EDMONTON – Don't let the world convince you that holiness is impossible, says a Texas-based singer, songwriter and storyteller.
"That's the farthest from the truth," remarked Steve Angrisano as he addressed the annual Faith Development Day of Edmonton Catholic Schools at Shaw Conference Centre. "To be the saint we are called to be we don't have to be perfect (just good)."
With guitar in hand, Angrisano sang, joked around and told moving and faith-filled stories to his receptive audience – some 3,000 Catholic school employees, who cheerfully sang and danced to the rhythm of Angrisano's music.
The well-known Catholic performer noted his hero, Blessed John Paul II, considered it a privilege to have canonized so many people who found holiness in the most ordinary circumstances of life.
"Holiness is not just for the likes of Mother Teresa and St. Francis but for all of us," he said. A sure way to achieve it is to be "a life-changing reflection of God to others."
Angrisano, a father of three, met God through Mr. Steve, his Grade 5 religion teacher. "I don't know much about him. I just remember he did a magic trick at the start of the class; it was horrible," he said to laughter from the audience.
"He was the worst magician I've ever seen but we never told him. We didn't want to break his heart. But he loved God with all his heart.
"You know, the first time I gave God a chance in my life, I don't think I did it for God; I did it for Steve. I did it because he loved me and he loved God and he wanted us to meet him. I said, 'I'll give it a shot because you care.'"
Like Mr. Steve, "You'd be surprised at the difference you make," Angrisano told teachers in the audience. "You don't have to be holier than that. We just have to allow God to be real and it changes things."