by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For many years — so many, in fact that Keith Geary has lost count — he has helped with the RCIA program at Our Lady of Unity Parish here.
Every year, he has attended the Easter Vigil to see the RCIA participants baptized, confirmed and welcomed into the church. It is always a special experience, says Geary. But this year’s Easter Vigil promises to be even more so.
“To be a deacon at the Easter Vigil after all these years of helping with RCIA is amazing,” said Geary. “I don’t think anything can prepare me for how it’s going to feel assisting at Mass for the first time as a deacon. I’m going to be speechless, and I’m a guy that’s hard to leave without words.”
Like the other deacon candidates, Geary is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and serving people.
“We have this great opportunity to be with people as ministers in all parts of their lives,” said Geary.
While the five-year diaconate process, with its endless assignments and lengthy process of discernment, can feel like a slow marathon at times, Geary said the support of his family and parish has fueled him to the end.
“Our Lady of Unity has been so excited for me and so supportive,” said Geary. “It feels like I have a bunch of cheerleaders encouraging me.”
Name: Keith Geary Parish: Our Lady of Unity, Kansas City, Kan.
Age: 49 Family members and ages: wife, Sheri; children: Joshua, 28; John, 26; Michaela, 15; one grandson
Occupation: inside sales manager for American Rigger’s Supply, Inc., in Kansas City, Kan. I have been with the company 33 years.
Favorite food: Italian
Something people might be surprised to learn about me: When I was a little kid — around 8 or 9 — I wanted to be a professional wrestler.
Favorite saint: Brother Andre, because he is a great model of humility. Also, his life shows us what is possible when our hearts are open to God’s will.
If I could visit a period of church history, it would be: Right after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus into heaven.
Favorite book (nonreligious): Is there such a thing? That’s all I have been reading for the past five years. Hobby: computers