Local Religious life

Deacon candidate impressed by church’s servant mission

by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven

LEAWOOD — Sometimes a Catholic finds his or her vocation; sometimes the vocation finds them.

“I have had an itch for some time to do more within the church and give back to Christ,” said John Weist. “I didn’t know anything about the diaconate and had no experience with deacons.”

But a visit from Weist’s parish priest, Father Bill Porter, planted the idea of becoming a deacon.

“So I started reading about it, praying about it, and talking to people about the diaconate,” said Weist. “The more I looked into it, the more I felt it was something I was called to do.”

Weist said he was especially intrigued by the role deacons play in bringing Christ to people.

“The diaconate formation period has really reawakened in me a love of Scriptures and the Gospel message,” said Weist. “It has also helped me become better aware and more understanding of the church’s servant mission.”

Mass and the sacraments, as well as the strong Catholic community, are some of the things Weist most appreciates about Catholicism, and he finds himself looking forward to helping others experience the depth of the Catholic faith.

Still, he knows as a husband and father with a professional job, becoming a deacon will be an exercise in balance. “

The biggest challenge will be balancing my family life, work requirements, and deacon ministry,” said Weist. “Maintaining a balance is something I need to work on most as I begin this ministry. I need to make sure I am still being a servant to my own domestic church at home. Because if I’m not serving them, I can’t serve the needs of others.”


Name: John Weist

Parish: St. Michael the Archangel, Leawood

Age: 42

Family members and ages: wife, Zena; children: Logan, 12; Michaela, 11; Landon, 7; Aviana, 5

Occupation: attorney (civil litigation)

Favorite food: pizza from LaCasa’s (in Omaha, Neb.)

What I’m looking forward to most about being a deacon: The encounter with Christ through serving others.

Something people might be surprised to learn about me: My first job was being a caddie, which I did for seven summers from age 10-17.

Favorite saint: St. Thomas More. He’s the patron of attorneys, but more so because he was faithful and courageous (and even maintained his sense of humor) until death.

If I could visit a period of church history, it would be: mid-first century — to visit the Blessed Mother after Pentecost.

Favorite book (nonreligious): “Goodnight Moon,” by Margaret Wise Brown (only because it reminds me of reading to my kids)

Hobby: coaching soccer

About the author

The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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