May 6, 2022

Meet our future deacons

Jerome L Bessler II

Jerome L Bessler IIName: Jerome L Bessler II (Jerry)
Age: 53
Wife: Astra
Home Parish: St. Roch Parish in Indianapolis
Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic/Respiratory Therapist

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

Vija and Leons Liepa (my in-laws). Their devotion to the Eucharist, and how they have lived their lives by their faith is so powerful. Also, my wife Astra, who is my reason for being where I am now.

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

Psalm 23:4: “Though I walk through the valley of darkness, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me.” My favorite prayer is the Liturgy of the Hours.

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

I helped to create a chaplaincy program for the local fire department where I work. I anticipate that I can minister to co-workers who may be struggling with stressful situations encountered when we respond to emergencies.

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

God always spoke up through people in my life. I can recall three specific encounters that laid the foundation. First was the priest who presided at my brother-in-law’s funeral. Unprompted, that priest said if I was in his parish, he would recommend that I become a deacon. The second was while on retreat when a good friend told me I should look into being a deacon. The third was at another retreat at Saint Meinrad when I picked up a book about the diaconate. I flipped it open to a random page and the question was: “How does someone know they are being called to the diaconate?” The answer: A priest or friend tells you that they think you would make a good deacon.

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

Throughout my formation, the expectation has been made clear that my time at home will be reduced as I become more involved with ministry. Fortunately, my wife and our sons have been supportive and understand that I will not be as available.

How do you hope to serve through your life and ministry as a deacon?

I hope to work with youths and adults in preparation for the sacraments and to minister to the hospitalized and homebound. When I preach on the word of God, I hope that I can convey how it relates to the world around us in tangible ways. I also hope to be an example to others to be open to listen to God’s call. †

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