Meiners to be ordained June 14 to diaconate
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
May 29, 2003
Dedham - As far as deacon candidate Louis Meiners of Dedham is concerned, God
has always had plans for him. That plan will go to the next level when Meiners
is ordained by Bishop Daniel N. DiNardo to the permanent diaconate at 10:30
a.m., June 14, at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.
Becoming a deacon has been in the back of his mind for many years. His
interest in the ministry peaked when a priest was handing out applications for
the diaconate at a Knights of Columbus meeting in the Des Moines Diocese.
"I thought I had better take one," he said.
Eventually he moved to the Diocese of Sioux City.
"After I was here, one day I heard about the Church Ministries Program
and I thought I might as well enroll in them and see what they are all
about," explained Meiners, who added that he felt if he could make it
through the classes he knew he wanted to aspire to become a deacon.
He didn't bother to pursue official enrollment in the diaconate program until
he was well into the Church Ministries courses.
"I really didn't have any hope of making it through the classes,"
he acknowledged, with a chuckle. "If I did it, I thought I had better
follow through because then I was sure the good Lord had given me the ability to
get through the classes. There is no question that the Lord has had something
planned for me from the very beginning."
Always having an interest in doing things for the church, Meiners explained
that things just fell into place.
Just as he was called to a marriage vocation, he said he had a call to the
"Everyone is called to do something," he noted. "You have to
stop talking and stop thinking about yourself. Just listen and the good Lord
will tell you what he wants or at least he will push you in directions to make
you aware of the call."
In the final preparations for his ordination, Meiners attended a retreat at
Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey in Elkhorn, Neb.
Once ordained, he will continue to minister in his parish, St. Joseph in
Dedham, as well as the cluster parish, Annunciation in Coon Rapids.
"I have a pastor that is very open to me," he noted. "We work
real well together, so while he has defined specific roles for me I will be
there to do as he asks and to serve the people."
Working in a rural parish, Meiners said it is unlikely that he will be
assigned one particular duty. He will be open to serve in a variety of ways to
meet the needs of the people in addition to traditional roles of the deacon such
as assisting at Mass.
"I am looking forward to the challenges that will face me in giving a
homily," he said.
Meiners credited his wife of 32 years, Judy, for constantly enhancing his own
spirituality. After a bout with cancer, Judy is doing well. He said the entire
family is thrilled with his decision to answer the call to become a deacon.
The Meiners have three children: Frank and wife, Barb, of Ames; Jennifer
Meiners of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Cindy Geiselhart and husband, Eric, of Las
Vegas. They have two grandchildren. They are also the full-time guardians of
Judy's niece, Kristine Warren.
All of his children and many relatives will be at his ordination, including
those from as far away as Florida, Georgia and California.
"I think I will be quite moved on my ordination day," said Meiners.
"I think I will have a spirit that will enter me, and I hope that it will
make me want to do more and more."
He extended gratitude to the people of the Dedham and Coon Rapids parishes
that have been so supportive.
"I am just a common, ordinary person. God has just given me the idea and
if I let him push me where he needs to, I can't help but believe this will be a
very worthwhile ministry," said Meiners.