Wow Emmy Winning Former Breaking News Anchor Announces his Re-Conversion to the Catholic Faith - Welcome Home Chuck Gaidica!
A well-known former television news presenter of Channel 4 (WDIV-TV), Chuck Gaidica spoke at St. Stephen Church, Detroit, about his recent reconversion to the Catholic faith. Gaidica, who spent many years as a nondenominational pastor in Detroit after retiring from the news. He said he was urged to return to the Church eight years ago by a woman at St. Stephen.
Chuck Gaidica has been involved in TV for more than 40 years.
The award-winning newsman explained:
“Tonight, I want to be honest with you, I want to be blunt with you, and hope I can be really encouraging,” Gaidica said on October 27th. “Because, to borrow a phrase from the TV news business, ‘I have breaking news, but first, these messages.’”
Gaidica’s talk, “Taking the Long Way Home,” was part of a re-launched speaker series at St. Stephen Church.
He had been previously been invited to speak in 2014, as the faith leader of a different denomination.
“I assumed the only time I would speak to this group in this place, in this parish, was eight years ago,” Gaidica said. “Then God, and a woman from this parish — or someone who was visiting that night — had a different plan, and that’s part of my story.”
Gaidica, who grew up Catholic and later became a nondenominational pastor in Detroit during his television career, which included more than 30 years as an anchor and meteorologist on Channel 4 (WDIV-TV).
Gaidica recalled telling the story about how he grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in a flat with three generations of his family.
He left full-time reporting to pursue a master’s in ministry and leadership and became the pastor of a large, nondenominational church in Novi. He was invited to St. Stephen to discuss his faith journey and was enjoying coffee in the church when a woman approached him.
“The evening was over, I’d done my talk and answered some questions," Gaidica said. "I was standing over by some people when this lady walked out, an older lady, older than me. She walked up, and as I extended my hand, she took my hand, grabbed my forearm and looked at me and said, ‘You have to come back to the Church.’”
The woman left before Gaidica could respond. Intrigued, Gaidica later tried to find her, but could only remember "a woman who was wearing a coat," he said. The parish had no idea who she was.
“Her fingerprints, which means this place’s fingerprints, are on my spiritual journey, and that’s why I’ve come back,” Gaidica said. “And I know so many people along the way, including the Hale family, who have prayed for me, because goodness knows I could use the prayer."
“So now, breaking news, I have returned to the Catholic Church,” Gaidica said to an appreciative audience.
Gaidica said the mysterious woman planted a seed in his mind about returning to his childhood faith. His conversion meant leaving the church where he was pastor and explaining his decision to his wife, his family, friends, and the congregation. But as he began to research, he couldn't shake the thought.
“The big 'why' is, 'Why did I come back to the Catholic Church?' And the intriguing part of that question is summed up best, I think, by a quote from G.K. Chesterton,” Gaidica said. “Why I am Catholic is that there are 10,000 reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.”
Gaidica’s TV career has taken him all over the world and allowed him to do some incredible things, including flying with the Blue Angels and becoming a scuba-certified diver and an instrument-graded pilot. But all those things came later in his life, Gaidica said, including his decision to return to the Catholic Church at age 64.
“I am here tonight for two reasons: to say thank you,” Gaidica said. “The second is to encourage. There is a lot going on in the world right now that is crazy. There is a lot going on in the Church that is crazy. So be encouraged. Those looking for a place to find peace in a very anxious world should know about the Catholic Church. They should be encouraged. The world is filled with anxiety. Others who have fallen away from the faith, and have given up, should be encouraged. It is never too late.”
He never considered returning to the Catholic Church — especially after the revelations of the 2002 sexual abuse scandals in Boston and elsewhere. Then, years ago, Gaidica recalled driving in his car listening to a news report about the scandals, when he said aloud, "God, how can I ever come back to this Church?"
“And an answer came back to my head,” Gaidica said. “I did not hear a voice. I didn’t see a flash of lightning. I didn’t see a talking donkey walk up my driveway; I heard nothing. But the message came right back into my head: ‘Why not? The Church never left you.’ I had to pull my car over because the answer was true. The Church has been, is, and will always remain. It is always here. I pictured God standing with his arms saying, ‘Come on; I knew you were coming. Come on.’”
“I think God didn’t need me back; He wanted me back,” Gaidica said. “He wants you back. All He wants for us is to be back and be all in, to be part of this rescue mission that is the greatest story ever told. So I’m encouraged. And if the Church — with Truth with a capital ‘T,’ with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are all there, then they've got my back. I’m encouraged, and I hope you are, too.”
Edited from https://www.detroitcatholic.com/news/detroit-tv-personality-chuck-gaidicas-breaking-news-hes-returned-to-the-church by Daniel Meloy