EDMONTON (CCN) — Lawyer Michael Hall said the permanent diaconate wasn’t part of his plans until God came knocking.
“I felt the call from God that he wanted me to pursue this ministry,” he recalled. “It is not something that I had been thinking of for a long time. I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to serve the church in this way.”
Hall, 55, was born and raised in Humboldt, Sask., and moved to Lloydminster a year after obtaining his law degree in Saskatoon in 1984. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for 35 years and have three adult sons and one grandchild.
The Halls both serve the parish in a variety of roles. He has been a lector and acolyte; Cheryl has served in the music ministry and with the fall supper.
Things started to take shape when Hall met the current director of the diaconate program Deacon Lynn Pion, who worked at the credit union in Lloydminster. As a lawyer, Hall had to deal closely with Pion.
“I followed him a little bit through his formation and through his journey and that definitely gave me awareness that this is something that is out there.”
He and his wife joined the program four years ago and have only good things to say about it.
“The formation process was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever gone through; I learned a lot about the faith,” Hall said.
“It may sound corny but the most memorable thing (about the program) is the friendships, the people that I journeyed with and their spouses. It’s just wonderful. They will be permanent friends for the rest of our lives.”
Cheryl came to almost all the formation classes over the last four years. They plan to exercise their ministry as a couple as much as possible.
“Cheryl was my greatest support,” Hall pointed out. “Without her support this would not have been possible. It’s a big commitment.”
Cheryl said she plans to support her husband in his calling. “We look upon this opportunity to serve God as a team effort.” That’s the reason she took the program along with him. “I felt I needed to know what he is learning and also grow in my own learning.”
Others in Lloydminster, like his good friend John Koep, are excited about what Hall will bring to St. Anthony’s Parish and the community at large.
“There isn’t a better person,” says Koep, a life insurance broker. “If I had some issues in my life and I wanted to speak to somebody, he would be the first guy I would go to.”
Hall, who recently retired as a lawyer so he can serve the church better, is so respected in Lloydminster that everybody will be happy with his ordination, Koep said.