June 3, 2022

Meet our future deacons

Neil May

Neil MayName: Neil May
Age: 62
Wife: Kristin May
Home Parish: St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield
Occupation: School bus driver
 

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

The vital role models in my life of faith were my mom and dad, along with my six other siblings. My parents raised all seven of us to serve and attend Mass regularly, and we remain firm in our faith. Other role models include my aunts, Benedictine sisters who taught me in school, sports coaches and Father Bernie Etienne and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, whom I grew up with in Tell City.
 

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

The beautiful thing about the Scriptures is that a verse can become my favorite on any given day and time because God speaks to me at the time. St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. John Paul II are among my favorite saints. My favorite prayers are the rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours; both serve a particular function in keeping me grounded and centered in Christ.
 

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?

When I was a high school teacher, kids came in with some pretty sticky issues and needed guidance. It was a terrific opportunity to provide them with hope and peace at a time when everything seemed to be falling apart in their lives.
 

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

I have felt God calling me to serve for about 20 years, although I wouldn’t describe it as a calling; it’s more like how magnetic north influences a compass needle. The direction of my life has taken turns toward God by my inner compass that keeps me oriented toward a specific course. Regarding the diaconate, there have been dozens of events that Kristin and I know were Godsends. Some left us speechless. We know, because of the happiness and joy we feel, despite the challenges, that we have arrived where God wants us—to serve him and his people as disciples of Christ.
 

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

I know being ordained will change me. When I became a naval officer and then a commanding officer, given an enormous amount of responsibility, putting on that beautiful white uniform pushed me to become the best I could be. So many great and brave men and women have worn the same uniform. There was no way I was going to let them down. However, more profoundly and more importantly, when I don the deacon alb and dalmatic, I will feel the same responsibility to serve the Church and others to the utmost of my ability. Serving my country was good; serving God is the greatest good. As for as my family is concerned, well, let’s say they have become more firm in their belief in miracles.
 

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

I hope to serve St. Susanna and the archdiocese in every and any way to help us all get closer to Christ and sainthood. The education I have received these past five years has been exceptional, and it’s time to share it. Action in serving my family, my St. Susanna family, and others in Christ is all I desire to do with my remaining days. †

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