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The Christophers: “General Hospital” Star’s Reawakened Catholic Faith

Tony Rossi, Director of Communications

 

Fans of ABC’s “General Hospital” have embraced actor John J. York for 32 years and counting, as he plays police detective and family man Mac Scorpio. In real life, the actor is devoted to his family, as well as the Catholic faith he had drifted away from many years. So, what led him back?

During a “Christopher Closeup” interview, John recalled growing up in Chicago, where his mom and dad made sure that he and his five siblings were grounded in the faith and received a Catholic education. After going to college, however, John’s faith became less important to him. He eventually left college to pursue an acting career in Hollywood and met people who guided him towards different opportunities that allowed him to fulfill his dreams. He also met and married his wife Vicki, with whom he had a daughter, Schyler.

Years later, after Schyler began attending Notre Dame High School, she asked John, “Dad, what do I have to do to receive Communion? We have Mass every day and everybody’s going to Communion, but I can’t go.” Though John was culturally Catholic enough to have had Schyler baptized, he never followed through on any of the other sacraments. He explained that she had to go through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in order to officially join the Church, so that’s what she did.

John said, ”We still [weren’t] going to church every Sunday. Then, she went to college in Boulder…I did say at one point, ‘You’re a Catholic now. Going to college, there are going to be a lot of parties…and things like that going on. But go find a church…and continue with your faith.’ She did that…She had an encounter, and she became deeply immersed in her love for Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith—and she brought me along with her. So, I was just following her, following Him.”

In finding a new passion for his faith, John looked back on his life and the people who helped him with a divine perspective. He said, “A series of hands [were] always reaching out for me…As I reflect back on it, it’s the hand of God, it’s the hand of Jesus that was…pulling me along.”

John has also been paying close attention to his prayer life in the years since then. He started by praying the rosary every morning, then discovered an old St. Jude prayer card in his drawer and began saying that as well. Over time, prayers to the Blessed Mother, St. Philomena, St. Therese, and many more have been added to his morning routine. He said, “It focuses me on trying to do good things…Start your day in a space of gratitude, a space of humility, being thankful for what’s around you.”

John’s journey of faith has also helped him see the image and likeness of God in the people he encounters every day, whether they share his beliefs or not. In fact, simply praying, “Help me to see the face of God in the people and experiences of my life,” allows him to stay focused. And while being a person of faith doesn’t prevent John from experiencing dark times, his perspective on dealing with them is different than it used to be. He concluded, “Even if I’m by myself, I’m not alone. For me, Jesus Christ is right there with me. The Holy Spirit is right there with me, and that’s who I talk to. That’s what gets me through…He’s the light in my life.”

 

For free copies of the Christopher News Note BRINGING LIGHT TO LOST SOULS, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org


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