Be an Amazing Catechist
According to His Purpose: An Interview with Gary Zimak
When I go and do my talks I realize this is not me, it's the Holy Spirit. I remember when Matt Swaim contacted me for my first interview on EWTN radio. Before the interview, I told my wife, "Well, I'll do this one, but I will probably never do another one." I remember praying, "I don't know how to do radio, Lord. Give me the words," and it flowed! And the rest is history. I've been a regular on EWTN and Relevant Radio ever since then. My radio career still amazes me because it's just a radical departure from my natural style and personality. For most of my life I've been an introvert, but working for the Lord has certainly changed that!
How would you describe the beginnings of your apostolate?
The Lord was very good to me. I created the Following the Truth website in 2008, and he let me go on working as a project manager until 2012. I was in ministry part-time, did a lot of radio and writing, but without having to worry about making a living with Catholic evangelization.
I absolutely hated my job in the last several years, and I would pray, "Lord, what's going on, here? I seem to be doing a lot of radio and writing, people seem to like this; but why am I still at this job?" I couldn't understand why the Lord still had me working in the commercial world, but I knew He had His reasons.
Looking back, I now realize that He allowed me to concentrate on evangelization and not worry about earning a living doing it. I had a corporate paycheck and was getting much-needed practice in getting more contacts, and learning a lot of PR and marketing. In essence, I was becoming very comfortable speaking and writing about the Catholic Faith without having to worry about earning a living doing it full time.
What inspired your first book?
The concept literally came to me as I was walking my dog around the block, but the initial seeds were planted many years ago.
Do you remember the Gideon Bibles? Well when I was in college, someone gave me one as I walked across campus. And inside the cover were notes on where to find help in Scripture when you were worried, lonely, etc. I liked that, and I kept it and looked at it whenever I was discouraged or depressed. In late 2011, I suddenly got the idea that it would be great do a Catholic version of that Gideon Bible, which would direct readers to verses that would relieve their anxieties.
I often give talks about dealing with anxiety. Some of my more popular ones are: "From Fear to Faith" and "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry." The answer is always a personal relationship with Christ, which involves prayer, following the teachings of His Church, receiving the sacraments, and reading the Bible frequently. Many Catholics are unfamiliar with the Bible, so my intention was that the book would help them to locate key verses when they were anxious. I contacted Liguori and they loved it, and it's since been published as A Worrier's Guide to the Bible: 50 Verses to Ease Anxieties. It's already in its second printing, but I want to reach even more people and let them feel God's peace in their lives.
Tell me about your second book, Listen to Your Blessed Mother: Mary's Words in Scripture.
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children," and "Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation" available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of www.AmazingCatechists.com.