In July we celebrate St. Ignatius. This year is 500 years since he was hit in the leg by a cannonball and his life was forever changed. This is one story (a bit late, sorry) that tells of the moment when my life was changed.
It was in the chapel of St. Peter Catholic church where I found myself attending a teaching Mass. Even
though a cradle Catholic I was still not sure if I understood everything about Mass. So, one night in
March 2009 I drove to church to see what it was all about. I have no news to report about the parts of
the Mass or any signs, symbols or postures that occur. My cannonball story involves a voice in my head and how it led me to the diaconate.
I was sitting very near the back of the chapel (dutiful Catholic position), no one sitting within many feet
of me. At some point during the Mass, I heard a voice, a human-sounding voice from inside my head, not
from anyone sitting nearby (which there wasn’t anyway). The voice (the Holy Spirit) said, “I want you to
become a deacon.” Well, I turned to my left and then to my right. I looked behind me as well. No one.
There was no one near enough to have spoken to me. Plus the fact was I heard the voice, clear as a bell,
come from inside my head and not from outside through my ears.
And so the journey began. A quick look at the diocesan website indicated I had four days to get
paperwork completed to be considered for the next diaconate class. Believe me, that was an impossible
task since some of the paperwork was not in my control to produce quickly. So I decided to wait until
the following year to apply. Months passed and I told this story to one of the deacons at St. Peter. After
a few phone calls and an unannounced visit, I was invited to apply for the current year. I was accepted
into the program and enjoyed five years of study and was ordained a deacon on September 12, 2015.
I can guess that not many deacons have a similar story to tell. People had mentioned the diaconate to
me a few times over the years but that fell on deaf ears. God knows me very well. I am not one to
usually outright volunteer to do something, but if asked I generally am inclined to go along. Talk about
getting hit over the head with a two-by-four. My life is so blessed now, more than it was before
ordination and I thank God for my cannonball moment.