Name: Mitch Holte
Family: Wife, Sally (we have been married for 42 years); three daughters; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren.
Occupation: I worked for IBM as a customer service representative for 43 years before retiring five years ago.
Ordination date: July 13, 2013.
Parish assignment: I am assigned to St. Mary Parish in Solon. Since my retirement from the workforce, I have also been going to St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City one weekend a month.
Describe your diocesan deacon assignment: My diocesan assignment is to the Iowa City Deanery nursing homes, but I have not been as active in this ministry as I would like to be. Father Rudolph Juarez, former pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City, and Father Joseph Sia, the current pastor, have included me in their ministry to the care centers near St. Patrick as needed. I regularly assist Father Charles Fladung (pastor of St. Mary Parish in Solon) at Mass and with an occasional Word and Communion service at the Solon Care Center.
How did you know you were being called to the diaconate? A parishioner from St. Mary in Solon suggested the diaconate and then Father David Wilkening gave me a great deal of encouragement. I pretty much dismissed the idea, knowing that God can certainly call more gifted or talented men than me, but the idea of serving as a deacon was persistent. I finally decided to give it a try and it’s been a wonderful decision for me.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a deacon?
The most challenging aspect of being a deacon for me is ministering to people who are grieving or facing some sort of crisis. I have only been in this type of situation a handful of times as a deacon. It’s difficult not to be able to say or do something that fixes the problem or makes everything better rather than to be there prayerfully with them without saying anything. This is also the most rewarding aspect of being a deacon for me. If you had asked me about the most joyful aspect of being a deacon, I would say without a doubt that it was celebrating the sacrament of baptism. What a blessing it is to get to spend this sacred time with families. Baptisms leave me with a quiet joy that lasts long afterward.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? It changes from time to time, but right now it is 2 Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with distress, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
This is part of St. Paul’s response to being criticized for his lack of giftedness or talent, but we all know the great things God accomplished through St. Paul. We never restrict God by our gifts and talents, only by our unwillingness to be faithful to all that he calls us to.