Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Deacons wives rejoice in husbands ordinations
Ordination was a sacred moment for 11 wives also
- WCR photo by Glen Argan
Wives of the Edmonton Archdiocese's first class of permanent deacons pray while there husbands were being ordained on July 4 at St. Joseph Basilica.
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The wives of the newly-ordained deacons are thankful they were included in the diaconate formation program and happy with their supporting role.
Those contacted by the WCR say they felt joyful, not left out, during their husbands' July 4 ordination. The wives journeyed through four years of formation with their husbands but did not qualify for ordination.
"I felt an overwhelming joy; an incredible privilege to be there with John while he was being ordained," said Louise Lindsay.
"It's been a marvellous journey for the two of us to be able to participate in the preparation and in the studies and it is such a free gift from God that he wants John to be available for his service as a deacon. I am absolutely overjoyed."
Louise accompanied her husband to "most" of the weekend study sessions and already serves in some ministries with him.
His call, not hers
But she never felt she should have been ordained along with him because the diaconate was his call, not hers. "There are many ways to serve God so I don't feel that I've been left out in any way."
Louise and John serve together in ministries such as RCIA and the pastoral care team at St. Joseph's Basilica. "As his (deacon) ministry unfolds we will see how I will be able to assist him," she said.
She is not concerned her husband will not be able to spend as much time with family now that he is a deacon "because we always try to communicate with each other and try to live with balance in our lives."
Full of joy
"I was full of joy during my husband's ordination," said Mary Tien, wife of Deacon Douglas Tien of Camrose. "I was deeply moved (and) I felt very blessed he was called into the diaconal ministry."
Not for a moment did Mary feel left out. On the contrary, she is thankful the archdiocese included the wives in formation process.
"I just feel so humbled and blessed that that they opened it up to the wives to attend. If I hadn't been able to do that, I would have missed my own personal formation. It just deepened my faith even more and my understanding."
The Tiens are quite involved in ministry as a couple at St. Francis Xavier Parish and Mary Tien doesn't expect that to change.
For example, both served together at all the Masses on the weekend following the ordination. While Douglas preached the Gospel and gave the homily, Mary was an adult server.
"So in Church ministry we work very closely together. Now when it comes to ministry within the community we are still allowing God's grace to direct us in which way he'd like us to go."
"It was a moment that put a tear in my heart," said Darlean Kroetsch of her husband Stan Kroetsch's ordination. "It was a very special moment - a sacred moment in fact."
Darlean Kroetsch attended the bulk of the formation sessions but ordination for herself never entered her mind "because even though I took part in the program I never had to write the exams or to put in the hours of studying or doing the homework assignments.
"It was a special grace the men had because they had their fulltime jobs and they had to be with their families and fulfill their church commitments and still they did the studies."
The program was excellent, Darlean said. "It was a wonderful opportunity because I came to know the Church much better."
The Kroetschs work together in various ministries at St. Charles Parish, including taking Communion to two seniors' homes.
Now that Stan is an ordained deacon "he will have sort of his own thing to do," Darlean said. "And for me I have my own type of ministries. Both of my parents are still living so I'm helping out with them and my daughter has seven children so I'd like the opportunity to be able to go and help them when I can."
Darlean, however, plans to support her husband by scheduling his appointments.
Power of humility
Mary Tien sees her role as walking side by side with her husband. "And if we look at our Mother Mary she was always behind the scenes. She teaches us a lot about humility and I think that's very powerful."
Said Marlene Noster, wife of Deacon Ken Noster from Derwent, "I see my role as in the background, to be receptive to people who come, who want to talk to him or anyway I can assist. But I'm not in the forefront. I am still raising my children so that's my primary responsibility."
How does Margaret Baril, wife of Deacon Claude Baril from Didsbury, see her role? "I'm the balancer," she laughed. "I'll make sure that the priorities that the archbishop set out will be adhered to.
"This call is Claude's calling. Like I listen to his sermons when they are done and I'm there to support but I feel I have my own ministry almost through my work (as a pharmacist) in terms of health care."