Robert Oliver

Date of Ordination: May 4, 2013
Current Assignment: St. Joseph Parish, Somers Point

I first considered the diaconate in the mid-80’s in response to a general invitation to Catholic men from the diocese. I considered this invitation prayerfully and concluded that my responsibilities to my family took precedence and that God would let me know when the time was right.

Twenty-two years later I considered my eventual retirement. As I began to look at my options the thought that I should become a deacon popped back into my mind. I contacted the director of the diaconate that same day, attended an information night, and submitted my initial application within the month. I had a confident sense that this is what God wanted for me, but this desire was ultimately confirmed as I distributed Holy Communion at mass one Sunday and realized that I had fallen in love with the Church, the people coming to me to receive our Lord.

I started to look at diaconate formation as a kind of courtship. Aspirancy was like dating, a time to get to know one another better and to consider future possibilities. Entering candidacy was like becoming engaged. There is a presumption of marriage/ordination but there is still much to do to build a solid relationship. Ordination was like a wedding when I made a solemn vow to serve the Church.

Following ordination I was assigned to St. Joseph parish in Somers Point to serve my bride, the church, in liturgy, word, and charity.