When I was around 10 years old, we moved to Boca Raton, Florida and my parents actually sold our Cedar Grove home to the church. It became the Pastor's residence. Middle School and then my first two years of High School were in Boca, then we moved back to New Jersey. My last two years of High School were at Essex Catholic - boys only. Yeah, going from Boca Raton, Florida - to Newark, New Jersey. Talk about culture shock!
Back then, If someone asked me my religion, I would say Catholic. I mean, in all the cool horror movies of the 70s, the Devil always was up against a Catholic Priest, right? So, I would say that I was Catholic even though I really was not. It was like the Catholics were "the Yankees of Christianity."
I was not a big church person until I got married. My wife was Catholic, I was still (technically) Lutheran and I really did not care very much about the labels. When we were expecting our first child, conversations about church and religion came up, as in - how were we going to raise our kids?
I went through RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA), or Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum, is a process developed by the Catholic Church for its catechumenate for prospective converts to the Catholic faith above the age of infant baptism. Candidates are gradually introduced to aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices. The basic process applies to adults and children who have reached catechetical age.
Deacons are members of the clergy along with priests and bishops. The deacon's ministry has three dimensions: liturgy, word and service. At the liturgy, he assists the bishop and priests. At the Mass, the deacon proclaims the Gospel, may be invited to preach the homily, and assists at the altar. Deacon candidates are required to participate in a series of workshops and training over a four-year period.
Two years into my formation, it became clear that with two little kids at home, and a business to run - I did not have the time for all of this. Family first. I put my Roman Catholic Diaconate formation on pause.