Congrats Deacon Ralph & wife Mary!

by Christine on May 6, 2013

The following is a contribution by Mary from the diocese of Cincinnati. She has graciously accepted to write about her experience.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 was an unbelievable day for me as the wife of a newly ordained permanent deacon. Our journey began in 2005 when my husband, a very quiet introverted electrical engineer, came back from living his Cursillo weekend and told me that he thought God wanted something more from him. I really thought he was just having that mountain top experience that one has after making such an intense weekend. But his call never left him and after two years of Lay Pastoral Ministry and three years of Formation, this glorious day came.

It was never ever easy for him or for me. He often says that his Formation was more difficult than completing two advanced degrees in engineering. He was nervous at public speaking and had lots of trouble writing all his papers and memorizing facts for tests. But the Holy Spirit was there for him every step of the way.

Ralph & MaryI attended classes with him- 45 weekends over three years, which meant we missed lots of family activities and weddings, etc. Someone in our class figured out that we put on over 7,000 miles in traveling from our house to the seminary on those formation weekends. We also had a lot of discerning during this time. It was never what I call a “slam dunk” once he was in the program- no guarantee of ordination. Then came his canonical retreat this Spring and a peace came over him like I have never seen before. I knew then that this is what God wanted for him so writing my letter to the Archbishop came a lot easier than I had thought.

Ordination day was filled with so many tears before Mass began. Every time I saw family members or other wives, I cried but as the music started and the procession began the tears went away and I was totally in the moment. I felt the Holy Spirit and when my husband laid down and the Litany was sung, my soul just sang. He later told me that a feeling of heat went over his back as he lay on the ground- like a healing heat. This week is like being on a honeymoon with God- so many persons have sent gifts and messages and we also received a spiritual bouquet from our friends in Cursillo with offerings of Masses, rosaries, adoration and more.

All I can say is keep trusting in God’s will as you go through formation with your husband. I know we will have challenges but I also know that He will be with my husband and me all along this new journey. God Bless You, Mary G., the new deacon’s wife

What a beautiful message of encouragement! Congratulations Deacon Ralph and again, Thank you Mary for sharing.

God bless you both!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane May 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

May God continue to send you blessings and Graces as you continue to work in the vineyard with the Body of Christ. It is indeed a gift to share the journey with your husband, the trials are worth it and the rewards just are out of this world. Just one day closer to eternity that is what we work towards.
Peace Be with you both,
Diane( a Deacons wife now for 5 months and counting.)

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Christine May 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Diane, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! Is there any way I can convince you to write about your journey? I’d love to re-post on my blog – we all need to know how other wives have lived through this incredible journey.

Thank you and God bless you also!

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Deacon Sean Smith May 8, 2013 at 12:08 am

Congratulations to both of you, Mary and Deacon Ralph! It is an amazing journey! May God continue to bless you for your faithfulness, and bless the people you serve!

+Peace

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David Oatney May 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Congratulations to Mary and to Deacon Ralph. I am still on the journey, but I understand completely Ralph’s feeling that God wanted more for him…I understand too the feeling that it is never a “slam dunk.” You just follow the Lord and discern his will and trust that he will guide you, listen for his will, and not your own.

St. Lawrence the Deacon, Pray for Us!

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MG June 15, 2013 at 7:07 am

Congratulations on your husband’s Ordination! Thank you for acknowledging that it is a rough journey and not a slam dunk. Missing family events to be at a convent for many many weekends was not easy for us either! The amount of papers/paperwork Andy had to do along the way was as challenging as earning his MBA. This is not an adventure for the faint-hearted.

Ordination was amazing. People had told me that I would feel lonely and maybe even abandoned. Instead, I felt like we’d been welcomed into a new community and surrounded by friends. The men and wives from our class have become close friends and it was great to be there for each other, although we all got swallowed up in the crush of people and never got to congratulate each other or even take pictures of our new Deacons with their families, wives, etc. However, we all went away for the next weekend to celebrate, which I would recommend, because this is an incredibly accomplishment.

I am staying in my Parish, but will attend Mass at his new Church sometimes. We are both excited to meet the new Parish community, and I’ve heard that they are excited to meet Andy! We are excited for Andy to begin his ministry!

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Christine June 15, 2013 at 7:31 am

Hello MG & thank you for posting!

Is it common in your diocese for deacons to be assigned at parish’s other than theirs? How does your husband feel about you remaining with your parish family and not following him? I never gave this any thought really until I read your post. I hope that when my husband is ordained, he will be assigned to our church, otherwise his assigned church may have to become “our” church.

God bless you both in your journey but from what I am told, it has just begun!

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Diane June 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

We too were 1 of four in our class of twenty that were not assigned to our home Parish after ordination. It did not come as a surprise as the Parish we would be assigned too was in need of great Spiritual help, both from the Diaconate and the Priest community. Although I miss my home Parish we have been received with open arms, and we trust in God’s plan . During the week I return at times for Daily Mass at my home Parish and that is enough for me to continue to serve with our new Family . The Holy Spirit guides us each day and we follow and we continue to be formed in his Image. It is not always and easy walk but one that pays with great rewards . One thing that would be hard for me is to not share in the ministry with my husband at our New assigned Church, and so I go with him and share in his ministry there and come back to our Home Parish for special events or for a weekday Mass as the Spirit leads. I hope this helps to guide your decisions. God loves you and so do I! A. M. D. G.

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Christine June 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

I think that is probably what I would do also Diane. We all need to make personal decisions but for me, I’ve been supporting Scott 100% since day one – to not follow my him to his assigned church would not seem right for me.

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