In conjunction with Deacon Tom’s article last week, I thought it might be appropriate to provide some explanation about the roles that the wives of Deacons have in their spouses’ ministry. Although the wives are not ordained, we do share in our spouse’s ministry, yet we are independent laity.
Since the origin of permanent deacons in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, there have been many questions about the emerging roles of the wife as part of the “diaconate couple.” There are no clear‐cut guidelines or explanation of what the wife’s role is or can be, however, because Deacon formation touches each woman uniquely and individually, we support our husband’s call in different ways.
Women who are spouses of deacons respond to a unique grace of personal mission of their own, that comes as a gift from her baptism. Each woman cultivates her baptismal gifts in service to her family, the world and the church.
The wife of a deacon is not simply a woman married to a deacon—we are essential for the church as we use our own gifts for the good of God’s people. With the power of the Holy Spirit we are equipped to make a particular and important contribution in supporting the church as well as our husbands.
Participating in the diaconate is something that Tom and I have decided to do together. During our formation journey we developed a deeper appreciation for each other, our faith, and for God. We learned more about our roles both individually and as a couple and how we would together serve our church and our community.
To echo what Tom stated last week about marriage, we strive to be examples of a Christian marriage, not only for our family but also for all who are witnesses to our union. Our love and our commitment to each other can be seen in our thirty‐ five years of marriage. Like this permanent union, I have willingly and unselfishly given my own commitment to share in Tom’s diaconal ministry.
It is with much thought, reflection and prayer that I hope Tom and I can continue our ministry, now as a diaconate couple, and that we can continue to incorporate and share our gifts as we serve God, His church, and His people.