Smile for the camera! Making new friends at our annual retreat for wives of deacons. L to R: Valerie Schonewald (Dcn. Roger Schonewald), Margaret Loignon (Dcn. Jerry Loignon), Donna Pierce (Dcn. Bob Pierce), Ann Marie Smigelski (Dcn. Mike Smigelski), Polly LaRosa (Dcn. Charles LaRosa), Mary Olimpio (Dcn. Charles Olimpio)

Suni Brown, wife of Dcn. Stephen Brown

What parish do you serve?

St Thomas More, Columbia

Did you always think that your husband would become a deacon?

No, this was a work of God many years in the making.

What was it like when your husband was going through the years of formation?

Busy, and sometimes conflicted: the time spent with fellow wives and their husbands helped form amazing friendships. It also made me realize how much more I would have to share my husband with others as he ministers.

Do you feel closer to your parish community since your husband was ordained? Yes.

What words of encouragement would you share with anyone whose husband is considering the diaconate?

You are embarking on a journey whose destination you cannot see, a journey sometimes filled at times with frustration, but also with joy at different turns in the road. However, trusting in God as the pilot and navigator, you will also sense and know peace.

How is your relationship different since your husband has become a deacon?

We are able to connect on a deeper spiritual level than I ever thought possible. We are the same frail people, struggling to overcome human nature and tendencies, but we have a deeper confidence in God which makes the struggle easier.

Joanne Walter, wife of Deacon Jim Walter

What parish do you serve? St John the Beloved

Did you always think that your husband would become a deacon?

Not always, not until he told me he felt he needed to do more in the church and felt led to the diaconate.

What was it like when your husband was going through the years of formation?

It was okay, for us as our children were in high school and I was able to attend almost all of the classes with him.

Do you feel closer to your parish community since your husband was ordained?

I did when we lived in Tennessee but since we have moved around it has been more of a challenge but the longer we stay in one place it gets easier.

What words of encouragement would you share with anyone whose husband is considering the diaconate?

I would suggest they attend as many classes as possible and get to know the other wives. The relationships provides great support for the wives as the husbands take on their Diaconate duties.

How is your relationship different since your husband has become a deacon?

Since our main ministry is marriage, we remain very close but we have also found that it is vital that we communicate with each other to keep the relationship strong.

Linda Burkett, wife of Dcn. Dennis Burkett

What parish do you serve? Saint Gregory the Great

Did you always think that your husband would become a deacon? Yes-it’s in his DNA:)

What was it like when your husband was going through the years of formation?

It was not easy having him gone for extended periods of time, especially with three young children. We learned how to budget our time for family, church and each other.

What words of encouragement would you share with anyone whose husband is considering the diaconate?

Make sure that you don’t leave your wife spiritually behind. I have always been involved in the music ministry. Denny and I both have our own identity and ministry.

How is your relationship different since your husband has become a deacon?

We are very supportive of each other, in fact, our first priority every day is putting each other first.

Mary Beth Hall, wife of Deacon John Hall

What parish do you serve? All Saints Catholic Church, Lake Wylie, SC

Did you always think that your husband would become a deacon?

No, I was surprised when he first told me he was thinking of becoming a deacon.

What was it like when your husband was going through the years of formation?

It was informative and very interesting at first, then we experienced many difficulties throughout his formation. I became very ill, and told I had 2 weeks to live, my husband lost his job, he took a semester off to take care of me. With God’s grace, I am alive and I was able to go back to classes with him, and take notes.

Do you feel closer to your parish community since your husband was ordained? Yes

What words of encouragement would you share with anyone whose husband is considering the diaconate?

Be patient and show interest and support in all that he does.

How is your relationship different since your husband has become a deacon?

We have become closer as a married couple, and have grown a lot closer in our faith.

Maria Zamudio, wife of Dcn. Ruben Zamudio

What parish do you serve?

Our Lady of Peace, North Augusta

Did you always think that your husband would become a deacon?

No, never

What was it like when your husband was going through the years of formation?

I was the support he needed, especially during the tests and finals.

Do you feel closer to your parish community since your husband was ordained?

Yes, in a certain way, now that people know me as the Deacon’s wife they approach me and make conversation.

What words of encouragement would you share with anyone whose husband is considering the diaconate?

I feel that supporting my husband in his ministry I am serving and getting closer to God.