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People At St. Luke: Meet Andrea Dauro
By Multiple

"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.

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