It's said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My husband and I are embarking on a new journey. One, regardless of its final outcome, will undoubtedly result in countless blessings.
It's something I've held close to my heart for quite some time, but here it's time to share: Dear Hubby and I are Roman Catholic. He since birth, I since 2000. Around the time of my conversion (which I can truthfully say had little to do with him, but rather was the result of my own spiritual quest - more on that another time)...anyway, around the time of my conversion, Dear Hubby (DH for short) expressed interest in the permanent diaconate program. At the time, he and our children were rather young, so it's something he put on the proverbial 'back burner.'
What's the permanent diaconate? In the Roman Catholic Church, there is an ordained position called 'deacons.' Deacons can do some things that a priest can (baptize babies, officiate at weddings, proclaim the Gospel at mass). However, there are things a deacon cannot do (consecrate the Holy Eucharist, absolution of sins, for example).
For the past year, DH and I have been discerning whether he is being called to this vocation. We attended meetings every three weeks to learn more about the process, prayerfully contemplated, completed an extensive application, participated in several personal interviews, and submitted to a background check (criminal and financial).
We received the letter from the Archbishop just before Christmas that DH was among two dozen men accepted into the formation program. If he completes 4 years of study, he can apply for ordination in December 2012. It's going to be a long, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating journey. I'll keep you posted....
Keep our family - and that of the other 23 men accepted into formation - in your prayers.