May 4, 2012

Meet our future deacons

Richard CooperRichard Cooper

  • Age: 53
  • Wife: Diane
  • Home Parish: St. Mary Parish in Lanesville
  • Occupation: Executive Director of Harrison County Community Services

Who are the important role models in your life of faith?

One would be my [RCIA] sponsor. She kept asking me to come to church until I finally did and found my new [spiritual] home. Another would be my father. While he was not Catholic, he did have a strong faith, … and was devoted to his church and his family. Finally, the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad have taught me the joys of communal prayer and how to be about the work of God.

What are your favorite Scripture verses, saints, prayers and devotions?

My favorite Scripture verse is John 2:5: “Do whatever he tells you.” These words of Mary have guided me on my journey to the diaconate. My favorite prayer is the rosary. The Blessed Mother is my favorite saint because of the model of her obedience. Next is St. Joseph. I see him as a model for how we are to reach out and accept others, and to care for those we choose as our families.

Deacons often minister to others in the workplace. How have you experienced that already, and what do you anticipate doing in the future?

The organization that I work for provides services to people in need. One of our primary works is a food pantry. We provide food and other crisis assistance to the people of our county who are in need. We work to treat each person with dignity and respect, to accept others as Christ himself.

Why do you feel that God is calling you to become a deacon?

For most of my life, I have wanted to help others. I worked for many years in social services to help people change their lives and create new beginnings. When I came into the Church, I again felt that desire to help others, yet in a more formal way, as a part of the Church. Someone later told me of the diaconate. It sounded like a perfect fit. Through the last five years, I have continued to hear [God’s] call, and each time I have been asked to do more, God has given me the strength and the ability to do so.

How will being ordained a deacon have an impact on your life and family?

My family has been a great support for me during this time of formation. We talk about how to create time for us. There will be times [as a deacon] that I must be away. Because of this intentional working together, it is making my family stronger, enriching our relationship and allowing me to freely do the work of God.


(Go to the Deacon formation homepage)

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