Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

On Tuesday, May 2nd at about 4 p.m., a gunman shot and killed Angelo Musitano at his home near Hamilton, Ontario. While the headlines screamed “Mafia family’s son” and “mobster,” the reality is that Angelo exchanged his old life of crime for a new life of trusting and following Jesus several years ago. In fact, he was a member of a LeaderImpact group in Hamilton led by Mike King, the chair of LeaderImpact Hamilton. Mike confirmed to me that Angelo’s conversion was genuine and that he was very active in telling others about his love affair with Jesus.

Here is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the National Post on May 4th. “The day after news of the targeted murder of Angelo Musitano, the son of a notorious Mafia boss and a well-known gangster in his own right, a small, close-knit group of his friends gathered behind closed doors, and there, where no prying ears could hear, they spoke — they prayed for Musitano, for his family and then for the gunman who shot him dead in front of his house…

…The stark irony for them is that the day Musitano was killed was the same day his first-person story of his transformation appeared in a published religious book. The authors who collected the stories from 13 men and women received their copies that same day, but never had a chance to deliver a copy to Musitano.

‘There are some who will know me by my name alone and will recall my past history. There are those who will sit in judgment of me because of my past but these are the people who do not really know me,’ the chapter on Musitano’s testimony begins.
‘I was born into a family — not just any family but “the family” — in other words a family associated with organized crime.’ ”

Angelo goes on to say, “I still fought and struggled for years to make a better life for myself and my family but it wasn’t until I realized I had to give up everything from the past and start over that my life really began to change…With the help of others, I learned how to pray for people less fortunate…He [God] blessed me with peace and love.”

Angelo’s story brings to mind the great apostle Paul, who authored a significant percentage of the Bible’s New Testament. Prior to his encounter with Jesus, Paul persecuted Christians and condoned their execution. Following his conversion, he wrote the following to the fledgling church in Corinth.

“Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone…” (2 Corinthians 5:17(a), The Message)

Have you encountered Jesus? If so, have you truly embraced your new identity as a child of God? It is never too late!

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.