By Terri Gadzinski, Executive Director of Stewardship & Development
This morning I got my first Covid vaccine! It was a real shot in the arm, but not for the reason I expected.
After the nurse told me to relax my arm, she asked where I worked. I told her the Catholic diocese. “I get to work with a lot of really great people,” I said. She hesitated for a moment and then told me she used to be Catholic and agreed that Catholics are really great people. She loved the nuns at her Catholic school, they taught great life lessons. As I pulled down my shirt sleeve post-shot, I told her we are working hard to invite people back to Mass in a safe way now that more people are getting vaccinated. “You’re welcome to come back any time,” I told her. She replied, “Thank you. I think I
might do that!” I smiled big on my face and in my heart!
Ok, in all honesty, I felt like, “Cool! I did my evangelizing deed for the day! Now I can relax and do nothing for the rest of the day!” But, I had an important meeting on my work calendar in the afternoon and, after a few moments of self-pity, I came up with a more constructive attitude. I asked God to open my eyes to the next
person who needed to be invited back to Mass. If I can be made to smile big in the space of a 60-second encounter with someone who professes to be an ex-Catholic, then I need to do this more often. It feels good!
Was this a chance evangelizing encounter? An unexpected opportunity that just fell into my lap? How did the right words tumble out of my mouth, and hers, so that an invitation and a grateful, “definite maybe” response was made?
The answer (this is God speaking now, in the gentle, loving way he talks to me), “Not by chance, my dear daughter, but by my design, which I could not accomplish without you.” Then he said (with a bit more sternness) “Now get back to work!”