The Catholic University of America





International Policy Advisor Discusses Spiritual Journey for Faith in Action Series


   Print Friendly and PDF



Nathaniel Hurd, a senior policy advisor for a congressional commission, discussed his gradual transformation from atheist to devout Catholic on March 30 as the featured speaker for CUA Law’s Faith in Action Series. 

Hurd’s remarks, titled “From Atheist to Catholic, from Rome to the Capitol Dome: The Journey of a Congressional Staffer,” began with a description of his early childhood and being raised in a non-believing home.
Hurd said that what little thought he gave to Catholicism as a young man was not especially favorable. “My opinions of the Church had been informed by everything but the teachings of the Church,” he said.
But after graduating college, Hurd made a workplace friend who was an articulate, thoughtful, and observant Catholic, a combination of traits that intrigued Hurd and began to open his mind to the possibility of the existence of an all loving, all powerful God. He began to sample Christianity first as an Episcopal, but over time gravitated toward the writings and teachings of the great Catholic theologians.
“God never wants to impose himself upon us. He asks for this relationship in freedom,” Hurd observed of his measured engagement with the Catholic faith.
He discussed some of the transformative books and essays that have influenced his thinking today, and recommended daily Mass, regular confession, and time set aside for quiet reflection as keys to a renewed relationship with God.
Hurd has spent his career focusing on international humanitarian and human rights crises, including those resulting from religious persecution. He has interviewed and spent time with many survivors of violence – in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan – who were forced to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other countries as refugees or were internally displaced in their own.