Life Story – Roy Oakley
When I was born, I was baptized in the United church. I met my wife when I was 21 and continued going to the United church. We stayed in the United church until we were about 35.
We went to a more “bible believing” church (Pentecostal). We had a born again experience and were baptized (total submersion). We stayed there for about 10 years teaching Sunday school. My wife was very happy but I always felt something was missing. Then scandal hit the church and we watched Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker and our own Pastor fall from grace. I became disgusted with the church and eventually I lost my faith. We left going to church, and I believed I could just stay at home and pray and still be a good Christian. However, I soon went back to a lot of my old ways. I seemed powerless to be able to change. I started (and so did my wife) praying for something to change.
For our 35th wedding anniversary we went to Hawai’i for Christmas. Through all this we would still go to church at Easter and Christmas. On Christmas Eve we went to the first church we could find, which happened to be Catholic. We enjoyed the music and the service. On Christmas morning I went for coffee and took it to the courtyard of the same church. I had no way of knowing what was about to happen. I bowed my head and prayed: “Dear God what’s next?” I didn’t see a light or apparition but, a voice in my head said: “THIS IS WHERE I WANT YOU”.
I got excited thinking that God wanted me to serve Him in Hawai’i. But soon realized that Winnipeg and the Catholic Church is what He meant. I will never forget GOD’S voice, and how it would change my life.
Returning home, I immediately started searching for my church. I had been a Winnipeg transit driver for 35 years. My usual route took me past Holy Cross Parish. I now believed God was saying, “This will be your home”. I attended the 7:50 AM Sunday service. I enjoyed Father Martins’ homily and his cheerful personality. I talked to Father Martin to discuss my future here. He steered me to the RCIA program. The course was run by Deacon Gilles. I learned so much about the Catholic church (would recommend everyone take it) and I knew I was meant to be here. I became a Confirmed Catholic at Easter (how appropriate).
I will tell you quite honestly I have never been so content and happy since coming to Holy Cross. Father Martin and Deacon Gilles and all the sponsors have been a tremendous help to me. This is now my third year at Holy Cross. GOD willing, I will be here until I die.