Name: Christopher L. Kabat
Family: wife, Julie; sons: Nathan (19), Noah (15), John (6).
Occupation: Wealth Management Advisor for TIAA
Parish: St. Wenceslaus, Iowa City
How did you know you were being called to the diaconate? After a conversion experience in 2008 I found myself desiring to serve the church in an enhanced way from what I had been doing. I had heard of the diaconate and was praying to know the right path. In October 2011, the diocese sponsored an inquiry day to learn more about being a deacon. I was handed an application at the end of that day and, after waiting three months to complete the application, here I am today, five years later, still praying that I take the path the Lord has marked out for me.
What was the most rewarding aspect of being a deacon candidate? The brotherhood we have had as a class — from praying together and celebrating joys and sorrows to studying, preaching, reflecting. It has been an amazing journey. A great process of self-discovery, and we are all doing things now that we never dreamed we would have done had it not been for the formation process.
What was the most challenging aspect of being a deacon candidate? Balancing the priorities of the tasks at hand. Whether it is family, health, church, field experience or classwork — keeping them all in balance has been the constant challenge.
What do you look most forward to in your ministry as a deacon? Serving the people. Meeting them and journeying through life with them and hopefully being that light that allows God’s grace to work in whatever moment it happens to be — joy or sorrow, pain or suffering — just being present with the people.
What special ministry will you undertake? My final paper brought together the dignity of the human person and its beauty and how our dignity is fully realized in relationship to others. I focused on the sacrament of marriage and I hope to promote human dignity in all aspects of family life, from our youth, to those in preparation for marriage, to all those living out their vocation. If we can keep our focus on “right relationship” with God at our center, things just work better.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? I have a couple that rumble through my head quite often. One is 1 Sam. 3:9-11 — when the Lord is calling and Samuel responds with “Speak for I am listening.” The other is a phrase that is on the monstrance in the adoration chapel at St. Patrick Church in Iowa City, Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” There is so much solace to know the Lord is calling if I only listen — and he will give me rest from the burdens of the day.