Deacon Gary Rogge
To date, my favorite quote is from the Ordination Rite for the Permanent Deacon. It states: "Believe what you read, Teach what you believe, And Practice what you teach."
In the summer of 1942, I was born in a small cowtown called Broadus which is located in the southeastern plains of Montana. Shortly after my birth, my father who was a civil service employee, received a job offer as a master carpenter in Seattle, Washington. The whole family relocated there. Three years later a decision was made to move back to Montana. A brother and sister completed our family after our return. It was a good life growing up among relatives however, a severe drought in 1961 almost devastated the economy in our part of the state. Employment was scarce so my parents looked into the Denver area which offered more job opportunities and we relocated again.
Having completed most of my primary and secondary education prior to our move I made a decision to get a decent job and financially help the family. I was initially employed by Martin Marietta but three years later I applied to and got a position with Western Electric (AT&T) which was closer to home. It was during this time that I met my wife to-be Virginia, a Catholic, on a blind date at a Christmas party. She was scheduled to leave in a couple of months to take a job in Stockholm Sweden. Almost a year later, I left for Sweden where we were married and I converted to Catholicism. Later we moved to the Philippines where our only son Randy was born. The following year, we returned to Colorado and I was fortunate enough to be rehired by AT&T. Changes within the company gave a spin-off to Lucent Technologies, where I retired after a total of over 30 years of service.
It was sometime during the spring of 1977 when I felt a strong desire to serve God and the Church more. My local parish involvements were numerous but after a lot of prayer and decernment, my direction focused on the diaconate ministry. I applied and was accepted but when reality set in, there was great concern and apprehension that I might not be worthy of the calling. With God's help however, I was one of 14 candidates ordained by Archbishop Casey to be a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Denver, in the class of 1984. My first liturgical assignment was at Queen of Peace parish in Aurora. Two years later, my next assignment was to St. Thomas More parish where I currently serve.
After my retirement from Lucent Technologies, Father Walsh, then pastor at St. Thomas More hired me to be part of the staff. Aside from my diaconal duties of performing Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals and other liturgical roles, I was in charge of the telephone system, the sound system, a liturgical coordinator and was asked to start an evangelization program. I also function as the first point of contact for engaged couples seeking marriage, an advocate for the annulment process, peer counseling and just being present for those in need of help.
God has been and continues to be generous and kind to me in this life and I am extremely grateful for all His blessings.