Terry Modica is the behind-the-scenes administrator of Good News Ministries, as well as its online teacher, webmaster, and writer.
Terry converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1977, drawn in by the Eucharist, and she has been studying Catholic teachings ever since. She has a degree in Theology (B.Th.) and has been certified by the Diocese of Trenton in Pastoral Administration in 1992 and by the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 2003. She served a 3-year term on the Advisory Board of the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association (PNCEA).
Active in ministry from the start, she has served the Church in a wide variety of parish and diocesan ministries, including prayer groups, Parish Council, and as staff writer for a diocesan newspaper. She has worked as RCIA Director, Evangelization Coordinator, Coordinator of Adult Religious Education and developer of Small Christian Communities (in some cases pioneering it as a new program of the parish).
She has been a writer for Christian magazines since 1982, and she is the author of the books Overcoming the Power of the Occult and Daily Prayers with the Saints for the New Millennium, as well as other books, home study courses, and many booklets and pamphlets. She has been a guest on Catholic radio and Christian TV shows. She has taught workshops and directed retreats since 1989 and has gained a reputation for inspirational teaching and spiritual leadership.
After moving to Florida on New Year's Eve of 1994, Terry and her husband, Ralph, founded Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay with a nod of acknowledgment from their new diocese and the enthusiastic invitation of a local pastor.
Terry has a long history of serving the Church in many varied ministries. Good News Ministries is an evangelization resource that trains Catholics how to evangelize by the way we live our lives. Terry specializes in courses and retreats on the Bible, growing in holiness in imitation of Jesus, the redemptive power of our sufferings, and learning from the Saints.
Terry built her first website, www.gnm.org, in 1996 to assist her own evangelization ministry. Later, as part of her commitment to using the Internet for evangelization, she created the first website for WBVM, the Catholic radio ministry of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. This led to the founding of the first website for the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the creation of the Good News Web Designers Association (an ecumenical gathering place for Web designers of all denominations from many areas of the world), then to full-time work as a professional web designer for Catholic churches and ministries, including the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.
Today, this embracing of technology for the sake of evangelization has led to Catholic Digital Resources™, her professional writing and design services.
Terry is the author of the Good News Daily Reflections, based on the readings from weekday Mass, and most of the Good News WordBytes. As an expert in developing Small Christian Communities, she pioneered online faith sharing groups, such as the Emmaus Journey and Parents Who Pray email communities (where she can often be found meandering with others).
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Watch her share it ... Read it below.
God started my earthly journey home as a Protestant. Jesus was my 'best friend' as far back as I can remember. During my childhood, I wanted to know if the supernatural stuff I read about in the Bible still happen today. I was told, "No, that was only for back then, to get the Church started."
Not satisfied with that answer, I began to look for evidence of the miraculous. I thought I finally found it when a Ouija board, which I'd been given for Christmas, spelled out answers that I and my partner did not know. I was 12.
At age 14, I took an active interest in ghosts and haunted houses. I formed a "Psychic Society" with friends and began to hold regular seances. From there, other forms of the occult became very appealing.
By the time I was 20 and newly married, I lost interest in going to church and reading anything Christian. I no longer believed that I needed Jesus.
My conversion happened at age 22, through a visit by a Catholic friend who had become a priest. I noticed that he had something I didn't, so I followed him to an interdenominational Charismatic Conference (Kansas City, 1977) where I met the Holy Spirit.
Finally! I learned that miracles were not just for Biblical days! The supernatural event on the altar where bread and wine become the actual presence of Jesus was very appealing. I witnessed healings and other miracles, too. And because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, God showed me that the occult is a different sort of supernatural power. He convicted me of all the deceptions of the occult.
Hungry for the Eucharist, I attended classes on the Catholic faith and became an active member. It took me a while to wrestle through some of the beliefs that my Protestant upbringing had misunderstood, but this has became the impetus for a lifetime of studying and teaching from the Church's documents and papal writings.
Twelve years later (1989), I wrote my first published book, Overcoming the Power of the Occult. My ministry involvement, which had always been motivated by a desire to bring others closer to God, became focused on adult faith formation. In March of 1994, I attended Charlie Osburn's Good News Ministries School of Catholic Lay Evangelization. By now a teacher and Coordinator of Adult Education for my parish, I recognized the life-changing impact that the GNM teachings had on people, and I wanted nothing more than to become a part of this.
God wanted that, too. He'd been leading me into this before I'd even heard of it! How we got from New Jersey to Florida, without realizing we were part of a plan to start GNM in the Tampa Bay area, is another story in itself that involves the Blessed Mother.*
By the time we held our second School of Catholic Lay Evangelization in our new Florida parish, I couldn't be happier. Soon after this week-long event began, God asked me, "Are you willing to suffer to become a better minister for My kingdom?" (See a piece of that story here.) My answer was of course "No!" but then "Not my will, but Yours be done."
So began a 4-year journey of unsuccessfully helping a friend who was alcoholic and lost in codependency and lust — a journey of learning how to practice what I preached, loving the unlovable without losing healthy boundaries, forgiving 70 times 7 times (sometimes in one day!), and going to the cross where great intimacy with Christ is gained.
I am so glad I said yes! The ministry the Lord has given me to do since then has been much more powerful and life-changing than I could have imagined. The glory of it all goes to HIM!
* Read the story of how Mary, under the title of Our Lady of the Lilies, has influenced Terry's life and ministry.