Gabby gets ‘showered’ with love!

By Dc. Tom Cuskey

“It was the best day ever, seriously!”

To say that Gabby Gleason enjoyed her recent bridal shower would be to seriously underestimate the joy of the occasion. “It was so much fun. It just flew by. … I wanted it to last five more hours!”

The Catholic Sun has been tagging along on Gabby’s journey with John Patwell, her fiancé, as they prepare for their January 2023 nuptials. Gabby is the Communications & Social Media Specialist for the Diocese of Syracuse and, like John, is a Broome County native. Her shower was held in Johnson City, attended by family and friends from all corners and times of Gabby’s life.

“It was a different experience to have every woman who has been in my life to be in one room,” Gabby shared. “To see all those pieces of my life come together was really an awesome privilege to experience.”
The emotions of the moment took Gabby a little by surprise.

“Yes, more so than I thought. My mom gave a really nice speech. She is always very sentimental and thoughtful, but I wasn’t expecting it. She brought up how she really gave all the thanks to God for John and me. She took no credit. … She gave her testimony and how she prayed for it, literally.”

In previous installments of this series, Gabby and her mom, Mrs. Melanie Gleason, have shared with great faith and a lot of laughter how Melanie prayed for her daughter. Gabby tells us that her mother said “‘I really prayed for Gabby to find a boyfriend and another job she would like, and she started dating John and working at the diocese all in the same month.’ It was perfect, everyone was laughing!”

Gabby adds that her Mom’s speech “was awesome.” Like her mother, Gabby has great faith, and the experience of being among the people she loves on this special day brought the Gospel to mind.

At left: Gabby and her flower girl enjoying the day.

“All of these women in the room, all the different pieces of me and different parts of my life related back to Scripture. I was thinking about the woman at the well with Jesus, how the woman went and told the Samaritans about him and how they started following Christ because of that testimony.” She adds that “my mom was talking just like that, and our guests just lit up. It was encouraging for me to hear those things and it was also encouraging to share what we experienced.”

Gabby’s mother, sister and sister-in-law hosted the shower and John, her father and brothers were there as well. “Of course, John brought flowers, … having everyone there and sharing a meal together, the conversation, the sisterhood. … I am very happy for every single minute we get together like that.”

Gabby also enjoyed a shower thrown by co-workers at the Chancery for her and two other colleagues who will be tying the knot in coming months. While emphasis on gifting and sharing can sometimes become all about brands and price tags, Gabby appreciated the personal depth of thought that went into what she received. “Sister Laura (Bufano) gave me one of her poetry books which I thought was so precious and amazing,” much like an engraved cookbook she received from the grandmother of a friend Gabby has cooked with on occasion. “I love the cookbook, I love the poetry book. It’s nice to look at the really important things.”

As she moves closer to the day, her experiences “are more fruitful. All of these women in different ways have sculpted me into who I am. It was like an evangelization moment, a discernment moment. In all the times of my life these women were there to love me. It made me remember who I am and made me feel very supported. It reaffirms how important it is to encourage people around you.”


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