Local Religious life

Diaconate provides candidate a way to balance faith and family

by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven

KANSAS City, Kan. — There was only one thing holding Michael Schreck back from greater involvement in the church.

“For me the question was: ‘How can I work for the church and still be able to provide for my family?’” said Schreck, a deacon candidate from Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park.

Schreck has a long history of ministry in the church as a layperson; he became deeply involved in the Cursillo movement, where he held a leadership position for several years.

“I felt God calling me to give in a more profound way, and I discovered the permanent diaconate was a way I could do that,” said Schreck. “Being a deacon is an unpaid ministry of the church that allows me to continue my full-time work in the secular workplace, while at the same time giving me a way to live out my faith in a more profound way serving others.”

Schreck said finding balance between his diaconate ministry, professional life and personal life would be the biggest challenge he could foresee, once becoming a permanent deacon in April.

“It will be a lot of balancing time, and I’m hopeful that everyone understands we have fulltime jobs and family obligations so we won’t be able to accept every invitation that comes along,” said Schreck. “But I do look forward to serving the church.”


Name: Michael Kevin Schreck

Parish: Holy Spirit, Overland Park

Age: 42 Family members and ages: wife, Melanie; children: Michael Jr., 15; Alyssa, 13; Martha, 10; and Mary Kathryn, 8.

Occupation: senior internal auditor for U.S. Central Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union

Favorite food: steak

Something people might be surprised to learn about me: I used to be afraid to discuss my faith. Once I get going now, watch out!

Favorite saint (and why): St. Peter, because he demonstrated that the weakest of us can do great things if we love God and remain open to receiving his grace.

If I could visit a period of church history, it would be: Pentecost; their missionary zeal must have been awesome to experience.

Favorite book (nonreligious): “Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career and Family Success.”

Hobby: taking pictures, mainly of my children and the outdoors.

About the author

The Leaven

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

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