Christendom students, faculty, and staff packed into the college’s Christ the King Chapel for the Laudamus Te First Friday Holy Hour this past week. The Holy Hour was led by alumnus Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony, who afterwards shared his conversion story with the college community, inspiring all present to grow stronger in their faith and to share it with others.
Deacon Anthony (’02), who serves as a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Arlington, told his audience how a health scare brought him back to the Catholic Faith while he was a teenager.
While staying with his father one weekend, Deacon Anthony complained of being thirsty and very weak. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was sure he was going to die. Anthony prayed that he would see his mother. Then he passed out. When he awoke, his mother was there, and the doctor diagnosed him with diabetes — a reminder for Deacon Anthony that he must rely on God to live.
Deacon Anthony continued his faith journey at Christendom College, majoring in theology while being very active with the Legion of Mary. After graduation, he worked in youth ministry at St. Louis Church in Alexandria, then St. Timothy’s in Chantilly. He later taught religion and bioethics at St. John Paul the Great Catholic high School in Dumfries before being ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2017.
For those present, his story was a moving one and inspired them to be more attentive to their own Catholic faith going forward.
“It was a joy to have Deacon Anthony with us to preside and preach for our First Friday Holy Hour,” says college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, who attends every Laudamus Te. “His moving story of how he overcame numerous challenges in his life was an inspiration to me personally and to our college community.”
Following the social, many students returned to Christ the King Chapel for all-night adoration, spending valuable time in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
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