People At St. Luke: Meet Andrea Dauro
"Very friendly. They made me feel welcome." This is what Andrea Dauro said
about her first impression of St. Luke parishioners. After having been at St. Luke
Orthodox Church for the past five years, she hasn't changed her mind.
Andrea Dauro first visited St. Luke's Orthodox Church in August 1996. She was raised
in the Roman Catholic faith but was dissatisfied with it. So she began a pilgrimage to
find another church. She visited the churches of a lot of different denominations, but
she did not feel comfortable in any of these. Then her brother-in-law, who is Serbian
Orthodox, gave her Fr. Peter Gillquist's book, Becoming Orthodox. After she read this
book, she new she had to see for herself what the Orthodox Church was all about.
Andrea lived in the west-Chicago suburb of Willowbrook in 1996. She
wanted to visit an Orthodox church that was nearby. How she discovered St. Luke Orthodox
Church shows how God works in our lives.
Pat Ketchmark, a parishioner at St. Luke's, worked as a secretary in
the school that Andrea's sister's children attended. One day, Andrea's sister, Cheryl,
went to the school office to get some school-related information. (Cheryl's husband is
the Serbian Orthodox brother-in-law that had given Andrea Becoming Orthodox). Cheryl
started talking with Pat and found out that Pat was an Orthodox Christian. So Cheryl
asked Pat where she went to church. Pat told Cheryl about the St. Luke parish, and Cheryl
told Andrea. Soon, Andrea visited St. Luke's and has been with us ever since.
Lee Kopulos was one of the first people Andrea spoke with when she
first visited St. Luke's. As we all know, Lee is very enthusiastic about the Orthodox
Church and loves to welcome visitors. In fact, he is in charge of our Greeters ministry.
Lee introduced Andrea to parishioner, Laurie Bauml, who had also been raised in the
Roman Catholic Church. Then Laurie introduced Andrea to other people. All of this made
Andrea feel very welcome.
Andrea regularly attended St. Luke Church for many months. She spoke
with Fr. Andrew, who kindly answered her questions. She read and studied Orthodox
literature, and asked more questions. After a while, Andrea decided to become Orthodox.
She consulted Fr. Andrew about this, and he gave her some reading material to prepare her
for Christmation. She was Christmated at St. Luke Orthodox Church in April 1997.
In June 1998 Andrea had to leave Willowbrook. Her father was ill, so
she and her daughter, Rebecca, moved to his home in northwest Indiana to care for him.
Andrea, an artist, also set up a home business to support herself and her daughter.
Although the trip to St. Luke's was now much longer, Andrea and Rebecca continued to
attend whenever another family member could stay with her father. She also came to Church
Council meetings once a month after she was elected its Secretary. Recently, Andrea's
father passed away, so they are now able to come to church every Sunday.
When Andrea first heard about this year's Christmastime collection of
baby items for PASS (PASS It On! inThe Evangelist, Fall 2001), she wanted to be involved
in it. Andrea spent many hours hand-painting a baby-crib/dresser unit that St. Luke
parishioners eventually filled with baby items and donated to PASS. It was a joy for
Andrea to use the talents God had given her to brighten the life of an unknown, unwed
mother-to-be. The bears and balloons on the outside of the crib seem joyful, too, and
reflect the love with which Andrea painted them.
Now that Andrea no longer needs to care for her father, she is
looking toward the future and will be making some changes. She still wants to attend
St. Luke Church and may move back to Illinois so she is closer to it. Also, she wants
to find a good school for Rebecca. In the meantime, Andrea and Rebecca keep coming to
St. Luke's from Indiana.