“I was new to Catholic concepts and the teaching on the intercession of saints,” says Amy Voigt. The year was 2016. The place was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Columbus. Amy was preparing to enter the Catholic Church through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).
“As part of our introduction to the Faith, our RCIA instructor, Tina Bowie, encouraged us to listen to St. Gabriel Radio.
“At first, I didn’t understand why she would treat St. Gabriel Radio as such a big deal. But later, as I was driving, I turned it on thinking, I guess this is something I need to do to check the boxes and get into the Church,” Amy confesses. Her jaw dropped when she tuned into Called to Communion. At that very moment, Dr. David Anders was explaining the intercession of saints.
“ Our RCIA instructor, Tina Bowie, encouraged us to listen to St. Gabriel Radio,” Amy points out.
THE HOLY SPIRIT ON SPEED DIAL
She discovered that many of her questions about the Faith were answered on St. Gabriel Radio programs like
Called to Communion (2 P.M. weekdays) and Catholic Answers (6-8 P.M. weekdays). In fact, she seemed to hear
answers to her Faith questions sometimes within a matter of hours. “I’m convinced that the timing and logical explanations were not accidental,” she avows. “St. Gabriel Radio became a huge part of my journey into the Church,” explains Amy.
During the Fall of 2016, Amy’s close friend, Tricia Caput from Amy’s hometown in Texas, also started on her own journey of seeking real answers to her questions about indulgences, the saints, the Blessed Mother, and the foundational issue of absolute truth – versus the relativism displayed in the many Christian sects. “My friend’s hangup was the Virgin Mary and Mary’s ability to intercede. I told Tricia that she needed to give the question to God – and listen to her local Catholic radio station.” One by one, Tricia received answers to her questions about the Faith – answers that appealed to her intellect as well as her soul.
“One day Tricia called me in tears. She had been listening to the radio when the Holy Spirit touched her heart. ‘Our Lady was there!’ She said, ‘Mary was there – she was standing at the foot of the cross watching her child die, and at the peak of his suffering, He gave her to us as our mother!’” Tricia was received into the Church in 2017, just weeks after Amy, and is now a faithful advocate for praying the Rosary!
That both Amy and her lifelong friend entered the Church at the same time is “Just the most tremendous gift – an incredible consolation,” Amy says.
“ St. Gabriel Radio became a huge part of my journey into the Church,” explains Amy.
PRIESTS AND SISTERS IN HABITS OPEN MANY DOORS
Amy is a parishioner at Holy Family parish where the Mercedarian Friars make their home. The Bridgettine Sisters also have a convent in the neighborhood and are involved at Holy Family Church. “The priests and sisters give my children great examples of the Faith in action. I can point out to my kids that Mercedarians wear white robes instead of the black cassock of Fr. Stash Dailey. When my boys ask, ‘Why not pants?’ the door opens to conversations with my kids about our Faith.”
“Catholic tradition is full of symbolism. Every part of a priest’s cassock is meant to remind the priest of the life of Christ: black represents death to self in order to rise to serve the Lord, 33 buttons for Christ’s 33 years on earth, and five buttons on the cuff for the five wounds that Christ received in His crucifixion. The Mercedarians wear white robes and carry different implements that have their own significance.
THE UNSUNG HEROES
“I can talk with my kids about true heroism, especially my boys who are hard wired to be heroes. I point out that heroes are not just Ironman and Superman. The Mercedarian example of rescuing enslaved Christians, even risking death in the name of Christ in the process, makes a big impression on my sons. The boys look at those priests with a new level of respect. My daughter has chosen to wear a veil at Mass. She has catechism with Sister Anna who is a cheerful, devout nun from Poland. She sees the Bridgettine Sisters at Mass and around the parish. They all radiate joy, love, and faith. My kids are seeing people around them who are happy, cheerful, living out religious vocations.
“I want my children to consider always what their vocation in life is. The presence of priests and sisters dressed in their religious habits opens yet another door to vocational conversations. Whether you grow up to be a husband or wife, mother or father, priest or sister, there are so many ways to be a hero.”
“ The presence of priests and sisters dressed in their religious habits opens yet another door to vocational conversations,” Amy observes.
Amy grew up in a Protestant environment in Texas – a background for which she is grateful. “My father and mother modeled total commitment to Christ and a deep love for Scripture.” Through marriage and jobs, she moved to Columbus. She is mother to four children and spent almost 20 years working in the fields of graphic design and conservative politics. “I began to find the assignments unfulfilling. I wanted the opportunity to live the Faith and make a real difference in a more practical way.” But that wouldn’t come without a big change.
RESPECT AND LOVE OF SENIOR CITIZENS
A year ago, Amy left her profession of graphic arts and took training in the most basic level of health care as a nurse’s aide so that she could work in home health care. “My heart was broken over the situations many seniors experience in their own homes and nursing facilities. Now I visit people in their homes. I love senior citizens. I see my work as a way to make a difference. I can help these elders in a way that makes them feel respected and loved. Whether I’m helping with a bed pan or a bath, ‘I love you and you make Christ present to me’ is what I want to say through my actions.
“ Whether I’m helping with a bed pan or a bath, ‘I love you and you make Christ present to me’ is what I want to say through my actions,” Amy shares.
“I am a convert and my kids and I often talk about conversion,” continues Amy. “But really, conversion isn’t a one-time thing. There are some big moments of dramatic conversion, but also as Catholics, we experience little moments of conversion all the time.”
Home health care professionals drive a lot and Amy is no exception. She spends hours of every day driving from one home to another.
“A few months ago, I started complaining to the Lord. Before this new job, back when I first entered the Church, I had time to pray in the evening. I complained to Our Lord that now I have no time to pray! I’m surrounded by the demands of family and work. Jesus answered me, ‘What do you mean you don’t have time? You have hours in the car, every day, driving. There you can pray!”
CONVERSION IS MORE THAN “ONCE AND DONE”
“It takes up to 30 minutes to drive from one patient to another, so I get to listen to Mass on St. Gabriel Radio at noon (Holy Mass at 12:05 p.m. weekdays). My hours in the car – choosing to listen to Scripture, St. Gabriel Radio, or pray – are an ongoing conversion. Music isn’t bad, but even better is contemplating my faith, listening to Mass, or hearing faithful people talk about Scripture. Day by day, hour by hour, this is conversion. This is my recent journey. Realizing that instead of complaining about time in the car, it’s really a gift.”
Lifting up our priests and our community in prayer is another facet of St. Gabriel Radio that Amy appreciates. “When I hear prayers for our priests on the radio, it gives me goose bumps! Love, love, love to hear these prayers. I work with seniors who have many life issues. So many times, I turn on the radio and what we’re praying for in the ‘family prayer’ lines up precisely with the needs of my patients. The Holy Spirit intervenes in our lives and is totally involved in directing these movements.”
She also enjoys seeing the St. Gabriel Radio bumper stickers on cars as she travels from home to home. “I get in the car after a difficult day. A car passes me with that sticker and it reminds me of the bigger picture. As a Catholic, I feel reset.”
Truly, Amy joins us in praying, “May the blessing of the Lord be upon you.”