The Deacon: An Unexpected Life

by Thomas Fargnoli

We often end up living an “unexpected” life. Yet through it, glimmers of hope, faith, love and peace find their way through.
After being married for forty years and serving the Catholic Church as a deacon for the last five years, leaving the diaconate was the last thing on my mind.
Life was good – wife, home, children, grandchildren, health, retirement and an amazing ministry. Never did I expect to be a suicide survivor. Grieving the loss of my wife was difficult enough, but with suicide, the grieving process was much more intense. Being a deacon in the Catholic Church intensified that process even more.
The Catholic Church made it clear. I could not stay a deacon and pursue another loving relationship that could lead to marriage. I was aware of the rule, but after two years of discernment, I couldn’t seem to make a decision. This battle put me into the hospital for open-heart surgery. Finally, with God’s help, I made my decision.
Rick, a local reporter, wanted to interview me with regard to my diaconate experience and how I came to that decision. Rick turned out to be more than a reporter. This is my story. Through it, I hope glimmers of hope, faith, love and peace find their way through your clouds as well.
Proceeds go to Suicide Awareness.

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