Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Lloydminster deacon exudes a spirit of joy
- WCR photo by Glen Argan
Deacon Lynn Pion met his wife Shelley at a charismatic prayer meeting in Saskatoon.
By GLEN ARGAN
Lynn Pion leaves you impressed. You know that he's found something deeply satisfying in life because of the spirit of joy that he exudes.
There's nothing phony about that joy. Lynn is a man of the Lord. He met his wife Shelley at a charismatic prayer meeting in Saskatoon a quarter of a century ago.
Since then, the couple have married, raised five children and have led other couples through marriage preparation.
But perhaps the biggest test of all lies in Lynn's job. He is the collections manager for Synergy Credit Union in Lloydminster and he keeps on smiling.
"I think I bring a real level of fair play into my job," Pion said in an interview. "If you treat people straightforward and honest, they tend to reciprocate."
He deals with people who are struggling financially for various reasons such as marital and addictions problems. He tries to treat them "in a pastoral way."
"As collections manager, I see my role as keeping people honest, keeping them faithful to their commitments."
Maybe it's not that much different than leading marriage preparation.
Pion views the deacon as a man who has one foot in the sanctuary and the other in the marketplace. "Putting our faith into action - that's the motivator," he says.
The diaconate formation program lasts four years, but the formation began long before that.
Lynn was raised by devout parents and has five siblings. "The Lord has been active in my life since I was a young child."
While many go through a rebellious streak in their lives, it didn't happen with him. "I've always been willing to follow the Lord and love his Church."
Although he was 22 when he and Shelley married, "We were well grounded in what a Catholic marriage is. We were really open to let the Lord be part of our lives."
"We did our best trying to raise our children," he continues. They taught them to pray and decided that Shelley would stay at home while the kids were young. "We put our convictions where our mouth is."
It's been worth the effort. "There's definitely a payoff when you put your life in the hands of the Lord. It's tough to put into words how the Lord blesses those who submit their lives to his."
At age 45, Pion is the Edmonton Archdiocese's youngest deacon.
"The other guys call me 'the baby deacon.' They tease me a lot."
In the diaconate formation program, everyone began as strangers, he recalls. "Then you begin to see how Christ lives in others.
"What a family we've become, journeying with those men and their wives!"
Now, with 11 new deacons ordained, the life of local faith communities will be enriched, Pion says. "It's going to be good for the archdiocese.
What will the fruits be? "All we can do is be ourselves and serve the Lord with vigour and excitement."
But of one thing he is sure: "A deacon's mission is to make disciples of all nations in all that entails."