Terry Deokaran to serve
as pastoral minister in
At right: Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore recently welcomed Terry Deokaran to southwest Kansas, where she is serving as pastoral minister for the parishes of Barber County.
Southwest Kansas Register: Where are you from, and how long have you lived in Sharon?
Terry Deokaran: I am from Hammond, Louisiana. I lived there for 27 years. Hammond is 50 miles north of New Orleans. As you may tell from my lack of Southern accent, I was not born there. I was born in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, in the middle of cornfields. What a blessing my roots are! The rural living in Sharon is not a total shock.
As of tomorrow, Sept. 5, I will have been in Sharon two months.
SKR: Do you have any children?
Terry: I have two children – one son and one daughter. My son, Sean, is 24 and lives in Orlando, Florida. He is attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical Engineering University in Daytona, Florida. He will graduate this December and plans to go on to graduate school. He is single.
My daughter is 21 and attends Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. She will graduate in the Spring of 2011 with a double major in Religious Studies and Classical Languages. She also plans to go on at graduate level in archaeology. She, too, is single.
My ex-husband is from Guyana, South America. He is of East Indian decent; therefore, my children are mixed. Interesting cultural experiences to bring to Sharon.
SKR: Can you tell me about your education and work experiences?
Terry: I taught preschool for 16 years at a Lutheran Church. I was a “soccer”/”swim” mom. While in graduate school I worked various jobs in order to pay for my studies.
In training to become a Pastoral Minister, [I took] four years of Theological Studies at Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans, La. I graduated with my Master’s in Theology in May of this year. Focus area in studies: Spirituality; Volunteer service in several capacities within the Catholic Church after my conversion to Catholicism in 1997 (being a convert also aids in my ministry to those seeking to enrich their faith); Spiritual Direction; Outstanding mentoring with the Dominican friars; Discernment towards religious life has also enhanced my gifts for ministry.
SKR: What does being a pastoral minister entail?
Terry: First and foremost, being a Pastoral Minister entails being a support and presence to the people of CCBC, Catholic Church of Barber County (St. Boniface, Sharon; Holy Rosary, Medicine Lodge; St. John the Apostle, Kiowa). I am also responsible for the planning/coordinating of the PSR (Parish School of Religion), RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), spiritual activities of the parish and pastoral care to the elderly and sick. I assist in the planning of Funeral Vigils and Masses. I also Facilitate ITV Adult and Catechist classes. I assist with Sacramental preparation. I serve as Secretary of the Parish Council. I also participate in the North and South Barber County Ministerial Alliances. I keep office records and forward them to the pastor and to the diocese.
SKR: On a more personal level, what does being a pastoral minister mean to you?
Terry: On the personal level, being a Pastoral Minister means bringing Christ and His love to those I serve.
SKR: Is there something in particular that you like about serving the community of Barber County?
Terry: The warmth and openness of the people amaze me! In any ministry/mission field it is not only the people who learn from the minister, but also the minister who spiritually gains from contact with the locals. The people of Barber County are teaching me what community is -- what it means, in words and actions, to be the Body of Christ.