A Lady Passes Through the Gates
“When a stone is dropped into a lake it quickly disappears from sight, but its impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden and reach across the water. In the same way, the impact of one life lived for Christ will leave behind an influence for good that will reach the lives of many others.”
- Roy Lessin.
Recently we celebrated the life of our dear friend and faithful servant - Kathy Gautcher. Kathy is a true depiction of Roy Lessin’s point on how one life can influence the lives of many. She performed many tasks in her service to the Lord and wore so many hats. Woman of God, Wife, Spiritual Mother to so many, defender of the faith, Diocesan Service Team member, State Service Team member and so many others. Servant of the Lord and Friend…true friend. She worked tirelessly for her cause…Jesus.
I would love to listen to her whenever she was given the task to speak. I would sit there and be so proud of her and of the fact that she was “ours”. Kathy gave everything to God and was never ashamed or afraid to tell her story. So many of us admired her zeal and courage. It was something to be emulated. She was straight to the point because she knew the truth and it was so important to share that truth with everyone - and make sure that they understood it as truth. Even her illness and the effects of her treatments could not keep her from boldly proclaiming her faith. Her emphasis on the importance of knowing, loving and serving the Lord was evident even in her body language. Everyone’s hearts were touched and lives were changed when Kathy gave what would be her final talk at the Day of Renewal last year. Then, as now, her words stay with me. She is a gift from God to us, all that she is, her faith, her love of the Lord, her zeal, they are all gifts given to us. They are a part of us as her ripples move through us and our lives.
To give God glory however and whenever she could was what made her life and brought her joy. She held her banner high and always with that remarkable smile and dancing eyes. I don’t ever remember her ever complaining about the many things she was called on to do. She simply went about her business with great care for even the smallest details. All of it a labor of love - as if she was going about tending her garden.
Deep within her selfless heart she hid her true service to others. She knew the power of prayer and of God’s loving touch - the healing power of His mercy and the restoring power of His forgiveness. She’d seen Him move many times when she would visit her shut-ins and bring them Jesus.
A woman of prayer, Kathy never forgot any of us or any request for intercession. Even her suffering she offered up for others, for the Renewal - for us all. It was Kathy after all, that suggested the Marygrove Mini-retreat for the U.P. Service Teams and their spouses - a retreat Kathy and Geoff never made it to. We’ve gone twice now and her discernment and wisdom have proven themselves so valuable once again. Always giving.
We must look at the ripples that Kathy impacted our lives with as gifts. She had so many. A lady of grace and of strength. She gave her gifts generously. She encouraged us to always be open and obedient to the Holy Spirit. Kathy’s life was blessed as she blessed others by being open to the gifts and using them freely. I know she encourages us even now to step out in faith. Her own words:
“We are to use the gifts every day as we journey toward our eternal home. In being open to the Holy Spirit we can help many people along their journey. We will be the shepherds God has called us to be.”
Indeed, she is only asking us to do what she did so faithfully before us. I know that in a quiet hour with great peace this blessed lady left us. Even with such sadness in our hearts at her leaving, her Alleluia’s will always ring in our hearts and her laughter will forever be a song in our lives.
This lady of grace slipped away and quietly, gracefully, passed through the gates of heaven. I am absolutely certain there was great rejoicing.
It is seldom that we comprehend the effect one life can have on another. Nevertheless, the ripples go on…
From the Diocese of Marquette Michigan, U.P. Catholic Charismatic Newsletter (Summer 2006) .