John Rich

Date of Ordination: June 11,2005
Current Assignment: Saint Simon Stock, Berlin

To think it that all began years ago with a conversation about service in the faith community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Happily married and the father a two young daughters, I soon leaned what it meant to be part of a vibrant Catholic parish. Whether it was volunteering for a school activity, serving in various liturgical ministries or helping out with parish events, there was always a sense of being part of something greater than myself. Little could I have imagined back then that the diaconate was yet t come. Yet the more I became involved in parish life, questions began to emerge about faith and spirituality.

It seemed that with each ministry came a desire to know more about where God might be calling me. While engaged in service, I noticed that there was “something special” about many of those around me, a quiet sense of purpose in serving others. Looking back, this was the beginning of my diaconal formation.

Those conversations continued, whether it was with my pastor, Fr. John Bourke or one of the Religious Sisters of Mercy in our parish. One thing led to another and there came a point when I was encouraged to consider the path of the deacon (which I initially resisted). But there was an inner yearning that kept drawing me back to ask “Is this where God is calling me?”

Finally in 1998, with the encouragement of my wife Maryann, I began the journey of formation, with 23 other men, who would eventually become my brother deacons. Those years of study, while challenging, are among the most cherished in my life, eventually leading to being ordained on June11, 2005.