June 15, 2012

Meet our future deacons

Russell WoodardRussell Woodard

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

My parents, Father Jim Farrell, the many religious sisters who taught me in school and have worked with me in ministry, and Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein.

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

My favorite Scripture verses are Matthew 25:31-46 and Jeremiah 1:5. My favorite saints are St. Stephen and St. Paul. Among my favorite prayers is the Liturgy of the Hours. The rosary and chaplet of Divine Mercy are favorite devotions of mine.

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

I try to share with my parishioners where God has made a difference in my life, and help them to know his love for them. This is also my intention for many others with whom I come into contact through the course of any given day. I strive to share the Gospel and encourage a conversion of heart among those I encounter in my ministry at the New Castle Correctional Facility.

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

I have come to recognize that God’s call to me has been persistent. He spent years preparing me for this ministry. For a long time, I didn’t listen to that call. About six years ago, I heard about the permanent diaconate in the archdiocese. It was something which caught my attention. People started encouraging me to pursue it. It seemed like something that I had been preparing for my whole life, yet I did not know it at the time. As I prayed and discerned my call, it became obvious to me that God was indeed beckoning me.

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

My family has been very supportive of my calling. There will be times when I will miss family gatherings because someone else is in need of my help. My parents showed my siblings and me how important helping others is. I learned that from them so they understand. †


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