UP Catholic 04 01 2016 E Edition Page 12

12 April 1, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC DEACON APPRECIATION www.upcatholic.org Deacon William Piche, Congratulations on your 22nd Anniversary of Ordination! Our love and prayers are always with you. - Wife - Marie - Daughter - Cindy & husband Roger Dahlman - Son - Bill Jr. & wife Kim - Grandchildren - Stephanie & Andrew Rudolf, Melissa Dahlman, Amanda and Ryan Piche - Great Grandchild Fletcher Rudolf O l d Dewitt Church Goods Inc. Restore the beauty of your tabernacle. Call today! Toll Free 1-866-950-3378 Deacon Dennis Maki St. Michael Parish Marquette With grateful hearts, St. Michael Parish thanks you for your ministry to our parish. We feel very blessed to have you as our Deacon! Deacon Art Stancher Your Parish Families of the Keweenaw Catholic Community We extend our gratitude for all you do for the Keweenaw Catholic Community. And we thank you for your willingness to share your gifts with us! The call to the diaconate is one of service and commitment BY CAROL HOLLENBECK THE U.P. CATHOLIC What is chance? The simplest encoun- ter can become a life-changing event. Sometimes God speaks through other people. The Holy Spirit works that way. Ive had people come up to me after Ive spoken somewhere and say, How did you know that about me? Its not what I said, but what you heard, says Dea- con Art Stancher of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Calumet. Deacon Art has been in his ministry for 10 years, and it was such a chance that drew him to the diaconate. Even early in his life, Deacon Arts teachers saw something deeper in him. I always felt called to do something in the Church, but I was unsure of the nature of that calling, he said. I went through many years of prayer and guidance and en- couragement. His pastor in Bessemer and Calumet, Father Tom Wantland, gave him two questions to consider: How can I serve God best in my life? and How can I make the world a better place? In searching for the answers, Deacon Art read Pope John XXIIIs book, Journal of the Soul. But it was the back of a bul- letin insert that showed him his path. It was about the reinstatement of the full diaconate, he said. I knew that was what God was calling me to do, and I felt at peace. Its not a decision to be taken lightly, Deacon Art cautions. An elementary school teacher for 31 years and familiar with good study habits, he still called the ive-year course of study challenging. He was studying at the same time as he was teaching, and Deacon Art credits his wife, Beth, with supporting him through the process. Art had to travel to Green Bay on weekends for classes, Beth explained. We had a 16-year-old son at home. I supported Art by making sure things at home were stable. We usually take time in the evenings to talk about our day. Wed talk about his classes. His studies helped me to grow in my faith, too. Deacon Art's first wife passed away, and he and Beth have been married 16 years. She was also a teacher, and helped him with his coursework. I always admired him, Beth says. He is articulate, committed and devout in a way that is healing. He is committed to his faith. That commitment is essential to his ministry, Deacon Art said, not only during the coursework but now as well. It creates stress, he explained. Sometimes Im called to give when I feel empty. Then I turn to prayer and the support of others. Ive gone to profes- sionals a pastor or someone I trust. I try to get refreshed. He again points to Beth as a major sup- port. Shes very good about me taking time for myself, he said. We recently went down to Marquette for a meeting, SEE STANCHER, PAGE 13 JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Deacon Art Stancher and his wife, Beth look on during a presentation of the Catholic Service Award to Rudy Schmitt, a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Calumet.

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