His Early Life
Van/Gabriel of Urantia/TaliasVan was the son of a steelworker, born and raised in a Roman Catholic, Italian family (read Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan's memorial to his father). He grew up in a tough, blue-collar neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even so, Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan’s artistic nature blossomed at a young age; at age 6 he began singing on street corners and in 1960, at 14 he formed his first professional harmony group and went on to perform in night clubs and to record his first two albums in the 1960’s. Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan also had a love for theater and studied at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
A Spiritual Awakening
Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan was 24 when he turned his life completely over to God and service to humanity. He left the nightclub scene realizing he was meant to write and perform uplifting, spiritual songs for people searching for meaning and hope. Over and above his musical calling was his calling to serve. Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan worked as a counselor and minister in various service organizations and halfway houses such as the Nicki Cruz Outreach, Centrum of Hollywood, Youth With A Mission, and many others. He then went on to start his own halfway house in Tucson, Arizona in 1977 called SonLight Ministries where he took in the poor, homeless, alcoholics, and addicts. At the same time, Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan served as a volunteer chaplain for the county jail in Tucson and for a federal prison in Mexico where he also provided food, clothing, and counseling to the needy. His spiritual journey led him to study various world religions. He explored monastic life at Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David’s, Arizona; Pecos Monastery in New Mexico; and the Third Order Franciscan Community in Montrose, Colorado.
Continuing to Seek Truth
Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan’s spiritual search led him to discover The URANTIA Book and to meet Niánn Emerson Chase. Together they co-founded Global Community Communications Alliance in 1989. Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan and Niann’s union formed a complementary relationship that would birth their shared vision of creating a sustainable culture of unified diversity within divine pattern. They continue to help others manifest the tools they need to heal, grow, and actualize their highest potentials. Within Global Community Communications Alliance nonprofit organization Van/Gabriel/TaliasVan and Niánn have co-founded dozens of other sister nonprofit outreaches to serve humanity and create a higher culture.