I WAS born in 1968 in Canberra to loving parents, my siblings and I all went through the Catholic schooling system.
I had a happy childhood and through a love of fishing and the outdoors I gained an appreciation of God’s creation – however, without thinking about God.
Although I received the sacraments while at school I never followed His faith and began a fairly self-indulgent lifestyle.
Obtaining a science degree only strengthened my emerging doubts about the existence of God.
Moving to Cairns for work, I met Kate and we were married in 1997.
Kate would occasionally convince me to attend Mass.
Three children came along and although they were baptised, Mass was reserved for Easter and Christmas.
We were happy, comfortable and life was good – who needs God?
If you asked me about God at that time I would have said that I couldn’t prove He existed or didn’t exist, and I didn’t think of Him at all.
Then things changed.
Kate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008, which shook our foundations.
We felt vulnerable.
A good Baptist friend took me under his wing and I began a faith journey, reading the Bible and praying regularly, but I still didn’t go to Mass.
Later I was the victim of a road-rage incident and I reached a rock-bottom moment.
I was given the grace to realise, that painful night, that I needed God and that I had to go to Mass.
In 2009 another event occurred. One day when Kate was battling severe pain, she cried out to God in despair.
All of a sudden, the room was light, the most magnificent golden light that had energy and love.
The rain was literally showers of God’s love.
That year our Catholic faith soared and we both developed a strong love for our faith, the Mass, the sacraments and the Rosary.
The only deacon I knew was my friend Matt Ransom.
When Kate suggested that I become a deacon, I thought: “I’m not good enough or holy enough to do that”.
But over time, the idea took root, encouraged by prayerful discernment, and I eventually asked Bishop James Foley to consider me for the diaconate program, which I undertook with three other wonderful men.
The faith formation and studies over that time were important for me to develop and mature.
I was helped by Kate and the support of wonderful clergy.
Spiritual direction from Lesley Newman was also helpful in spiritual growth, and I feel that the prayers of others were ultimately responsible for me being where I am today.
My ordination in April was an awesome moment that I will never forget.
An unexpected gift from the ordination has been the supernatural graces I have received.
After ordination I felt different, something definitely has changed.
God has given me a great gift, and I will serve his people and always do whatever He wants me to do.
Deacon Mark Cavicchiolo was ordained to the permanent diaconate in Cairns diocese in April.
By Deacon Mark Cavicchiolo