Friday, December 5, 2008

Spouses of Newly Ordained Deacons

December 7, 2008

Spouses of Deacon Candidates Describe their Experience as a Blessing

Preparation for the diaconate is an experience that enriches the life of the spouse and the entire family, according to the spouses of the newly ordained deacons. The wives said they were inspired by their husbands’ enthusiasm and commitment to the 4-year deacon formation process. Deacon-candidates are not required to be married, but married candidates’ spouses play an integral role in supporting their husbands’ formation and ministries.

Mary Sturgeon, St. Monica Parish, New Boston OhioMade the 4-Hour Round-trip to Attend Classes
“I love my faith,” said Mary Sturgeon. “Jim is on this journey and we share our faith together. I attended the classes and read the books with him so we could converse about the material and he could bounce his thoughts and ideas off of me.”

Jim did preliminary coursework online through Notre Dame University’s STEP program. Mary and Jim made the 4-hour round trip drive from Portsmouth to attend classes at the Josephinum while Jim worked rotating shifts. Mary drove back to Portsmouth most nights so Jim could sleep before she dropped him off at work for the night shift.

Mary wants families to know that obstacles can be overcome for men to attend classes and to be ordained. “This has been such a joyful journey – not a sacrifice at all. We both love the classes. The deacon candidates are good spiritual men and so are their wives. We are like a family. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives.”

Mary is a pediatric nurse Southern Ohio Medical Center school nurse at Notre Dame High School.

“The diaconate is really a gift from God to us as a married couple. I feel blessed to be on the journey with Jim as he becomes a deacon,” said Mary.

Krista Joseph, Our Lady of Victory, Columbus OhioFamily Prays the Liturgy of the Hours with Rob
“When our daughter was about 9 months old, it came into my heart that Rob would be a deacon someday. I didn’t say anything to him about it, but it was a rock I held onto and I began praying for him daily that God would prepare Rob for this,” said Krista Joseph.

"Rob tells people that I am the reason he is becoming a deacon, but I know that God called him. I guess God had to prepare me first.”

Krista and Rob have been married for 21 years.

Krista said that she thought his time away from home at class might be challenging as their children were both under the age of 10 when Rob started the formation process. “I just asked the Lord to grace us with a life rich in love, life and laughter. We have a lot of good times and I know our kids will have good memories of the time when Rob was preparing to be a deacon.”

Krista enjoys praying the Morning Liturgy of the Hours with Rob, and the children sometimes join him in Evening prayer when Rob is not traveling for business. “It is like the Catholic inside us has awakened. We have become stronger and more passionate about our faith through this experience. I am so proud of him.”

Lauri Demidovich, St. Michael’s Church, Worthington Helps with Homily Preparation
“Bill wanted to do this about 10 years ago, and then the call emerged again more recently. I encouraged him and I thought he would be very good. It has not been a burden. It is truly a blessing for him to become a deacon,” said Lauri Demidovich.

Bill and Lauri Demidovich have been married for 24 years. Lauri is a manager at a pediatric medical practice.

“We never told our daughter that she couldn’t do something because her dad is preparing to be a deacon. We told her to decide in her heart and soul if what she is doing is right. And when asked about being a deacon’s wife, I think the best response is to just be yourself,” said Lauri.
Lauri said she enjoys helping Bill prepare homilies for classes and that she provides emotional support as his wife “and keeps things steady at home.”

Lauri says that the journeyed to the diaconate has enhanced their marriage. “Marriage makes a whole lot more sense now and everything falls into place through our faith. Our journey as a couple feels well planned out.”

When asked about how she will handle the time away when he is serving as a deacon, Lauri says, “If I have to share him, I will share him with God and with others.”

Josie and Kas Santos, St. James the Less, ColumbusProud that Husband will be the First Latino Deacon
“Kas and I believe that we can help to bridge the Spanish and English-speaking communities. With teamwork, patience, understanding and love in a common Catholic faith, we can all be stronger in faith and get involved in parish life. Kas will be the first Latino deacon in our diocese. I believe that God is bringing these two communities together and I know Kas and I will be part of that effort,” said Josie Santos.

According to Josie, Kas realized a call to be a deacon when he went on a Cum Christo weekend. “God called and he persisted,” said Josie. “But this calling became more apparent when he started in 2000 to volunteer as a Catholic minister at Chillicothe Correctional Institute.”
Josie and Kas, married for 30 years, volunteer as catechists at St. James the Less to help prepare young people for the Sacraments. They also teach Latino adults at Christ the King Church.

Josie says that the diaconate preparation has helped her grow spiritually and she plans to continue to support her husband in finding new ways to reach out to Latinos in the Catholic community.

“I look forward to seeing Kas at the altar as an ordained deacon during Mass. He is a good and strong speaker and I also look forward to his first homily.”

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