Daly describes diaconate calling as Jesus ‘pulling at my shirt-sleeve’

| December 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

Maureen and Michael Daly. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

Michael Daly, 53, said he feels called to serve the sick and the suffering, so they know “they are never alone and that someone is praying for them.” He said his wife, Maureen, stands with him, keeps him honest and on the path when the work gets heavy. A tax, accounting and financial services expert, Daly is a parishioner of Our Lady of the Prairie in Belle Plaine. He is scheduled to be ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Dec. 7 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. The Catholic Spirit asked him via email about his vocation. His answers were edited for clarity.

Q. What inspired you to pursue the diaconate?

A. Through much discernment and with much prayer, I have come to recognize that Jesus has been pulling at my shirt-sleeve, inviting me to walk with him and serve others. 

Q. What made you certain this was your call?

A. My heart has been moved by the Holy Spirit and the mercy of God. I have been blessed in so many ways and have been prompted to service in Christ and his Church. 

Q. What aspect of diaconate ministry are you most looking forward to?

A. Proclaiming the Gospel as a herald of the Word. I am eager to preach the saving power of the Gospel to those who seek the truth and are searching for real meaning in their lives. Our Lord’s words are life-giving and offer each one of us hope. 

Q. What areas of ministry are you especially interested in?

A. I have a strong interest in serving the sick and suffering. I want them to know that they are never alone and that someone is praying for them. I desire to bring the peace and comfort that Christ offers.

Q. What role will your family play in your new ministry?

A. My wife, Maureen, stands with me in all that I do. She moves my heart and keeps me honest. She lets me know when I need to refocus and she keeps me on the path when the work gets heavy.

Q. Where do you see the greatest needs in the local Church?

A. Strengthening the domestic Church, the family, by offering meaningful catechesis, especially with regard to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Church needs to help its people experience the beauty and grace filled power of the sacraments. 

Q. What part of your formation has been the most rewarding?

A. The relationships that have grown within diaconate formation have been a blessing. The program instructors, priests, deacons, wives and my brothers called to Holy Orders have all helped me grow as a person in the service of Christ.

Q. Who has been a model for your ministry?

A. My parents Mary and Jim Daly for teaching me the faith and how to serve others. My wife, Maureen, for loving me unconditionally and remaining my rock of encouragement on this journey. Their Christian witness has been a beautiful model for me.

Q. What do you hope to offer the Church through this vocation?

A. My hope is to introduce Jesus Christ to others and remind them that they are loved by God. I hope to be a humble servant of Christ and encourage others to open their hearts to the God who never abandons them.

Q. What has been the most challenging part of pursuing this vocation?

A. Diaconate formation demands a great deal of time, and for me, a commute each class day from Belle Plaine to St. Paul in all manner of weather conditions. During my years of formation, the Lord has helped me to manage my calendar, especially during tax season. 

Q. What can the Church do to inspire other men to answer the diaconate calling?

A. Whether serving on the altar, proclaiming the Word, or distributing Holy Communion as extraordinary ministers, I believe these liturgical roles can be an inspiration to men who are being called not only to the diaconate, but other vocations as well. Praying the beautiful liturgy of the Mass, praying for vocations, praying for families, and praying for marriages, will stir the hearts of those open to the call. The Holy Spirit hears our prayers.

Q. What advice would you give another man discerning the diaconate?

A. Follow the promptings of your heart. Have no fear, as Jesus already knows your weaknesses. Devout yourself to a life of prayer in all that you do, and give all thanks and glory to the God who made you. 

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Category: Deacons