Leading Lady


L-R: Deacon Parker Senior, Denise, Bishop Ricken of Green Bay, Deacon Parker Junior

Mother’s Day weekend was special for Denise Parker of Pulaski, Wisconsin.

Other women have experienced what she experienced this weekend – but not many.  And certainly nobody in Pulaski, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay or any of the nearby communities has had a similar experience.

Denise spent the weekend surrounded by friends, family and the community that makes up Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.  I was blessed to be part of the crowd of visitors to witness the rare ordination to the order of deacon of a father and son. (More coverage here.)

Yes, David J. Parker was ordained a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Green Bay and will serve in BVM Parish.  Br David J Parker Jr. LC was ordained a transitional deacon and will be ordained a Legionary priest in December.

The Deacons Parker have more than common than a name; their vocations have been nurtured, supported and generously embraced by Denise, who is wife to one and mother to the other. (And, mom of seven children in all.)

This weekend was the first time I met Denise, so I can’t claim her as a lifelong friend or that I know many details of her life.  But I didn’t have to observe her friendly joy for long in the midst of the frantic activities of the ordinations (Bishop, priests, deacons, visiting family, food, who is going where and when, etc.) to know she is a role model for Catholic wives and moms.

Mother’s Day is a time when we pause to thank moms for the important work they do.  They are the foundation of the family, which is the foundation of the world.

The work of moms often goes unnoticed and under-appreciated.  Their work can be invisible to the rest of us.

But this weekend, the products of a great wife and mother were beautifully displayed.  It takes a generous, faithful woman to nurture vocations to the diaconate and priesthood.  And there must be something special about her to bring together dozens and dozens of friends and relatives – of multiple generations – to celebrate as family.

I can only imagine what it must feel like for a woman to attend Mass on Mother’s Day and see her husband and son, both deacons, flanking the priest behind the altar.  Denise knows and I’m grateful for the many roles she played to make the moment possible.

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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