Congratulations to Our New Permanent Deacons!

posted Jul 8, 2012, 7:24 PM by The Church of the Nativity   [ updated Dec 26, 2012, 7:17 PM ]
Paul Lang and Sean Patrick Murphy were ordained permanent deacons on May 12, 2012 and assigned to minister at the Church of the Nativity.  Most of us are not aware of the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by these gentlemen in preparing for the diaconate.  In addition to their normal responsibilities of family life and employment, they were involved in a four-year formation and academic program.  Read more…

Deacon Paul Lang
Resides: Tinton Falls
Place of birth/age:  Red Bank; 50
Family: Wife Eileen Ann Wood Lang; Children Brian Thomas, 26, Kevin Allen, 23, Melissa Marie, 20, Nicole Elizabeth, 15
Employment: Hartford Steam Boiler, Hartford, Connecticut
Ministries: RCIA facilitator, catechist, lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, respect life, marriage preparation, Baptism preparation.
Why the Diaconate? “Along with God seeking and calling, starting me on the journey toward the diaconate, constantly probing my heart and mind, during a journey of almost 14 years, it was my father, a permanent deacon, whose life exemplified being in relationship with God and assimilating it into family, Church, work and community that inspired me to discern and answer the call to the diaconate.” 
My Formation Experiences: I looked forward to my formation process in the diaconate and thought my timing was right.  Those thoughts quickly faded with the long travel to Trenton (most times twice a week) and the early morning risings for work.  I believe my biggest challenge came with transferring parishes in the midst of my formation, arriving at Nativity Church half way through my formation.  The struggle of class, moving into a new parish, not knowing at the time those whom I would be serving left me troubled and nervous.  However, the support and understanding of my family, work, and Fr. Bob made that transition a graced-filled event.  All the while behind the scenes Deacon Jim Kelly was giving encouragement and being a wonderful role model for me.  Over the recent past, I’ve developed a spirituality of living in the present moment! Of being available to God and to echo Mary’s yes in today’s world.  This spirituality of living in the present moment and coming to the understanding that “God’s grace is sufficient for me” enabled me to continue through the diaconate formation and it is what I continually use in my daily journey with God.

Deacon Sean Patrick Murphy
Resides: Little Silver
Place of birth/age: Jersey City; 55
Family: Wife Mary Kathleen; children Sean Patrick Murphy II, 19, Catherine Jane, 16, and Aidan Paul, 13
Employment: JFK Health System, Edison
Ministries: Religious education, catechist, lector, youth group
Why the Diaconate? “My parents: the faith they gave to me as a child; my family; my pastor and my parish and community.  I was also influenced by spiritual readings – books by Thomas Merton and Meister Eckhart.”
My Formation Experiences: In addition to prayer and discernment, I traveled to Trenton (most often 2 nights a week) for classes, which included everything from moral theology to canon law. The most challenging part was the long commute to Trenton, then having to go to work the next morning. However, I was very fortunate to have a supportive, understanding family, employer and, of course, pastor, Fr. Bob. Deacon Jim Kelly was not only supportive, but was (and continues to be) a great role model. I just took it “one day at a time” and God gave me the strength and peace that I needed to continue. It was a great “life lesson” that I continue to follow: One day at a time—and God will give His Grace.