Billy Messenger, Candidate for Diaconate (Far Left)
Q. When did you begin to feel called to the Diaconate and how did the call manifest?
Billy. I’ve thought about the Diaconate for a long time. Not only did I feel called, there were also people who would tell me that I would be a good deacon. Several current deacons also asked if I’d thought about becoming a deacon. Choosing to become a deacon is a discernment process. After considering this decision for nearly ten years, in 2012, my wife said, “I think the Diaconate is something that God is calling you to.”
The Diaconate Program is a five year process. At the end of five years, if my spiritual director, my wife and I all feel that this where God is calling me, then I will seek ordination. I will use the upcoming years to listen and follow God’s will for me.
Q. Do you feel called to a certain aspect of ministry?
Billy. No. I don’t really have a preference of assignment to any certain parish or type of ministry. I want to fill a need somewhere in the diocese and do whatever the assignment calls for.
Q. Tell me about your first year of training.
Billy. It was intense and sometimes overwhelming in the first semester. I had to get back in the habit of reading a lot of material and studying. By the second semester, it was easier. The classes were extremely informative. I learned a great deal.
Q. You have already told me that your wife supports this decision and thinks it’s a call from God. What do your children think?
Billy. They are mature and active in their faith so they know that this decision takes time and is a process. They encourage me and have all been praying for me. They know that this means a lot to me but will require change and sacrifice from everyone in the family.
Q. Ordination is one of the Sacraments of Service. Tell me your definition of service.
Billy. Service to the Church is giving of your time and talent to encourage growth of the Body of Christ. Whatever it takes, you fill the need. Many times it seems that the need is so much greater than those available to fill the need. Trust and guidance from the Holy Spirit points to where I should serve.
Q. Finally, what’s the next step?
Billy. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in pursuing ordination. If this is God’s call, then it is very important that I do not let fear, anxiety or an inability to sacrifice keep me from pushing through to the end. I cannot have “Moses Syndrome” which lets fear dictate decisions. My next step, my only steps are to follow where God leads.