My wife and I joined the Parish in 1977 just after the birth of our first daughter. My wife was interested in the Catholic faith more than me at that time so together we entered “Inquiry classes” which taught her about our faith and reacquainted me with the base beliefs that I was brought up in. I am a cradle Catholic with Catholic Elementary School (Holy Spirit Asbury Park, NJ), Catholic High School (St. Rose HS Belmar, NJ) and Catholic Junior College (St. Gregory’s College Shawnee, OK). But with all that I managed to “fall away” from the church during my subsequent college years. So it was a rejuvenating experience to me to attend those classes. The result was that Bonnie was Baptized and Confirmed and I became recommitted to Christ.
Afterwards we were invited to help out with RE classes and the next thing we knew we were teaching 5th grade and continued doing so until the late 90’s. Meanwhile we both served as Eucharist Ministers and Lectors at Mass. I served on the RE Board for many years and also served on Parish Council for multiple terms including one year as Chairman. I was also a Boy Scout leader during the many years my son was a Cub and Boy Scout during his youth.
During our tenure as RE teachers we continued our religious education with the annual workshops held at the Pastoral Center every year but for me it wasn’t enough. Soon I found myself attending Pastoral Ministry classes to further enrich my understanding of Church and Faith. These classes were actual college level courses supplied by our Archdiocese and given through a program provided by Newman University of Wichita, Kansas. I found myself drawn to a more intimate engagement in ministry and was encouraged by my peers to apply for the Diaconate.
My first application was rejected because my son was too young to fit within their program at the time. They have since lightened that requirement. I applied a few years later and was rejected again but instated at the request of Fr. Ed our Pastor at the time. Thus began my discernment towards Ordination. I was Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in 2006 with Steve Lewis in my class. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Pastoral Ministry in May of 2003.
Interestingly enough that was my third Bachelors degree I received since I earned my first Bachelors of Science in Environmental Design in May of 1973 and my Professional Bachelors of Architecture Degree in December of 1975. I received my license to practice Architecture in 1981 and have been a practicing Architect ever since. I have practiced with multiple firms in Norman and vicinity and practiced as a sole proprietorship from 1986 to 2005. Today I work for the Oklahoma City Public Schools District as a Project Coordinator for multiple District Construction projects and still practice a little on the side.
We are truly blessed to have so many good and Holy men who serve as Ordained Deacons here at St. Joseph’s so I don’t believe that any of us feel overloaded as some in other Parishes do. I enjoy serving at Mass, Preaching, Blessing homes and performing occasional wake (vigil) services but most of all I enjoy the Baptisms I get to perform. I also do a weekly Communion and prayer service at Rivermont Senior Center and find it to be one of the highlights of my week. I also spend a scheduled hour in the real presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel once a week with an occasional unscheduled drop in from time to time.
As many of you know I am married (now for 39 years) and have three children all of which are adults now. My oldest daughter lives in Tulsa, my middle daughter lives in Moore and my youngest son lives with me still. I have two granddaughters in Moore and a step grandson in Nashville and a step granddaughter in Austin. My wife, Bonnie, has Multiple Sclerosis and is totally dependent on me for all her needs but I don’t mind since she took such good care of me in our younger years it is just my turn to take care of her. She has a strong, positive and upbeat attitude of life and is a constant inspiration to me. Whenever I think I have it tough I just look towards her to lift up my spirits.
All in all I have a good life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am glad to be a servant of the Lord here at St. Joseph’s and enjoy ministering to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ. “…the Almighty has done great things in me and holy is His name”