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Show Notes

(0:30) Emily and Fr. Patrick catch up on what’s been going on in their lives, the lovely weather we’re having, and their experiences this Holy Week and Easter season.

(4:47) Emily introduces this week’s guest, Deacon Chris Beltowski, who talks briefly about his family: his wife of 25 years, their four daughters, and his first grandson.

(7:28) Dcn. Chris shares what his life was like before really encountering Christ. He talks about growing up at St. Mary’s in Royal Oak and just going to Mass out of obligation, and the conversion he felt toward Christ while teaching a fifth grade religious education class in his twenties. He mentions the role his wife played in his journey toward Jesus, as well. 

(10:47) Fr. Patrick asks Dcn. Chris about his diaconate discernment, and Dcn. Chris talks about the role his marriage played in this discernment and how he felt the urge to be more actively living out the faith after encountering Theology of the Body. He shares some of his experiences as he began discerning and his early studies at the seminary.

(14:54) Dcn. Chris reflects more on the importance of family in his diaconate ministry — and in his life as a disciple in general. He shares particularly about his experiences with Natural Family Planning and the commitment and trust that displays to God. He shares, too, about the family’s commitment to praying together in a variety of ways.

(18:42) Dcn. Chris talks more in-depth about some of his first active ministry opportunities like prison ministry and St. Vincent DePaul, as well as about his ministry as a deacon specifically. He share some stories from street ministry where he has seen the Gospel lived out before his eyes.

(24:23) Emily asks how Dcn. Chris can share his own encounter with others through his work as a deacon, and he shares that he just tries to remain open to where the Lord is asking him to go. He gives a few examples of this practice and how it has yielded fruit in his life and ministry.

(27:37) Dcn. Chris introduces his new position as the Associate Director for the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Detroit. Fr. Patrick is reminded of the love and fear of the Lord Dcn. Chris saw in his parents and he reflects on this fear as wonder and awe, sharing that he observes this same wonder in Dcn. Chris as he describes his diaconal ministry.

(30:26) Fr. Patrick and Dcn. Chris reflect on Dcn. Chris’s predecessor, Dcn. Kevin Breen, and what a foundation he laid for the ministry of deacons in our archdiocese during his tenure as Diaconate Director. Dcn. Chris also shares testimony about Dcn. Breen’s embodiment of the joyful mission we’re called to. He then discusses his vision for the Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Detroit and what a band of joyful missionary disciples truly is. Fr. Patrick and Emily, too, reflect on the signs and wonders that come from God when we preach the kerygma.

(39:08) Dcn. Chris shares what thoughts he would give men who are discerning the diaconate, urging families to ask their kids what God wants them to be, and imparting the importance that one’s vocation comes from God.

(43:00) Dcn. Chris closes in prayer.

 

Links from this episode:

Theology of the Body, Christopher West

Natural Family Planning