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About meDennis Coates was born in Canada to non-practicing Catholic converts.
They sent their five children to Catholic grade schools. Very early on, Dennis had faith, prayed and believed. He became an altar server at age nine. He recalls vividly and with great warmth serving early morning Masses for the factory workers where he grew up. Even though this lasted only three years, this was the time when Dennis was genuinely and permanently evangelized.
Dennis drifted away from his faith in his later teens and twenties. But the Lord always called him back, as was the case when he met and married Diane, the love of his life. But then Dennis tasted some material success and actually said to a friend, “I don’t need God.” It was a statement that would haunt him.
He discovered that he not only needed God but felt God calling him back. 1976 would be the pivotal year for his faith when he experienced Christ personally in a deep and lasting way through the Cursillo Movement in the Catholic Church, one of the pre-eminent evangelizing movements in the Church. From that point there was no turning back; he was now a committed follower of Christ. He now had a method by which he could live his faith fully, deeply, and perseveringly, and to finally leave behind his previous in-and-out, come-and-go pattern.
Dennis sought to live his faith in the family, workplace, among friends and acquaintances, and in his parish. His desire that others have the opportunity to encounter Christ personally, as he had, became his principle motivation. In 1977, at Christ’s request, he gave his life totally to the Lord, and was willing to answer Christ’s call to serve in whatever way the Lord wished.
The call became abundantly clear, and Dennis has served Christ in his Church through the Cursillo Movement at the diocesan and national levels. Also, over the years, he has created and led several faith-based programs in the parish as well as being a catechist in the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) at the parish level for over twenty years. His writing has been an inspiration to many.
At a retreat in late 1992 Jesus told Dennis, “I want you to write your gospel.” “Fine,” answered Dennis, “What‘s a gospel?” His retreat spiritual director told him that every follower of Christ has his/her gospel, his/her good news, to share with others. For some it may be through their witness, others their service, others their writing.
During that retreat Dennis’s first book began, God Is My Shepherd, I Lack Nothing. He converted a lengthy letter to a brother into a book, A Letter to Tom. He followed this with Of Spirit and Presence, summarizing the spiritual dialogue with his closest friend, Jon, an agnostic, over a thirty-seven year friendship. He followed this with Evangelized! Dare I say it? This told of his Cursillo encounter with Christ and some of its consequences. This was followed in 2003 by In the Power of God, a book showing the power of prayer.
The spiritual dialogue mentioned took the form of innumerable letters to a Jon, a writer and agnostic, asking him to discover the love and reality of Jesus personally. Dennis shared with him, in depth, his experience of Christ since his Cursillo in 1976, and his accumulating understanding of Christ and His Church. This led to back and forth dialogue on philosophy, theology, the meaning and purpose of life and the truth and reality of God and Jesus, culminating in an intense three week visit and conversation that led, Dennis believes, to his acceptance of Christ before his death in 1998.
Throughout his career, his letter writing had become an important contributor to his professional success. Dennis believes these various forms of writing were his greatest training ground for the writing of his books.
In 2003, at age sixty-five, a new stream of writing began in which Jesus provided book title, chapter titles, and the words. Dennis described it this way. “I showed up ‘for work’, and the words would come. I never knew what would be said or even what the subject matter was. I never knew what the next paragraph would be. I would first hear the name of the book then the name of each chapter. I set up the book format, went to chapter one, and the words would come. I was the typist and truth-checker. Twenty-nine books were written in this manner over a six to seven year period. There are still five more I have to write for which I have the titles.”
At one point Dennis asked Jesus, “Lord, what am I do with these books?” He answered, “You are not to be concerned with that; I will take care of that in my time.”
It seems that now is His time, and Westbow Press is the means.
Groups50 Book Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, Christianity, Club Read 2012, Let's Talk Religion, The 12 in 12 Category Challenge, What Are You Reading Now?, Writer-readers
Real nameDennis Coates
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Account typepublic, free
Member sinceApr 3, 2012