Michael Wojcik 2017-10-11 08:32:53
Wives Of Deacons Look To Mary For Guidance In Their Lives MADISON The wives of permanent deacons and deacon candidates should turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary for guidance and as a model of faith and as our spiritual mother, as they discern what actions they should take in their lives to spread the Gospel and support their husbands’ ministries. That was one of the many faith-filled messages that Diane Carr, adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, South Orange, delivered — with the help of insights from Pope Francis and other Catholic leaders — in a presentation Oct. 7 about “Mary, Star of the New Evan gelization: A Guide for Missionary Disciple ship.” Twenty-two wives and widows of permanent deacons or wives of deacon candidates in the Diocese gathered together at St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Diocesan Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard here for Carr’s talk, which was followed by lunch. The diocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate sponsored the event. “You have a special role. Your husbands would not be up there on the altar in such a prominent role without you. He values your companionship,” said Carr, who teaches in the Diocese’s Deacon Formation Program. “Grow closer to Mary. Listen to find out where God wants you to be. We may not know the plan ahead, but we should trust in God. We also should be willing to say ‘yes’ to him [as Mary did], then take action in our lives,” Carr said. So important is Mary’s role in evangelization in America that in 1999, St. Pope John Paul II recognized Our Lady of Guadalupe as the “Patroness of all the Americas and the star of the first and New Evangelization” in his apostolic exhortation, “Church in America,” Carr said during the three-hour presentation. Wives and widows of deacons also can deepen their faith by praying over and contemplating the mysteries of the rosary, such as the Crucifixion. There, the women can recognize Mary “standing at the foot of the Cross” but “receiving the joy and comfort of the Resurrection” — a comfort while navigating their own trials and blessings in life. They also can look to Mother Teresa, who trusted in God, when he asked her to care for the poor in the streets of Calcutta in India but had no plan, Carr said. In discussions during Carr’s talk, many of the wives considered themselves to be spiritual mothers of their parishes. Some of them minister with their husbands in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or religious education; assist them, such as making comments about homilies; pursue their own ministries; and pray for them. A few widows here have continued in parish ministries, such as music ministry, after their husbands’ deaths. One participant on Saturday was Marie Allgaier, wife of Deacon Michael Allgaier of St Mary Parish, Denville, who was ordained in 2005. She serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and in a cancer support group. He performs social justice ministries, teaches religious education and ministers at Morristown Memorial Hospital one day weekly. They both serve on the diocesan Deacon Formation Team with Deacon Peter Cistaro of St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Parsippany, who is the director of the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese. “I was not surprised that Mike became a deacon. He comes from a religious family — one brother is a priest and another brother became a deacon,” Marie Allgaier said. The couple has retired. “I’m happy for Mike. This has been good for him and his religious and prayer life. He has more understanding of people. They can come to him. I don’t always have to be with him to support him,” she said. Another participant was Kathleen Friel, wife of Deacon Tom Friel of St. Jude Parish, Hopatcong, who was ordained in 2003. She critiques her husband’s homilies; assists him as a reader at some Masses and other Rites and services, including baptisms; and joins him for Theology Table, a discussion of life and faith on Tuesday nights at a local restau rant. She also pursues her own ministries, such as participating in a Catholic women’s book club for women and pro-life work. “I was surprised that Tom wanted to become a deacon, but it fits his personality. He is outgoing and compassionate. He loves to talk and has a big smile,” said Kathleen Friel. “I support Tom and he supports me. But I have my own role, too. We have different gifts that are complementary,” she said. A deacon performs such traditional roles as: baptizing; officiating at weddings and funerals; distributing Communion during Mass or bringing Communion to the sick and dying; proclaiming Scripture at Mass and delivering a homily; and devoting himself to social justice, reaching out to the poor, sick, imprisoned, lonely and abandoned and others in need, Deacon Cistaro said. The talk by Carr is one of the many events throughout the year that the Permanent Diaconate holds for the 123 deacons in the Diocese, deacon candidates and their wives and widows. It invites them to a Nov. 4 recommitment Mass with Bishop Serratelli at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Paterson [see story below] and a Dec. 9 presentation about Mary, again by Carr at St. Paul’s, Cistaro said. “The permanent deacons provide value to the Diocese. They lead two lives — one in the secular world with their jobs, families and communities and another as members of the clergy. They add more realism and day-to-day to the Church, liturgies and preaching,” he said. Before Carr’s talk, Deacon Cistaro praised his wife, Mary Ann, who helps him with baptismal preparation at St. Peter’s. “My wife also serves as a sounding board for things that come up and keeps me balanced with family, job and the Church. She helps me because I have a hard time saying ‘no,’ ” said Deacon Cistaro, also chairman of St. Peter Parish’s finance council.
Published by The Beacon. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Mass+For+Fallen+Firefighters/2909447/445220/article.html.