Testimonial stories

After almost losing my life to Covid and realizing how close I came to having to stand before God and give an account for my life, I realized that I didn’t know how to truly worship the Lord. The Quest helped me to find my way into the Catholic Church and to learn how to worship now, how we will be worshipping in eternity. I am so grateful that The Quest was the beacon that led me home.”

John Fennell
Our Lady of the Mountains

More of John’s Story:

“Living in the throes of the Covid pandemic up until September of 2020, no one in my family had been affected by the virus. But I began to start having kidney problems and a cough. I went to the doctor with both of those issues more than once. But to make a long story short, on Sunday morning, September 20th, I collapsed. I stayed conscious all the way to the hospital. I remember when we got to the hospital, the doctor came out and asked, “How’s it going?” And I was able to breathe out, “It’s going,” and I don’t remember anything after that for several days. Later on, I was told that I indeed did have Covid and a Covid-induced pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in my lungs. As a result, I went into full cardiac arrest. The staff worked on me for over 30 minutes to get my heart started again. I remember several of the staff came into my room while I was recuperating to see that I was coherent. They were amazed that I had my faculties. Because I was in that hospital environment when the cardiac arrest happened, they were able to keep me oxygenated. So, I thank the doctors and nurses and staff for keeping me alive.

“Eventually I was released from the hospital, but I wasn’t in great physical shape. I didn’t have a lot of stamina, but one of the things that I did have when I was recuperating at home was a little transistor radio. I was just messing around with my AM radio band and stumbled across [The Quest]. I didn’t even really know the station identification, but I heard someone speaking about living according to the scriptures. So, I listened for a little while, and I was intrigued. Then the next day I listened a little bit more. I listened for several days to that particular spot on the AM band. I never knew what I was listening to until all of a sudden one day I heard someone say “You’re listening to AM 1160 The Quest, Atlanta Catholic Radio.” I had never been associated with anything Catholic before. Being from a family of Southern Baptist ministers, I thought this can’t be right. But the radio had me hooked.

“When I first was released from the hospital we lived in a house in Kennesaw where everything we did we had to go up and down stairs. My stamina wasn’t that great, so my family thought to sell the house and get Mom and Dad a house where I didn’t have to climb the stairs. It was hard to find houses, but we found one way up north in Jasper, Georgia. I think it was God’s plan because the house happened to be pretty close to a beautiful Catholic church, Our Lady of the Mountains.

“During my recuperation, I kept feeling this conviction from the Lord. Every time I drove by this beautiful church, I was hearing from the Lord in my mind and in my spirit, “I want you to go to my church.” I thought I understood that He just wanted me to go back to church. So, I went back to the Baptist church, and, lo and behold, I got Covid again. I spent another stint in the hospital, and I was very confused. I said, “Lord, you said go to my church, and I did ,and now I got sick again; what is going on?” I kept hearing, “Go to MY church.” And after I repeated it a few times, the emphasis on MY church got through, and on Easter Sunday, I went to Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church.

“I specifically credit AM 1160 The Quest for really great programming that helped me know what to expect. I expected to find Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity present in the Church, and sure enough, when I walked into Our Lady of the Mountains, there He was, in the consecration. During the consecration, I had chills. It was like the Lord was looking for me, like the story of the prodigal son. When the father was looking, and he saw his son coming down the road, he ran toward him, and that’s the feeling that I had when I went to Our Lady of the Mountains that Easter Sunday morning. When I got home, my wife asked, “Why are you so excited?” Well, I found the pearl of great price.

“At Mass, I was following the crowd, standing up and kneeling, and I didn’t know why. Through RCIA, I learned the why. I thank Fr. Nguyen and the RCIA team for helping me through the process, and most of all, I want to thank Jesus for inviting me to His Church.”


John was a guest on The Quest for Holiness fall 2023 pledge drive; hear him tell his inspiring faith journey and the testimony of Trey Ross of Mary Our Queen via our pledge drive broadcast podcast.