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The Power of Testimony | Unleashed

February 18, 2022

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In Marker 2.3 of Unleashed The Gospel, Archbishop Vigneron writes, “Personal testimony has an indispensable role in evangelization. Testimony has a unique power to touch hearts, since it is almost impossible to ignore the witness of someone who has encountered Jesus personally and whose life has been transformed by him.” In this episode of Unleash, Fr. Patrick Gonyeau shares his personal testimony: how he went from being an alcoholic to encountering Jesus. Fr. Patrick encourages all of us: “Whether you have a radical testimony of a life-changing conversion, or you’ve walked with Jesus your whole life, talk about Jesus and who he is and what he’s done — because the world needs to hear it!”


Fr. Patrick Gonyeau, Pastor, Corpus Christi Catholic Church: In marker 2.3 in Unleash the Gospel, the Archbishop writes, “testimony has the unique power to touch hearts.” When we talk about our encounter with Jesus, it really has a power to touch other people and open the door for Jesus to touch their lives. And I want to share with you today, my testimony. At the age of 18, I went the way of the world and began to drink and experiment with drugs. And, you know, at the age of 25, I was living in Nashville, Tennessee, and I was a full-on alcoholic and drug user, playing in a little band down there and just descending into darkness.

I’d become agnostic. I wasn’t sure if there was a God at that point. I moved back to Michigan, got a DUI, went to jail for a day. At the age of 26, I ended up deciding it wasn’t worth living anymore. It was a dark place. In my apartment in Lansing, I turned to the right and I looked at the green love sofa and it was empty. And I just said, “God, if you are real, where are you?” It’s the first time I called out to God in a long time. A couple days later, I had a dream that changed my life. In my dream, I came to, and sitting on that green love sofa looking right at me was Jesus Christ. I still see that face every day. And he didn’t say anything. He just looked at me. So a couple days after that, I went and I knelt next to the green love sofa and I said, “okay if you’re there, can you help me?”

That’s when things started to change. There was a gentleman at work who invited me to his Bible study. So I started to go to a Bible study. I started to read the Bible, started to go to counseling, started to pay attention to the court-mandated AA meetings I was going to, and God used all of it to start to heal my heart and my mind from addiction and from thinking and living in a way that was godless. I got changed by his presence and learning to listen to his voice in the Scriptures and learning to enjoy the gift of the Eucharist and walking with Jesus Christ through the arms of his body, the Catholic Church. No matter what you’ve done, Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost. And whether you have a radical testimony of a life-changing conversion, or you’ve walked with him your whole life, talk about Jesus and who he is and what he’s done, because the world needs to hear it.

It truly has a unique power to touch the hearts of others. Thank you for letting me share my testimony with you. And I pray right now, Father, that you bless your sons and your daughters to say, I’m gonna talk about who you are and what you’ve done in my life. My favorite subject is going to be God. And the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit will be found on my lips in conversation. And I’m gonna make you famous Jesus, and talk about what you’ve done for me so that others can taste and see the goodness of the Lord made present to us through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died for us, rose for us, and calls us to live a life full of joy in his presence now, and forever. May God bless you and your witness, your testimony to Jesus Christ. Trust that the world needs it. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Go get ‘em, Church.

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