In 2010, we were at a good friend’s home having dinner. After dinner, one of our friends said ‘Jay, you do a lot of good things at your parish, have you ever thought about being a deacon?’ The friend had a deacon in his parish and had been asked to think about the diaconate himself. Candy and I thought about it, prayed about it, and talked about it. After about six months, we decided to look into the diaconate process including contacting Frank Ponnet.
In January of 2011, Candy asked me if I had seen the information in the vocation section of the bulletin. It was about a diaconate information meeting. It was the first such notice we remembered seeing in the bulletin, a sign that this might be something that God wanted us to pursue. We then met with Cambria to see if there was a need for a deacon couple at Holy Family. She said “Yes!” so we decided to attend the formation meeting. As we began the application process, after an introduction by Cambria, we also met with those who lead ministries in which many Deacon Couples are typically involved including; Worship, Community Services, Restorative Justice, and Pastoral Care. We also met with Fr. Jose.
The application process was lengthy, involved and we completed it in the fall of 2011. Then we waited. And waited….
On May 28th, 2012, on the eve of Pentecost, we received the letter saying that we had been accepted into the program. At the end of our first year, the Aspirancy Year, our class received their name, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first Saint from the United States.
In September of 2012 we started the five-year Diaconate Formation Program to become a deacon couple. Ordination for the Elizabeth Ann Seton class will occur in June of 2017.