James Rocks

Date of Ordination: October 4, 1978
Current Assignment: St. Rose of Lima Parish, Haddon Heights

My journey to the diaconate began with the desire to serve God and His people in some dedicated manner. I tried the seminary and discovered that God was not calling me to the priesthood but the call to serve still remained. After serving in the military and getting married, I found myself in college taking a comparative religion class. It was during that class that I discovered that the Roman Catholic Church had a program where married men could be ordained as a deacon for service to God and His people. I checked with my pastor and he told me that the Church did have such a program and that our Diocese was beginning such a program of formation.

After discussing this with my wife and with her encouragement, I made application for the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Diocese of Camden. I was initially declined acceptance because I was too young but was encouraged to reapply for the next class. I did and after two years of formation, I was ordained October 4, 1978. Sounds like the end of the story but I believe that my journey to diaconate is an ongoing journey. Everyday God provides me with the opportunity to answer the call to serve Him and His people. With God’s help I pray to continue the journey seeking to be His servant in all I say and do.