By Alison Bradish
Only a few minutes into the interview and Deacon Dave Hudy reveals his was a reluctant vocation.
Ordained in 2018, Deacon David Hudy, who serves in Melville, battled with doubts about his calling. Why the permanent Diaconate? Why him? Was this a true call?
Hudy and his wife Beverley, parents to one daughter, come from a farming background. In 2005 they opened St. Philomena’s Care home, two months after praying a Novena to St. Philomena for guidance about how to best care for Deacon Hudy’s parents. They also sensed a need for a care home in the community. They bought a house next door to St. Henry’s parish in Melville and ran the care home for seven and half years.
Hudy’s mother died before she had a chance to live in the home, but his father lived there for three and half years before his death.
After selling the care home, Hudy sensed a call to go deeper in service. At that time, he had already completed the lay formation program through the Archdiocese of Regina. He also took courses in Clinical Pastoral Education, a program offered at the time through the Regina health district geared towards chaplains from all denominations. He says these two programs were part of a series of events that led him to the permanent diaconate program.
Hudy explains he recognized the part lay ministry played in the local church but was still expanding his knowledge of the role of permanent Deacons. He explains Deacons are called first and foremost to represent the Christ the Servant; they are called to the ministry of service.
When Hudy first started discerning this call he was filled with doubts which followed him as he undertook his studies in preparation for ordination. But while on a Marian retreat at St. Terese Institute of Faith and Formation in Bruno, Hudy came to terms with his call.
“I was thinking, I don’t understand this calling. Also, my age, I was 58 when I started diaconate formation, I kind of put it to God, I don’t understand this calling but maybe you want me to do it anyway, and I went into the retreat with that thought,” recalls Hudy.
Hudy admits when hearing there was a Deacon at the retreat, he told himself he was not going to go out of his way to talk with him.
But the first day of the retreat when he and Bev went to the dining room only two seats were left. They were right by Deacon Claude, a visiting deacon from Alberta.
“I sat down beside him, and we started talking and I told him about my struggle, and he told me I had a reluctant vocation and he went on to tell me his story,” says Hudy.
Deacon Claude shared how he had eventually grown into his vocation, despite his inner conflicts.
“What I needed to hear is that as a Deacon I don’t have to be a leader but to be who I am and fulfill whatever role God wants me to. He (Deacon Claude) reinforced that I don’t have to understand the calling I just have to respond to the call,” says Hudy.
The retreat helped Hudy understand maybe God was still calling him despite his misgivings.
“When I was in lay ministry and co-pastoral study, I knew I should be there. But with the diaconate formation I really struggled, especially the first year, if I really made the right decision,” says Hudy. Now he is glad he stepped out in faith. He says he is grateful for his four years of formation and the expansion of his ministry in the nursing homes. Hudy is open about being an introvert and admits there is an initial fear of approaching someone to talk, but he also says listening comes natural to him.
He says the most joyful part of his ministry is journeying with others through their struggles and praying with them. He says he is always working on increasing his trust in God.
Although not part of his ministry as a Deacon, Hudy and his wife Bev, with the help of others, also organize a yearly walking pilgrimage from St. Gerard’s parish in Yorkton to the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Rama. The pilgrimage begins August 11(St. Philomena’s Feast Day) and ends August 14th, the Feast of the Assumption.
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