It was a year ago, July 2014, my mobile phone rang as I was driving to church. I answered, somewhat unusual in itself, but thought it must be a church related call, so I answered, albeit reluctantly.
The voice on the other end was of a woman who had mentioned she would be coming to Divine Liturgy that day. I welcomed her, and said our community would look forward to meeting her. As an oh by the way reference, she mentioned she had a disability, and she asked where she should park. I mentioned she could park in front of the church, and we would provide valet parking services.
This was our community's initial contact with Ms. Diane Chapdelaine, 50.
We spoke at Coffee Hour, and it was obvious she was well read in the Orthodox Christian faith. It was suggested that in order to make her intent clear known(Holy Chrismation), that she begin attending Divine Liturgy on a weekly basis. She nodded approvingly, and said she would.
Ms. Chapdelaine came the next week, then the next week, and she has not stopped coming since to Holy Trinity.
She was received into the Orthodox Church on January 18, 2015. What is perhaps more impressive is that Ms. Chapdelaine has recorded perfect attendance since her arrival 12 months ago. Since July 2014, she has been at every divine service, having in fact, joined our choir many months ago.
In honor of her year of perfect attendance, this morning (July 19, 2015) after Divine Liturgy, Diana was presented with a copy of The Explanation of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Galatians by Blessed Theophylact.
In her remarks to the community, Diana thanked everyone for making her feel so welcomed. She expressed her appreciation to Dr Barbara Lacey who was the first person she met, and sat with her for several weeks, and to her husband, John, who although not a church goer, made sure Diana got to church every week, even during snowy Sundays when he would shovel a path out of the driveway so Diana could safely get into her car.
To learn more about Diana's Inspirational journey see:
- Fr Marc Vranes