New Dcn. Jim Myers from San Francisco de Asís Parish in Flagstaff was ordained Nov. 3 and will serve at his parish. (Jesús Valencia/CATHOLIC SUN)

For Dcn. Jim Myers, the path to the diaconate was filled with little signs nudging him along the way to ordination.

One of eight children, he remembers in high school, while serving as a lector, he felt a strong desire to proclaim the Gospel. Almost 40 years later, now a permanent deacon, his dream has finally come true.

“It is something that God had already destined before,” Dcn. Myers said.

Dcn. Myers went on to attend Northern Arizona University for advertising, graduated and went to work. His work became his life and though he dated, he remained single. It wasn’t until he was in his mid-40s that he met his future wife, Therese. They saw each other at Mass often — he served as a lector and she sang in the choir — and finally got together at a lectors’ appreciation dinner at San Francisco de Asís Parish in Flagstaff.

“For me, it was love at first sight,” he said.

The couple married in 2008, and three years later, Dcn. Myers began formation for the diaconate.

EN ESPAÑOL: Saluda al Diácono Jim Myers

New Dcn. Jim Myers stands with his wife Therese in the pew immediately prior to his diaconal ordination Nov. 3 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Though he said there was “no great epiphany” that called him to the diaconate, he remembers a Mass at St. Pius X Church in Flagstaff that did make a difference. He and Therese were sitting in a side pew, and the priest was walking around during his homily. Dcn. Myers said he remembers the priest looking directly at him while saying, “For those who are going to be deacons ….” The direct connection was the push he needed explore the diaconate.

Therese’s support of his calling was an important part of his formation. They turned the trips to and from Phoenix for formation into date nights. Wives are encouraged to attend the classes.

They held fast to a commitment to keep the radio off, and to use the time to talk.

“It has made our marriage closer and our relationship closer,” Dcn. Myers said.

San Francisco de Asís’ seven other deacons currently assigned to the parish and their wives welcomed the couple and have served as friends and mentors.

“It is a very diversified group of men, and they each have their charisms, their personalities and their take on things,” Dcn. Myers said. “It is so great to have that kind of pool to pull from for inspiration and education.”

New Dcn. Jim Myers promises obedience to Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and his successors immediately prior to his diaconal ordination Nov. 3 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (Jesús Valencia/CATHOLIC SUN)

The parish’s newest deacon cited Pope St. John Paul II who said, “There are no mere coincidences.”

Dcn. Myers said he and his wife enjoy helping with marriage preparation at San Francisco de Asís Parish.

“It is the beginning of the family, and the family is the center of our community,” Dcn. Myers said. “We need to make sure we are preparing couples for long-lasting marriages based in faith-filled relationships.”

Therese said her husband has a “heart for service” and that she has enjoyed the experience.

“Seeing him over the last five years in formation develop even more into a servant of the people of God is very inspiring,” she said.