelio and his wife were married in the Catholic Church and began to grow in their faith. But, Aurelio’s siblings began falling away from their faith. Soon, he drifted as well. But thanks to EWTN and ‘Catholics Come Home,’ and especially the Blessed Mother, Aurelio was guided Home to Jesus and His Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Thank you for joining us in this episode of ‘Catholics Come Home.’ Please keep Aurelio, and his family, and all of us at ‘Catholics Come Home’ in your prayers. Remember to fulfill your role in the New Evangelization and help love somebody to Heaven. [music] Male [sings] “I’ve got to love somebody to Heaven! [music] I’ve got to love somebody to Heaven’s door. [music] I’ve got to love…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *