Joseph Rafferty

Date of Ordination: May 4, 2013
Current Assignment: Saint Mary, Gloucester

My journey to the diaconate was not one that was mapped out from one specific point to the next. At a young age, I found myself drawn to the importance of spirituality. However, I had a hard time trying to figure out what God wanted me to do.

When I was in high school at Gloucester Catholic I found that I was moved by the importance of having spirituality as a part of my preparation in sports in prayer before a football game, I would get focused to play my best. Also, when I would work out in the gym or go running I would turn it into a prayer. In college I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to play division one football, during that time I found myself involved with students and athletes evangelizing about my Christian faith.

During my career as an educator I had the opportunity to work various summer jobs. One of them was working for the Camden County Department of Corrections. While working with inmates in prison, it gave me the opportunity to evangelize to those who were lost in the world.

I have always been open to the spiritual call of God in my life. For several years I had contemplated becoming a deacon, after seeing several of the men who I had respected in my life assume that role.

The moving point of pursuing the Diaconate was when at mass one weekend a person had come to speak on vocations and one aspect of that was about being a deacon. At the conclusion of that talk my oldest son Joseph looked me in the eyes and said “you would make a great Deacon, Dad.” That week I started the journey to become a permanent deacon.