Staff Member: Gordon Snyder
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I was ordained to the diaconate in June, 2000 (along with eleven other classmates – the dirty dozen of the turn of the century). My wife, Cheryl, and I moved to SE Wisconsin in 1992 from the New York City metropolitan area. We consider the Midwest our home since we both grew up in Nebraska. At the time we arrived in Wisconsin, our two sons were already out on their own, Craig attending the US Naval Academy, and Pete at Notre Dame University. Cher and I were married in Southfield, Michigan, in 1969 after meeting in 1964 on a blind date in Nebraska.
I graduated from Creighton University with a major in Physics, along with a minor in Math and Philosophy. I received my Master of Science Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. I am currently a systems consultant for large-scale computer software, and travel throughout the US on client projects.
Cheryl graduated from the University of Michigan, with a degree in Speech Therapy and Social Sciences. During our early years, she taught speech therapy in NY State, and later moved into the computer industry. She is now the Director of Information Technology for a construction company in Waukesha. Cheryl will continue her ministry at St. Bruno in Dousman, and is very active in their Choir, and chairperson of their Prayer and Worship Ministry.
We have 4 grand-children... none of whom live near-by... not because of us, we hope, but rather because of the business their parents are in. Quite often, we visit our children and their families, which often takes us out-of-town for long weekends. We are also known for taking time off to pursue our hobbies of bicycling, hiking, scuba diving, kayaking, and camping, among others.
Way back in the early 1980’s, I made a list of “Goals for my Life.’ One of those was to have a closer relationship with God. Shortly after that, my family and I were involved in establishing a brand-new parish in Up-State New York, and that’s when I got involved with the deacon at that parish. What I witnessed in his prayer life, and his way of dealing with people, help me to listen to, and accept, God calling me to discipleship. I decided that I would like to help others “build that bridge to God.” However, it took another 12 years, and a move to Wisconsin, before I applied for the diaconate. Shortly after we arrived here, we joined St. Bruno parish in Dousman where I met with Fr. John Hanley about becoming a deacon. Since I was recent transplant, and a brand-new member of the parish, he pulled out “all the stops” to make this happen. To him, I am always most grateful. Fr. John Schreiter was my mentor and confidant during my years at the seminary, and to him I am always grateful for his kind ear and practical insight.
As a deacon, my outside ministry is primarily focused on the prison inmates within the Waukesha County Jail through the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In addition, I perform other diaconal duties such as marriages, marriage preparation, baptisms, and assisting as deacon during Mass. I strive to work with people from the practical side of “where they are now in their relationship with Jesus” and not just from a purely theological standpoint. I often ask myself this question: “Where is God in my life today?”