Name: Dan Freeman.
Family: Wife, Judy; daughter, Danielle, married to Jeff with two children, one starting St. Ambrose University in Davenport this fall; son, Josh married to Loreto with four children; and son, Jacob.
Occupation: Recently retired. Now assigned as Parish Life Coordinator at St. Mary Parish in Wilton.
Ordination date: July 8, 2017.
Parish assignment: Deacon and PLC at St. Mary Parish in Wilton.
Describe your diocesan deacon assignment: To help build a community that recognizes and celebrates the tremendous gifts God has given us in and from our rural areas. To assist those in rural Iowa to recognize that God is present among us. That he is so close to those who live and work in rural Iowa that we can’t move without touching God. God is present in everything that is rural Iowa. He made the soil and water. He created all the animals and plants. And, he certainly created us. My ministry in Catholic Rural Life is to help us remember that God is in all we do and are. So, we must celebrate God in all things that should remind us of him; all that is beauty, all that births and grows from his providence. We are to steward all of this through his love for us.
How did you know you were being called to the diaconate? People asked me if I had ever considered becoming a deacon or mentioned that they thought I would be a good deacon. The observations are critical in our discernment of vocations. I have always enjoyed serving others. My faith has framed my service in the context of doing good for others through God. I have had several good examples of the diaconate in the late Deacon Don Frericks and in Deacon Bob Shaw. I realized that in being a deacon, you put a sharp point on this service so that it serves Christ first, and through him our brothers and sisters. Hopefully, I become the bridge that others can cross to better express their love of God and neighbor through their own service.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a deacon? Lifting others up through service so that they see Christ all around them and that they in turn want to act on their faith in God’s love and mercy through their own service.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a deacon? Being all things to all people so that they see only Christ, and that they are not distracted by my faults and limitations. The hardest thing is to become invisible and sacrificial so that nothing is left of me and only Christ remains.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? 1 John 3:1-3. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.”
That God has made us his children without regard for what we actually merit. We are on a journey, and he is our constant companion. Here is our hope and our salvation.