The quarterly newsletter for Assumption BVM Church

March, 2020 | Archived Parish Happenings

Meet Deacon Eric…

Although he wasn’t wandering around in a desert, Deacon Eric Umile’s faith journey to his current position as Parish Services Director at Assumption has taken almost 40 years.

It began when he was a teenager and felt a calling to ministry. But at that time, he envisioned becoming ordained as a Methodist minister. (He was still a Protestant at the time, affiliated with the United Methodist Church.) While in college, his path detoured. He decided to become a clinical psychologist, married a Catholic, and became a Catholic himself in 1996. In 1998, he, Joanne and their daughters moved to our parish, where Rachel and Rebecca (now in their 20’s) graduated from ABVM’s school.

However, during those years, Eric continued to be drawn to ministry. When he heard about the vocation of “deacon” and saw the need in our parish, he talked to Father Devine who enthusiastically supported him in the process. He was ordained in 2012 and has served as a deacon at Assumption for nearly eight years.

When Sister Diane retired, Father Mike decided not to attempt the impossible—find someone who could do all that she did. Instead, his vision turned to a new direction; he looked at the “treasure” already available in our parish. In 2019 Father created a new position at Assumption – Parish Services Director – and hired Deacon Eric (recently retired from practicing psychology) to fill it.

This new position was designed to be an amalgamation of what Sister was doing, what Deacon Eric was doing, and new things—so a real opportunity to use the talents God has given the Deacon. For example, while he is not as involved with special needs education as Sister (a former teacher) was, Baptism preparation classes are still part of his job description. In addition, he assists with Masses, funerals and graveside prayers, Communion and hospital calls, RCIA, and marriage preparation, and is starting a men’s group.

Deacon Eric recognizes that God’s hand was guiding his path to this new career—the fulfillment of his old dream of full-time ministry—and is “happy to have the opportunity” to serve the parish. Likewise, we are thankful that he answered the call from God and that we are the beneficiaries of his gifts and ministry as we travel with him on this next stage of his journey.

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