Around Catholic Social Services, everyone knows Deacon Mick, but he seems surprised by that. Sitting at his desk at the Archdiocese of Anchorage, in a dark burgundy, button-up shirt with starched white cuffs and collar, the first question he asked was, “So who recommended you talk to me?”
Deacon Mick has spent years dedicated to the work of the Church and the vision of Catholic Social Services, which is “to mend the holes in society’s safety net, alleviate suffering, and promote social change by meeting basic human needs and offering thoughtful opportunities for life-changing growth.”
He and his wife moved to Anchorage 16 years ago. After nine months, he wanted to participate in the Deaconate Formation Program, but the requirement was that participants had to be in the parish for a year. His talked with his wife about it anyhow.
“I didn’t want to miss out, and so we decided I’d submit the paperwork regardless,” Deacon Mick said, sliding a paperclip across his desk with his finger.
When he turned his application in, someone told him a Priest and another Deacon had already submitted his name for consideration to enter in the class. “I took it as a sign I needed to get involved,” Deacon Mick said. He drew his hands back together and clasped them.
Deacon Mick has been involved ever since then. His faith informs his actions and keeps him going all these years. Support Catholic Social Services!
“If God uses me as a conduit for him, that’s the point.” He leaned in. “God puts people in the right place for things that need to be done, if they’ll just open their mind and their heart to his direction and his Word.”
With Christmas here, there are many ways to show love and compassion to our fellow community-members and neighbors who are in-need or may be grieving this Holiday Season.
For instance, we host a Christmas Eve Mass at Brother Francis Shelter. It’s a beautiful opportunity to help those experiencing homelessness celebrate and reflect on the Christmas story. Deacon Mick goes every year.
He looked off to the corner of his office. “When we do mass at [Brother Francis Shelter], historically, there is a large number of…” he paused, “…supporters who come.” He explained that they want to help those in-need and then continued, “There are a number of the homeless who do come and participate and that’s the greatest joy – to see them come and enjoy the Mass on that day.”
Deacon Mick noted that all are welcome to participate in the Mass, regardless of their faith affiliation. “The concept is that they are all my brothers and sisters in Christ,” he said. “We’re there to wish them the best on a beautiful, yet difficult, time of year.”
From all of us at Catholic Social Services, we hope this Christmas – no matter who you are or what your year has been like – that you feel the love and hope this season brings and find ways to share that love and hope with others. Merry Christmas!