Sunday, September 2, 2007

What to expect when you become a Deacon's Wife

Since I am a Deacon’s wife I have been asked to write something occasionally about my “Life as a Deacon’s” other half. I guess the reason I don’t write about it more often is because it is not something that I think about very much. It simply is a fact, one that I would not change. I am going to try and address a few of the most common questions that I am asked – most questions come from wives of men in formation. Here is the test – if anyone out there is reading this that has a question feel free to send it to me either by email are by way of a comment and I will answer it to the best of my ability.
1. My husband is going to be an ordained deacon will I be Rev. Ms. Smith?
The short answer is NO. It depends on your diocese but in Atlanta wives are encouraged to attend classes with their husbands. It will educate you not only to what will be expected of your husband after ordination but you will learn more about what the Church teaches. If at all possible I urge you to attend when possible – education is always a good thing! The church is paying lots of money for your husband’s education and you have a chance to get it free.
2. What will be expected of me from the church after he is ordained?
Short answer NOTHING. This is not your “vocation” it is your husbands. All the Church asks is that you support your husband. Truth is the Church will appreciate you being as involved as possible. You and your husband may be involved in some of the same ministries and you may find your own nitch. Remember that you represent your husband and the Church at all times.
As a Deacon’s wife you will be privy to some information that is not intended for the general population – as good as you might feel the gossip is don’t share! Support comes in all forms and proper behavior and trust are just a couple.
3. We do “EVERYTHING” together. I am afraid that after he is ordained he will not have any time for me.
Short answer Maybe Not! This is the question that is always first and foremost in wives of “soon to be Deacons”. It is also the hardest question to answer because the answer depends on your husband’s ability to say “No”. Your husband has accepted the call to become a Deacon because he has a deep desire to serve God’s people. In accepting a position as a Deacon your husband has accepted a position of “service”. In most parishes he will be used to serve to the point of physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion if he does not learn to say no. While it is your job to support your husband in his service it is also your job to remind him if necessary that he just might be burning the ole candle at both ends. We have a group of Deacon friends and we try and get together every few of months(the Deacon’s in formation in our area are also invited) and as it always happens the men end up in one room and the wives in another and “family time management” is always a topic of discussion. Some men have been Deacon’s for years and still struggle with “family time management”. Others learned early on that their first commitment is to their family – these wives are the ones with the big smiles on their face!
I could write in length about this topic – and I will if you want me to – but the bottom line is: Our husbands walk a very tedious and demanding tight rope. Most have full time “money” jobs – strange how many parishioners think that just because they become “Deacons” that they only work for the Church – that require more than 40 hours a week. They have families that depend on them to be their “Sheppard”. Then there is the Church “flock” that they are to serve. One wrong step in either direction can cause their house of cards to crash. Not enough emphasis placed on their “money” job can place their employment in jeopardy, too much time spent with their “Church family” can place their own family in danger.

The one thing I know for certain is that your husband will not be able to succeed in any of these areas without your love, support and prayers.

What do I do as a Deacon’s wife you might ask? Well, last night at mass I was the sacristan, alter server and choir director. The week before I was the janitor, the people that clean did not show up. I try to wear what ever “hat” needed so that Mass is all my husband and Father have to worry about. My love is teaching OCIA, which I have been doing for 10 years. I go with Tom as often as possible (and when needed) to make home or hospital visits, home blessings and Adult education classes that he teaches.

I have no idea if this ramble will help anyone or even if there is a need for such a post. If I can be of any help to anyone all you have to do is drop me a line. I will continue to post questions if you ask them. If not I will be forced to go back to talking about my childhood!


  1. This ramble was great. I have been discerning a secondary vocation as a permanent deacon, and my wife really doesn't understand the "deacon thing". It's great to have someone who is walking the walk that I can point her to.

  2. Nice ramble. My husband is also a deacon having been ordained in 1998. Even though in our diocese it was also strongly encouraged that the wives attend there were several wives that didn't. I really enjoyed the education and comraderie with all the other deacons and wives. Our class was the first class in almost 15 years to be ordained so it was a new and learning experience for everyone. As far as all the "stuff" they'll have to do we found that most of our group already was involved with different ministries so that after ordination nothing changes really. Everyone is still doing what they were doing before, the husband is just serving at Mass instead of sitting in the nave with everyone else. So if you're discerning a vocation with the permanent deaconate, I encourage you to look into it.

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