Name: Derick Cranston
Family: wife, Kim; daughter, Angelina.
Occupation: Pastoral Associate for Holy Family Parish (Riverside, Richmond and Wellman).
Ordination date: July 13, 2013.
Parish assignment: Holy Family Parish.
Describe your diocesan deacon assignment:
I assist as a deacon at Mass, perform baptisms, witness marriages, conduct funeral vigils, assist at funerals and teach Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). I am also fortunate to be a full-time pastoral associate for our parish, which gets me involved in assisting the pastor with running the parish. Many administrative and behind-the-scenes duties go into running a parish smoothly, so I am glad to help ease some of the workload for our pastor.
How did you know you were being called to the diaconate?
It was a gradual process that evolved over time. I suppose the first time I considered it was when Father Rich Adam encouraged me to look into the diaconate.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a deacon?
Being involved in meaningful moments of people’s lives. Baptisms, marriages and funerals are important and very special to people. To be able to be a part of that is an honor and privilege.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a deacon?
What I sometimes find challenging is filling out the forms and paperwork required for certain canonical matters. Thankfully, the diocesan tribunal is very patient with me!
What is your favorite Scripture passage?
When our class was ordained in 2013, our formation director, Deacon Frank Agnoli, gave all of us a T-shirt with the verse from Romans (8:18) on the front. It reads, “For I consider the sufferings of the present, as nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.” It was a tongue and cheek gesture since we had all been through five years of rigorous study and formation, but it really stuck with me. It is a short verse, but it can serve as a foundation to address the problem of suffering and evil in the world. We have no perfect answer to the profound question of why evil and suffering exist in the world if God is all good and all-powerful. One way to approach that question is to consider that the suffering in this world will pale in comparison to the joy we will experience when we are in the presence of God. Intellectually, this is probably an oversimplification, but on a pastoral level, it seems to connect with people. I often refer to it at funeral vigils or when consoling people who are grieving the loss of a loved one.