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Hey, You, Almost a Priest!

With apologies to Bill Cosby …) My partner, Randy, and I travelled to Milwaukee this past weekend for a series of events surrounding the wedding of one of his nieces.

As a Recovering Catholic, I do my best to stay clear of events that occur in Catholic Churches, so I'm not up-to-date on the latest and greatest innovations in its operations.

The wedding ceremony was officiated by a category of officiant I had never before encountered in the Catholic Church, a deacon. (Someone explained it to me when he began to talk about his wife and kids and I nearly cheered.) This guy was a brilliant communicator. He managed to build a palpable relationship with and among the hundred or so folks in attendance.

His secret? Story-telling, punctuated by visual examples ("When Jessica and Alex came to dinner with me and my wife …", "Jessica was working in the snack bar at the university and Alex loved hamburgers …"). Using example after example, he created compassion, support and understanding for this young couple as they began their new life together. I'll admit that I didn't have much of a relationship with my niece-in-law when I arrived. But by the time this guy was finished, I felt as if I had known her and her new husband for years.

Amen to effective communication!

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