One night in late October, 1935, a parish priest in New Jersey was called to the local hospital for an emergency.
The hospital staff explained to him that a dying man had asked for a Catholic priest—but this was no ordinary plea for Last Rites.
The man came from a Jewish family and was known all around New York and New Jersey as Dutch Schultz—a murderous gangster who had quickly risen to wealth and infamy on illegal alcohol and gambling.
Schultz had first turned to petty crime after his father abandoned his family. Crime was more lucrative than honest work, and Schultz excelled in it. Prohibition and gang wars made his career.
That night in October, however, he had been shot by fellow mobsters in a bar. He was rushed to the hospital, but his wounds became infected and everyone in the hospital knew that the crime boss’s time was up.
No one could imagine a man like Schultz having any relationship with his Heavenly Father…Should they even bother offering to call a rabbi for him?
Then the dying gangster astounded the doctors by urgently expressing his desire for reconciliation with God—but not through his birth religion of Judaism. He wanted baptism in the Catholic Church.
That night, one of the most unlikely of men was baptized and received into the arms of the Holy Church.
Dutch Schultz’s tale is one of many among both famous and unknown people. These people, who surprised those around them by receiving the sacrament of baptism on their deathbeds, were often fugitives from God’s love. Many of them heard His call through the years and blindly resisted it, but before death they turned and opened their hearts to Him at last.
Who were some of these people? What are their stories? Learn the full tale of Dutch Schultz and twelve other famous men and women who found refuge at the end in the Church. Deathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line will be one of the most fascinating books you’ll read, relating thirteen tales of the triumph of God’s relentless, loving grace. Order today at The Catholic Company!