So there we have it.
I suppose I better explain my actions by saying that I am not applying with the intention that the process is a fate accomplis! I am not applying with notions that this will lead to my becoming a Deacon. I am applying simply because for many years now I have been experiencing a call a deep and interior call. A call that seems to be built on the service already being exerciesed in my life; that of husband, dad, teacher, friend. Not that any of them are perfect by a long shot, but there is a deep Catholic Christian element to the whole lot. All those I know and love know perfectly well how important my Catholic Faith is to me and I have no difficulty being a witness to the faith in season and out of season. Now that together with the charism of ordination to service gives the mission that I am exercising greater depth and meaning.
Applying to the Vocations Director in our Diocese was just something I had to do. God will decide the path but at least I have taken the first step and I place my hand in His with total confidence and know that if I am a successful candidate for ordination to the Diaconate, then God will have cast a vote of confidence in me and my future. If I am not successful and the good Lord decides that Diaconate is not for me, then He will have cast a vote of confidence in me and my present. In doing so, God will have made it most clear that where I am and what I am doing and how I am doing it is how He wishes me to proceed. Either way I will receive clarity and this new found vision will allow me to progress in confidence.
At this stage I have completed three steps. In the first instance, I have had the preliminary meeting with a Priest from Carlow Cathedral, which lasted two hours. Secondly, I have made my written application with CV attached and finally, have had an interview before a panel of three; two Priests and a married lay woman. That was such a searching experience as they managed between the three of them to cover everything! It was an intense 40 mins for all the right reasons. They gave nothing away in either their expressions or in their manner of questioning but all was most cordial. I left not having the faintest clue as to how I got on but was told that they now had to write up an individual report on all interviewees and forward it to the Bishop for the initial selectin of what would be the first team of men to begin the Propedeutic Period.
Only last Tuesday I received that phone call I was anxious about. It was the Vocations Director ringing to say that a decision had been reached on the men that would begin formation in September and that on that front he had bad news. I was cut to the heart and had to pull over the car I was driving. "What do you mean?" I asked, "Well, it is in connection with your application for admission to the Propedeutic year". "Ok", I replied "Hit me with it". He did as he said "You're going to be a very busy man for the next couple of years if all goes well. You have been recommended to the Bishop by the selection committee to being formation in September!!"
Múlier, ecce fílius tuus, Totus Tuus!