Robert Fanelli

Date of Ordination: March 15, 1997
Current Assignment: Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, Mullica Hill

I never would have imagined God would call me to the Diaconate. I wasn’t a model Catholic, and had not gone to Church for years. But God works in mysterious and wondrous ways, and through a series of people and events, I found my way back to answer His call.

I first started coming back to Church after I met Robin, who eventually became my wife. She sang at Church, so I came to listen and earn brownie points. I met a young priest who was an excellent homilist, and I began to listen. The foundation was laid. Through a part time job I met a man who would become my best friend. He took me to my first ever retreat where I attended a conference on the Prodigal Son. Suddenly, everything made sense, and I was so excited. I was advised to get a spiritual director.

Later I unwillingly attended a Charismatic Convention where, despite my doubts, was overwhelmed by being given the gift of tongues in prayer. Finally, during Holy Week, while I sat praying in Church, a soft, warm breeze touched my cheek, and I felt as if Jesus Himself had just sat next to me and caressed me with His hand.

The next thing I knew, I was in formation for the Permanent Diaconate.