No Turning Back

From runaway teen to Marian Priest: Fr. Donald Cal... Read more

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By Dan Valenti (Jan 7, 2010)
Conversion. It's one of the most potent words in spirituality. There are multiple meanings of the word, but in religion, it refers to the reformation of one's life — a profound redirection to abandon a former way of living to assume one conformed to God's will.

Conversion is how many people know of Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. There have been videos and brief prose treatments of his turning from a life of immorality and substance abuse to faith. Father Donald has talked about it on numerous occasions. The full story, however, has remained untold.

Until now.

This month, Marian Press launches No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy, Fr. Donald's new book that presents the full account of his story by the only man who can tell it as his own.

Father Donald's early years read like a case study from a reform school. He dropped out of high school, turned to a life of crime, got kicked out of a foreign country, was thrown in jail many times, and was institutionalized twice.

No Turning Back takes its title from the definitive nature of Donald Calloway's conversion. He went from a young, thoughtless criminal with a passion for surfing to a heartfelt love of Mary, which he first encountered after chancing to read a book on the Blessed Mother.

The spark of faith ignited an explosion of love for Mary, which led him to Jesus and to formation as a Marian seminarian. Through diligent study and acceptance of God's forgiveness and mercy, Donald was ordained a priest in the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, whose U.S. province is based on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass.

Father Donald, who currently serves as the Marian Fathers' U.S. vocation director, writes in the introduction, "Some may find the following story — my life story — to be almost unbelievable. After I give my conversion witness at conferences, it's not unheard of for someone to approach me and say, 'I can't believe it. I think this is unbelievable.' ... I would probably have doubts myself. How is this possible? Is this story true? Because these kinds of events only happen in the Bible."

Further in his introduction, Fr. Donald gives the encouragement: "I am 'Exhibit A' — evidence that when people pray, even for people they don't know — miracles can happen. Divine Mercy is for real!"

Father Donald has completed advanced studies in Mariology and has worked tirelessly to share his love of Mary with others. He has written many articles, edited two books on Mary (The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church and The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body, Marian Press, 2004 and 2005), and written one (Purest of All Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina, Marian Press, 2008).

Father Donald has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; master's and STB degrees from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.; and an STL in Mariology from the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. To learn more about Fr. Donald, visit his website,

To purchase No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy, visit our online catalog.

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Jon L - Jan 8, 2010

The rays of Mercy saves souls......

mary - Jan 8, 2010

your in my prayers

Erica T - Jan 9, 2010

How exciting! I can't wait to read your story, Fr. Calloway. The world really needs to hear about how God can transform even the greatest of sinners.

Teresa de Jesus - Jan 9, 2010

Wonderful news but I hope you consider translating your work into Spanish. I know how much your example is needed in our Hispanic communities. God bless you, Fr. Calloway.

ileana - Jan 9, 2010

Congratulations, Fr. Don. I know that my students will greatly benefit from your story. Thank you for all that you and your Marian brothers do for us.

thomas - Jan 10, 2010

what a great picture. very inspirational. looking forward to reading your story. i watched your video a few years back and it has really made an impact.

huyen tran - Jan 10, 2010

how wonderful! Father Don, do you know any Marian priests or brothers that could translate your book into Dutch,vietnamese, German and French too? I have friends,nieces and nephew that love to read your book.

MARIA C. - Jan 13, 2010

I have seen the DVD with my other prayer group members. We all loved it and it really inspire us to formed our own Divine Mercy group here in Brantford. We hope to see you when we come on a pilgrimage in Stockbridge in July (28-30) of this year. Thanks again for your witnessing GOD'S MERCY.

Reginald - Jan 14, 2010

So glad your story is finally in a book. Very nice cover, too.

Silvia M. - Jan 15, 2010

I can't wait to read the book, Fr. Calloway. By the way, the pictures of you on the beach are amazing photos. I have never seen a priest wearing a cassock with a surfboard! Young people are really going to like that!

Florence Pamki - Jan 17, 2010

I have been waiting for this book for a few years. Thank you! I have grandchildren who really need to hear about your conversion. I first heard you speak at a conference in New York. You really have a gift for speaking, and that is why I have wanted to read about your story in a book. Take care, and God bless you and your mission.

bara - Jan 25, 2010

remember St Matthew. Jesus called him!!!

Mary - Apr 20, 2010

I have read this book.. It is a wonderful story of how God works.