Elizabeth began her career as an atheist, feminist scholar but her sharp mind and open heart soon led her to the truth about abortion and eventually to her conversion to the Catholic Faith. She was an active member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a recognized expert in the history of the American South, and a critic of radical feminism.Elizabeth offered some reflections on her conversion in a Crisis 2002 magazine article, The Way of Conversion:
What I believe I can say with some confidence, but without pride, is that conversion never stops. Each day, each of us faces fresh challenges to live and act and speak in fidelity to the gospel, and none of them is easy.
But of this we may be sure: If we back away from all of them and retreat into the comfort of the prevailing consensus, we will lose the substance of our conversion. It is common to see the convert as the prodigal son of Jesus' parable and, I suspect, no less common for faithful Catholics, including converts, to identify with the older son, for whom no fatted calf is killed. In slipping into that view of ourselves as having been converted-having attained a status-we lose sight of the parable's deeper meaning: namely, that we always remain the prodigal son and always remain in need of the Father's unqualified welcome.