Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Deacon’s Life: ‘Yes’ to So Many Good Choices
By Tim Weinmann
“I don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, but I am so glad we are on the journey together, hand in hand, side by side. May we both continue learning how to be of service to the Body of Christ.”
This is the closing line of the letter I wrote to my wife, Babs, a month before my ordination as a permanent deacon in June 2008. Since then, we have both grown closer to the Lord and one another. Our vocation of marriage has been blessed by my call to the permanent diaconate. Babs is a vital support to my diaconal ministry. Since ordination, we’ve seen the last of our six children leave the nest, experienced six months of an “empty” nest, and then welcomed my parents to live with us for their remaining years. I am privileged to watch my wife become a saint as she lays down her life every day as primary caregiver for my parents.
At 57, I’m still working full time while living out my diaconal ministry. I’m currently assigned to Christ the King, the 2,500-family Cathedral parish of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. My biggest challenge has been to balance family, professional and diaconal responsibilities. It’s hard saying no when you have the privilege of being invited to say yes to so many good choices.
These past five years as deacon have been a gift from the Lord. Most of my ministry has been lived through the parish. I’ve seen lives changed as they reconnect with the Church through the Catholics Returning Home, an outreach program that I lead in the parish. I’ve seen many brought to deeper faith during the annual Lenten Mission when we host speakers such as Matthew Kelly, Father Larry Richards and great speakers from the diocese. I have grown in my skills as a homilist; but I am still in awe when I think about the great gift of being able to lend my voice to the Lord as he speaks to his people.
Over the past two years, I have visited prisoners at a local prison, joining with other priests and deacons to provide Scripture and Communion services, or Mass. I also assist the new parish social ministries director in getting the parish engaged in a social restorative justice association called BUILD with 21 other faith communities. These two ministries call me out of my comfort zone as I work to extend my ministry of charity.
What I’m most excited about is a sense that the Church is starting a springtime of renewal and rejuvenation. The Church and culture have experienced many changes in the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council. History recounts that the first several decades following most ecumenical councils are often turbulent as the Church comes to grips with what the Holy Spirit accomplished during the Councils. As co-chair of the diocesan evangelization commission, I am particularly excited as the Church seems to be gaining momentum in proclaiming the “New Evangelization.” We work hard to provide our parishes ways to make this real both for those in the pews and outside the church walls.
Tim Weinmann is a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky and an executive project manager at IBM.