Read: My path to the permanent diaconate | Deacon John Goff

Today marks the conclusion of National Vocations Awareness Week, November 5-11, whereby each day we’ve been reading about different divine callings. Today it’s the permanent diaconate and the story of Deacon John Goff who serves Saint Joseph parish in Dexter. Here is his journey to ordination:

‘Hi, I am Deacon John Goff and I was ordained May 13, 2023. My journey to ordination, and now beyond, has been a twisting and winding road. I am a cradle Catholic with strong roots to my faith. I am the sixth of nine siblings who our mom and dad gave us a tremendous example of how to be faithful Catholics.”

“As I entered my young adult life, I drifted away from my faith but, as life moved forward, I was slowly drawn back to the Church. I met my wife, Sherri, in 1989 and we married and began our journey together.”

“In those first 10 years of marriage, I was not the best follower of Christ. I tended to do all I could to control every aspect of my life, I thought it was all up to me to raise a family. It was not a good way to approach life to basically exclude God from my daily living.”

‘In 2001 Sherri and I attended a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend to strengthen our marriage. We got that and a whole lot more.”

‘On that weekend the priest shared his love of Jesus in the Eucharist, and it started an awakening in me. The Holy Spirit stirred my heart that weekend and from that point I began to do many things to learn more about our faith and to deepen my own journey.”

“Sherri and I presented weekends for 20 years and we did many things to be involved in the parish, I taught 6th grade religious education, helped to prepare couples for marriage, lector, Eucharistic Minister and many other things.”

“As I continued this journey, I found that the more I learned the more I realized I had a lot more to learn and just continued to dive into the work of becoming a stronger man of God.”

“During all this it never entered my mind that I would become a deacon of our Diocese. It wasn’t until a woman of our parish one day out of the blue told me I should become a deacon and within a few more days two other parishioners did the same.”

“I wasn’t ready to hear such a message, so I ignored it. It wasn’t until about eight months later when Sherri and I went with a group of our parishioners on a pilgrimage to Rome and on that trip three ladies on that trip came to me and told me I should become a deacon.”

‘It was at this point I realized God was calling me to something more than what I was doing. So, with much prayer and discernment I start the theology classes and officially applied to the diocese to enter the formation process.”

“Honestly, when I started this, I truly believed I would be moved to doing something more for our Church but really doubted I would make it all the way to ordination.”

“As I journeyed through the process about a halfway through, I really started to have doubts about going all the way through. When we started the work of homiletics and a deep dive into the sacraments a deacon performs, I really started to feel unworthy of such vital and important responsibilities.”

“As we progressed towards ordination, God comforted me and helped me know it was about Him and not me and that we are all chosen by Him. If we trust, He will lead and never abandoned me.”

“The final affirmation came from Bishop Mengling as he led our final retreat in March of 2023, he focused on the point that all of us are chosen, called, consecrated, and sent by God if we listen to Him and follow, He will lead us.”

“Since ordination I have been blessed to preside over communion services, lead the men’s group in our parish, preach, and console parishioners who are dealing with the death of family members.”

“I am excited to be called to serve in God’s Holy Church and all that He has planned for me to move forward in the ministry.”