Diaconate Journey

I’m actually a couple of weeks behind on this one. We’ve started formation for the Dicaonate finally. Started on July 19th with orientation. Our class has 18 men and 17 wives, and there doesn’t seem to be a person there we didn’t like. Pretty interesting mix of people, plus a lot of similarities too. Several have a military background. Many were “nudged” into the application process.

Heck, one wife was praying to the Lord before they got together and the Lord literally said to her, “Help Jerry become a deacon.” Bear in mind that this woman was a casual acquaintance of her future husband at the time and had no idea he was considering the Diaconate. Surprisingly we also have several couples where one or more of the spouses have been divorced. 

And we seem to be a bunch of smart-asses too. Not in a bad way so much as we seem to be a group who can be irreverent about ourselves.

The day started with lots of good continental style breakfast food and lunch was also awesome. Very good job there. We got to meet our companion couple who are from the 2008 class about to be ordained in three weeks and the Deacon Office staff, which consists of Deacon Bob and his admin, Debbie. We also had another couple from that class come in and give a quick talk on things to expect.

We watched a one hour talk by Fr. Richard Rohr, apparently from a couple of years before he went deep into the enneagram, eco-spirituality and other highly questionable stuff. I thought he had a few moments that I disagreed with strongly. For instance he bemoaned and strongly lamented the rise of what I would call the orthodoxy and orthorpraxy oriented folks. On the other hand he did have some great points about ministry and why one does it. While I wouldn’t seek his stuff out as a general rule, it was a great talk in that respect.

After that great lunch (and a trip outside to warm up) we briefly told our stories about how we got there. That’s where we found out that we may be in for a ride with this group. 🙂 Finally we got some books. A copy of the Catechism which goes to Mrs. Fric as I already had one, Bokenkotter’s Brief History of the Catholic Church, Keaton’s Deacon Reader and the transcription of Fr. Rohr’s talk I mentioned and the two follow-ups at that same conference.

Lot’s of stuff to mull over certainly. Didn’t seem to be anyone who was outwardly problematic in their approach to the Church. One woman mentioned she wanted to be a priest when she was young before she knew better. One woman seemed a little vague in a way that made me wonder how much of Church teaching she believes. Other than that (and that is hardly worth mentioning so far), the group seems solid.

I think there will be a lot of great friendships developed here. Really looking forward to the next four years.

Oh yeah. Retreat weekend is next week at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Been there once for a self-directed retreat day with some friends. Awesome place. Can’t wait.

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