From The National Catholic Register’s Kevin Burke comes this profile of Deacon Mark Armamentos, in the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois:
How did you come to discover God’s call to the Catholic Deaconate? [sic] For a couple of years many people, from various ministries I was involved with, asked me if I considered being a deacon, to which I responded “no”. After a person had asked me a couple times about it, I said I would pray about it, but nothing further came of it. During a weekend retreat for teenagers, I was giving a talk about sharing our faith with others and proclaimed to the participants, “God is always talking to us, through our parents, friends, nature, etc. We just have to listen with open hearts.” As I said those words, I instantly realized that God had been talking to me through a number of people…but I had not been really listening. After talking it over with my wife and family, I came to believe that the call was genuinely from God and I decided to apply. On a funny note, my eldest daughter said, “Gee dad, it’s about time!” The blessings since that time have been too numerous to count; my marriage is better and it was already very good, my love for Jesus has grown, my faith in Him has deepened, and my desire to serve more boldly than before has really blossomed. I look up to Heaven and say, “I am a dull butter knife Lord, but you can always make good use of me …as long as I am blessed to keep saying Yes! You received another special calling to serve as a Deacon in ministry for those with abortion loss. How did you make that connection? There was an email from our diocese to all deacons asking if anyone would be available to serve on an upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. (My wife read it before I did.) Late that night when I read my emails, the invitation really grabbed my heart. I looked over at my wife and said, “Would you mind if, I…” and before I finished my request she said that she had hoped that I would feel called to go. Once I had her blessing, I responded and met the team a couple days before the retreat. I felt overwhelmed at first, but believed that the Holy Spirit would guide me and use me to help in the healing process of the women and men on the retreat.