What a great story, from Detroit Catholic:
Chuck Gaidica has been in the TV business for more than 40 years, telling the stories of Detroiters as a well-known figure in the community.
But on a blustery fall evening at Holy Trinity Parish in Port Huron, the award-winning newsman reported on a story on which he has the ultimate scoop: His return to the Catholic Church.
“Tonight, I want to be honest with you, I want to be blunt with you, and hope I can be really encouraging,” Gaidica said Oct. 27. “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, part of Holy Trinity Parish, that recently resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was the second time he’d spoken at St. Stephen, Gaidica said. He’d also been invited to speak in 2014, as the faith leader of a different denomination.
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), acknowledged he didn’t expect to be back — especially not under these circumstances.
“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 recalled telling the story about how he grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in a flat with three generations of his family.
After a successful career in TV news, 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 as part of the parish’s lecture series to discuss his faith journey and was enjoying coffee and cooking 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.’”