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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Beginning the Diaconate Journey

I was beginning to wonder if it really would happen. At least, I wondered if this was the year. We’ve been talking about the diaconate since we got married, and in the past year our talk became more serious. We have a 7 month old baby, though, and a frequent shortage of funds, and teens going every which way. How could we really think this could be the time to commit ourselves to beginning such a daunting new course?

Maybe it isn’t that daunting to other couples, I don’t know. But there has never been a clergyman in my family, ever, as far as I know. Heck, until my kids’ generation, there weren’t even baby boys being born into the Catholic side of the family.

Things are progressing, though, and our family is growing in more ways than just size. My cousin started it, when she became our first nun. Then I went and became a Discalced Carmelite Secular. And now, my husband is beginning his (our) path to discernment about the permanent diaconate.

I like to think we make a good pair: I am a contemplative, and he’s an apologist. I’m a cradle Catholic and he’s a convert. (The official wording is that he’s joined full communion.) I, though mostly Dutch, relate to the bride’s Greek family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where my husband relates more to the tiny but cultured family of the groom. We balance each other out. And where love and faith are concerned, we don’t so much “balance” each other as support each other and try to grow together. So I guess I do believe that if anyone has a good shot at this, my husband does. Heaven knows he has what it takes to be a good preacher.

So this week, we attended our first class. It’s a three year lay ministry class that’s recommended in our diocese for all lay ministers and a required prerequisite before entering the three year diaconate class. I’m eager to work through the reflection questions with my husband, and joyful that I believe they can really help us grow in our walk with Christ.

And I’m really excited that we’ve begun this journey.
Please pray for us as we work, pray, learn, and discern.