A lifetime of experience as a couple and as parents filled the interval between John's first call to serve as a deacon and ordination day June 10, 2006. John and Joyce had discussed his attraction to the ministry before they were married. Then life intervened with marriage, career and the raising of three children, now young adults: Matt, Elise, and Jessica.
The couple entered the diaconate program in 2001, after an application process reaching back to 1995. During that time, John was drawn to outreach ministry in places that were under-served. He began his ten-year service as a Eucharistic minister at the Claremont Care Center in Pomona, an assisted living facility for the elderly. He and Joyce also became involved in providing meals at the transitional center for homeless families known as Our House, operated by Inland Valley Hope Partners. The formation process in the diaconate program deepened their understanding of the social justice teachings of the Church and led them to establishing the JustFaith program at OLA, along with Deacon Bob Steighner. They are both JustFaith graduates.
John is now leading the expansion of the JustFaith program into Engaging Spirituality and JustAct which form small faith communities responsive to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in our society. (There are now 50 JustFaith graduates at OLA.) He has also led OLA's involvement in supporting affordable housing in Claremont and organizes monthly outreach events at the Claremont Community Meal and Our House shelter for the homeless. He continues to feel called to community service outside the institutional Church, in addition to ministry as a deacon at OLA which involves presiding at baptisms and occasionally preaching. The cornerstone of his ministry is finding "forgotten' areas of need, inviting others to join him, and creating a personal connection for himself and his co-workers to the people they serve.
In the meantime, Joyce has developed her life-long interest in Scripture study and women's faith-sharing to become a spiritual advisor in the Fellowship of Catholic Christian Women at OLA. Joyce also serves as a lector at OLA. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the six-year formation process for deacon couples which broadened and deepened her understanding of the Catholic faith and prepared her for her current ministry.
Email Deacon John Tullius: firstname.lastname@example.org