Cheryl and Michael Hall hope to share the load in Michael's diaconal ministry in Lloydminster.


Cheryl and Michael Hall hope to share the load in Michael's diaconal ministry in Lloydminster.

June 27, 2016

Lawyer Michael Hall is excited about his upcoming ordination as a permanent deacon. He already knows how he is going to celebrate.

"Our son Tom is an entertainer and plays guitar, so we are going to have some friends over at our place, and he is going to play the guitar and we are going to have a pig roast."

But others in Lloydminster, like his good friend John Koep, are excited about what Hall will bring to St. Anthony's Parish and the community at large.

"There isn't a better person," says Koep, a life insurance broker. "If I had some issues in my life and I wanted to speak to somebody, he would be the first guy I would go to."

When Koep's dad was dying of Parkinson's at a nursing care facility a decade ago, Hall visited him often, as he does many people who need comfort and support.

But the final visit in 2007 was special. Even though Koep's dad was no longer responsive, Hall grabbed his hand, said a beautiful prayer with him, and before he left gave the old man a kiss on the cheek.

"My dad died 20 minutes later," recalled Koep. "I'll remember that (gesture) forever."

Hall, who recently retired as a lawyer so he can serve the Church better, is so respected in Lloydminster that everybody will be happy with his ordination, Koep said.

"He is very Catholic, believes in the Catholic faith and everything that has to do with it, and he is there for the right reasons," Koep continued.

Hall, 55, was born and raised in Humboldt, Sask., and moved to Lloydminster a year after obtaining his law degree in Saskatoon in 1984. He and his wife Cheryl have been married for 35 years and have three adult sons and one grandchild.


The Halls both serve the parish in a variety of roles. He has been a lector and acolyte; Cheryl has served in the music ministry and with the fall supper.

The permanent diaconate wasn't part of Hall's plans until God came knocking.

"I felt the call from God that he wanted me to pursue this ministry," he recalled. "It is not something that I had been thinking of for a long time. I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to serve the Church in this way."

Things started to take shape when he met the current director of the diaconate program Deacon Lynn Pion, who worked at the credit union in Lloydminster. As a lawyer, Hall had to deal closely with Pion.

"I followed him a little bit through his formation and through his journey and that definitely gave me awareness that this is something that is out there."

He and his wife joined the program four years ago and have only good things to say about it.

"The formation process was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever gone through; I learned a lot about the faith," Hall said.

"It may sound corny but the most memorable thing (about the program) is the friendships, the people that I journeyed with and their spouses. It's just wonderful. They will be permanent friends for the rest of our lives."

Cheryl came to almost all the formation classes over the last four years. They plan to exercise their ministry as a couple as much as possible.


"Cheryl was my greatest support," Hall pointed out. "Without her support this would not have been possible. It's a big commitment."

Cheryl said she plans to support her husband in his calling. "We look upon this opportunity to serve God as a team effort." That's the reason why she took the program along with him. "I felt I needed to know what he is learning and also grow in my own learning."

It was all worth it, Cheryl said. "I was amazed over and over again with the beauty of the Catholic faith and the history and the quality of the professors and leaders."


For fun and pleasure, Hall plays the guitar in an informal band called the Sandy Beach Boys. "We get together once a week and just play guitar." He also plays hockey and golf, and loves to play cards and visit with his children and grandchildren.

"Michael has a burning desire in his heart to give back," noted Koep. "Some people give back by planting flowers or by sweeping streets. He wants to give back by helping the sick and the poor. I admire the man for being able to stop work at this time in his life, and he wants to devote his time to helping others."