A McDonald’s, a Homeless Man and a Hug

While in formation for the Permanent Diaconate, Greg Hall had an incredibly unexpected experience while in a drive through at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chile. At the age of 46, Greg’s subtle kindness and awareness of serving a homeless man requesting to get something to eat allowed him to have an encounter of a lifetime – one that still brings him to tears.

Listen to the podcast of the full interview with Greg (13:42).

Watch the video of Greg’s story of encounter (4:22).

Greg Hall was born in Satellite Beach, Florida, near an Air Force base. His father was a strategic air command officer in the Air Force, so his family moved around a lot. Greg spent most of his time living in Omaha, Neb. Greg attended college at Texas A&M University and is currently a deacon at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Greg received his sacraments in the Catholic Church in 1968, but shortly after that, his mother informed him that they wouldn’t be going to church anymore.

“My mom had gone to Catholic school her whole life, but was concerned with the changes in Vatican II,” Greg said.

Because his mother wanted to attend the Mass in Latin, which wasn’t offered on the Air Force base, the family stopped going to church. Greg was 8 years old. After his father retired in 1973, the family moved to Clear Lake in Texas.

“I didn’t grow up in the faith at all and I didn’t set foot in a Catholic church until I started dating my wife,” Greg said. “That was a real blessing to me – that her faith pretty much dragged me along. Over time as God spoke to me in different ways, I realized that I was getting to go to church and not having to go to church.”

Greg attended college at Texas A&M University. There he met his wife Angie and they married in 1982. After graduation, Greg and Angie moved to the Greenspoint area, but later came to Fairfield in Cypress, Texas and became parishioners at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1994.

At Christ the Redeemer, Rev. Sean Horrigan asked Greg, one day after Mass, if he had thought about becoming a deacon.

“I didn’t really know much about it,” he said. “Back then, we had Deacon Jim, who I loved, and Phillip Jackson had just barely started formation. I had worked with him in baptisms and I loved him. So it really was the two of them that made me think, ‘Well, I don’t know what a deacon is, but if that’s them, I’m interested.’”

He also recommended his good friend, Bill Bradley, now Deacon Bill, to enter into formation as well.

Greg is well loved by the parishioners at Christ the Redeemer and many around the world. Greg is celebrated as the person who whose plan — and drilling equipment — made the famous rescue of the 33 miners in Chile possible. He is a self-proclaimed “hugger” and says he cries when God touches his heart. Greg is currently fighting the good fight against pancreatic cancer and is the owner of Drillers Supply International in Houston, the American Manufacturing Company in Minnesota and PERFO-Equipos in Chile.

Read more articles about Greg:

National Catholic Register – Deacon Whose Drilling Company Rescued ‘The 33’: ‘God Drilled That Hole’

North Texas Catholic – Deacon Greg Hall, a central figure in historic rescue of “The 33,” gives all the credit to God

The Knights of Columbus – Columbia Online – The Depths of Faith

Texas A&M College of Architecture – A lecture by Greg Hall ’82, who developed the plan to rescue 33 trapped Chilean miners (Video)

Catholic News Agency – Deacon candidate who helped Chilean miners describes rescue

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