I get asked that question a lot. Well. It is a blessing. It is also difficult. Many (most?) parishioners do not realize that Deacon Larry has a full time job. He is a production manager for a small plastics manufacturing firm. He works well over 40 hours a week, and he is on call 24/7. Most evenings he rushes home from work, grabs a bite to eat, and then heads up to church for a meeting or to a funeral home to preside at a vigil. Then he comes home and we try and talk together before calling it a night. It’s a good thing that I am a low maintenance kind of gal.
Parishioners do not realize that Deacons usually are not paid by the Church. Some Deacon’s do have full time (paid) jobs in the parish or diocese. Deacons, however, are meant to be a bridge between the lay and clerical state. Therefore most deacons work in the secular world.
The hardest part of being a deacon’s wife, for me, is trying to not blur the line between my role as a lay catechist and his role as a member of the clergy. Prior to my husband’s ordination we worked together in several church ministries.
Since his ordination, we have tried to figure out how to work it. At first I had an overreaction to the “we were ordained” mentality of some of the older deacons and their wives. And no we are not a deacon couple. So at first I pulled away from our shared ministry. But that didn’t really work. Now we both coordinate the RCIA program, teach the Baptism class, and I help him with the Youth Group. I try to make it clear that he is the deacon and I am not.
Sundays are marathons for us. Deacon starts with the 7:30 mass, then RCIA, 11:00 Mass, Baptism class, home for lunch and a nap, and concludes with the Youth Group. I share the schedule. Well I sometimes opt for the 11: Mass and I don’t always go to the Youth Group. Deacon Larry is much more energetic than I am. He is the energizer bunny on steroids.
Being a Deacons wife is a blessing. The eve of my husbands ordination, I had a dark night of the soul. It suddenly occurred to me that, after four years of formation with Larry that I didn’t know if I was up to the demands and sacrifices that the life would demand. “What was I thinking when I gave my consent to the bishop?” I prayed most of the night. God let me know that He would give me all of the grace and strength that I needed. If I let Him.