Some people “juggle” more than others, and a deacon’s wife is no exception.
Josie Weiler is a parish secretary at the cathedral in Belleville and also the wife of Deacon Wayne Weiler, ordained in 2013.
Josie describes her role as “far more fulfilling than I had even anticipated.”
A natural organizer, Josie said she finds life busier, “trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done so he can fulfill the role he was called to do.”
Both from St. Genevieve, Mo., the couple talked about becoming more involved in the church, even as they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan when the deacon was serving in the U.S. Air Force.
They increased their ministry at the time with Deacon Wayne becoming more involved in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and Josie in Vacation Bible School.
Returning to the area in 1997, they began their journey through the diaconate formation in 2008, which “seemed like a long time, but now that I look back it doesn’t seem so long,” Josie said.
While academics were an important part of the program, “we grew as a family together during formation,” she said.
Each lost a parent within a short period of time while still in formation.
“God has brought us through difficult times,” Josie said. “We grow in faith and put our trust in God.”
When the deacon prepares for his homilies at the cathedral, the couple discusses the Gospel. Josie finds that time for discussion exhilarating and “amazing,” she said as they talk about putting the Gospel into practice and then seeing how it affects others’ lives.
And while those times are exciting, Josie finds keeping track of meetings for her husband a challenge.
Being naturally organized gives Josie a chance to keep all of the various appointments on track.
“It plays a huge role here at the office and at home,” she said. “It frees him up so he doesn’t have to worry about the schedule.”
Although both Weilers keep busy schedules, with the deacon working at Scott Air Force Base and Josie at the cathedral, it’s important, she said, to carve out time together.
In fact, that would be the advice Josie would give to the wives of the candidates now in deacon formation.
Although many demands will be made on a deacon’s time to attend meetings, witness marriages, baptize children and minister in a host of different ways, it is important to set aside time to be a couple, to pray together, to make sure you have “personal time with your husband,” she said.
By keeping the relationship strong, the couple has the strength “to give time to God, the parish and themselves.”
At present, eight men are studying for the diaconate from the Diocese of Belleville. Their wives attend classes with them as often as possible.