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Surfer-priest shares his incredible journey: from dropout to drug-addict to priesthood

Today, the familiar colloquial expression "life is a beachâ? applies to this surfer. However, life was not always this easy for him. Father Donald Calloway had to overcome quite a few obstacles in his life before he could learn to find balance. His tainted past landed him in trouble several times. He dropped out of high school, acquired an addiction to drugs, was institutionalized and jailed multiple times. And as if that was not enough, he got involved with the Japanese mafia, known as the "Yakusaâ? when his family moved to Japan when he was just 15 years old.  FR. DONALD CALLOWAY Surfer Priest & Author  "I wasn't raised into a Christian family at all. We weren't Catholic-Christian. We weren't Protestant-Christian. We were nothing. My parents didn't believe in God. They didn't believe in religion. So, that's how I grew-up and I grew-up in a very tumultuous household. And my mother was actually married three times before I was 10 years old.â? His mother and step-father were desperate and wanted to find a resolution by providing a way to help their son overcome his struggles.  FR. DONALD CALLOWAY Surfer Priest & Author  "When I was twenty-one I had a huge conversion. What happened was... My parents, my mom and my step-father, they had a conversion two years before that. And so, they were really into Catholicism, they were going to Church all of the time. They had enrolled my brother into a Catholic school. I thought they were crazy.â? It could be said that his radical conversion spawned from a lonely evening of self reflection when he discovered a book that his mother had in the house. The story of the Virgin Mary served as a catalyst to his own conversion.  FR. DONALD CALLOWAY Surfer Priest & Author  "After I had my conversion, I really didn't know what to do with the rest of my life because I didn't have any goals or ambitions or careers. None of that, because when I was just living for pleasure. I never lived for anything more than the present moment.â? Before he could become a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, Fr. Donald Calloway had to prove himself. He had to go back to school. It was a process that took 10 years to complete. Fr. Calloway has written nine books, his latest is called, Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon. Today, when he is not busy writing books, going on pilgrimages or promoting his faith to the world, you can probably find Fr. Calloway on a beach somewhere perfecting his barrel roll.  YA RR/AA -SV -PR Up:MB