10 Jun 2019
Canada: Montreal Salesian Cooperator Ordained Deacon on May 24
by Fr. Mike Pace, SDB
(Montreal – June 5) – Deacon Nick Giampaolo and his wife Cathy Albano are longtime parishioners of Missione Maria Ausiliatrice in Montreal. For the many years that this was a Salesian parish, they were active, generous, and valued lay mission partners in the Salesian mission. Fifteen years ago, they became Salesian Cooperators. On May 24 Nick was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Montreal by Abp. Christian Lepine at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. We praise God for Nick’s vocation that grew in Salesian soil and enriches our Salesian family, and for the active role that Mary Help of Christians played in their journey of faith. He and Cathy share these reflections:
Our Salesian roots are a blessing for my wife Cathy and me. We were blessed to be in a parish with four Salesian priests at Maria Ausiliatrice in Montreal. Through the many remarkable years involved in catechism, lectoring, choir, both Cathy and I learned what Don Bosco meant to the young. We were both inspired by the charism of Don Bosco, and in 2004 we made our promise as Salesian Cooperators. One evening Cathy asked me to attend a lectio divina prayer evening called “the Visitation.” Little did I know how that evening would change my life forever. Until then, though I was a believer, I was not really a church-going person. But Mary changed all of that for me. In the passage of the Visitation (Luke 1:39-45), Mary not only visited her cousin but also came to visit me! Mary came and brought her infant Jesus whose light I saw whilst in the darkness, as was John in the womb of Elizabeth. It was only many years later as I kept praying this passage that I noticed how Mary was paving my path to salvation in Jesus Christ, which today has led me to ordination to the permanent diaconate in the archdiocese of Montreal.
— Rev. Deacon Nick Giampaolo
We’d been parishioners of Maria Ausiliatrice since we moved into the Rivière-des-Prairie area in 1987, and went to church a few times a year and on special feast days until we gave birth to Vincenzo, our first healthy child (we have five children in all, three in heaven and two on earth). As I wanted to instill the Catholic religion into our children, I went weekly, first with my son and then both our children (Vincenzo, now 27 years old, and Nadia, 22). My husband did not share my desires at that time, however; it was difficult to do this alone. One day, Fr. James Jeffcoat, my spiritual director at the time—God rest his soul—said to me whilst I was crying, “Woman, mind your own business and let the Holy Spirit do His work”! And I listened! And now, 27 years later, the rest is history! I give thanks to God and the Holy Spirit for the many blessings sent our way, in the good times and the rougher times in life. With God at my side, I know everything is possible as long as I listen to His will and allow Him to lead the way. Amen!
— Cathy Albano