From Gary, Indiana comes this profile of a deacon serving the people of God in so many ways, I have to wonder when the guy sleeps:
While Tom Gryzbek may have diverged from his original plan to become a priest, he has found his own ways to serve as a hospital administrator, lawyer and deacon.
Gryzbek realized he wanted to keep the option of marriage open, so took his life in a different direction and went on to earn a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Illinois in 1974. He eventually married Marilyn and has two children, Joe and Mary.
It was right out of college that Gryzbek began his long career with the Franciscan Alliance. He joined the former St. Margaret Hospital as suggestion plan manager after graduation. “When I applied, I had no knowledge of health care and it intimidated me,” he says. “But out of all of my interviews, the place that seemed most attractive to me was St. Margaret”….…Gryzbek also has served the community as a Gary Diocese deacon at St. Andrew Parish in Merrillville, an avenue he followed in the 1990s after deciding not to remain at the seminary as a young adult.
“I had a calling to participate in some way beyond what I was doing. I wanted something deeper. As I wasn’t to be a priest, maybe I was supposed to become a deacon,” he said.
He has the opportunity to help with Bible study, Baptism prep classes, Masses, spiritual programs and retreats. As diaconate director for post ordination, he assists newly ordained deacons during their first few years of service.
As a deacon, he also meets with inmates as part of the prison ministry at the Westville Correctional Facility and he hopes to expand the program at the Lake County Jail.
“I find it very rewarding to visit prisoners and hold liturgical services with them. They are extremely appreciative of these contacts as I help them continue to right themselves to re–enter society,” he says. “They come across wanting to turn their lives around and get closer to God. It’s a process that touches you probably more than it touches them.”…
…”God calls us to step away from ourselves selflessly. Those of us who have the privilege of helping those in need are unattended beneficiaries of His graces and it moves us more than those we are helping,” he says. “That I am able to work with very good and hard–working people … you stand in the shadows of their successes and their glory splashes on you.”