My First Post
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Hi, I’m Dcn. Bob Evans and I’ve been a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church for more than 12 years. I’m accustomed to speaking to people in large and small groups, but this is a first – speaking to people I can’t see. As for you seeing me, I guess my picture will have to do.
That’s my wife, Rose, with me in our wedding picture. She is the greatest blessing and treasure in my life. We’ve been married 56 years and we have three children and six grand-children. We now live in Phoenix, AZ.
I began life as a Catholic; went to Catholic schools and after high school, I served in the US Air Force 1959-1963. In my “former life,” my education was in Mechanical - Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972. Most of my professional career was as a manager of engineering and projects in both the Power and Mining industries.
My formal training in Scriptures was at the Kino Institute, Phoenix, starting in 1999. Since then, I have engaged in extensive biblical studies. I was ordained a deacon in November, 2006 for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and have been serving at Blessed Sacrament parish in Scottsdale, AZ ever since. I’m currently the Asst. Director of Deacon Personnel for the diocese. For more on me, see my About Me page.
I’ve always been interested in history, not just events and dates, but insights into the circumstances behind the events. When I began at Kino Institute, studying for the diaconate, I was “blown away” by how much we gain from Scripture study when the passages are placed in the historical context in which they were written. That quickly became my passion; to bring alive Scripture passages by placing them in the social and cultural contexts in which they were written. I hope to be able to share that passion with you.
I’ve found teaching to be one of the
most challenging yet inspiring things I can do.
In my professional career, I frequently served as a meeting facilitator but was only occasionally called upon to teach. But, in my ministry years I’ve found teaching to be one of the most challenging yet inspiring things I can do. This is especially true for those who seek a deeper understanding of Scripture and the Catholic faith. I‘m also an author; my book: Walking the Parables of Jesus will be published this summer by Enroute Books and Media (see the My Books page for more on this).
Why the Name: Stephen's Brother?
Stephen was among the very first deacons. Seven of them were ordained by the Apostles shortly after Jesus’ Ascension. This event is described in Acts 6:2-7. Sometime later, Stephen was teaching and preaching to large crowds and that infuriated the local “authorities.” They stoned Stephen to death; he was the first martyr for Christ [see Acts 7:54-60]. And ever since that day, each deacon ordained by the Church is Stephen’s brother, serving the people of God and carrying on the teaching and preaching the faith just as he did.
Why I'm Blogging
If I am to share what I love most,
blogging is where I belong.
It’s unlikely that I would have started blogging on my own initiative. But, God continues to place me in situations I don’t expect. Lately, friends have convinced me that, for one who loves his faith and the Word of God as much as I do, I just “have to” blog. With very little looking, I found that there are now a few hundred deacons, priests and bishops who are blogging, some for a number of years now. If I am to share what I love most, blogging is where I belong.
Who I'm Blogging For
I’m blogging for anyone who is seeking to go deeper
into the Word of God and the Catholic faith.
It’s more than just about sharing what I love. I need to be listening to and
responding to people from beyond the bounds of my family, my friends,
my parish, possibly even my country. I’m blogging for anyone who is seeking to know more about Scripture; to go deeper into the Word of God and the Catholic faith; to better understand and be better understood.
As a member of the clergy, I’m always aware that when a deacon speaks or writes about matters of faith and morals people naturally assume that he speaks/writes in the name of the Catholic Church. Being an ordained minister of the Church is itself a public reality and the clergy are always “seen” as being representatives of the Church. As such, I avoid comments that might give the appearance of supporting or opposing a particular political party, office holder or candidate.
This is a place for communicating and
understanding, not for simply arguing.
Those who have convinced me that I should blog have also cautioned that
there are some who want to argue in response to a blog post, simply for argument’s sake. Stephen’s Brother is a place for communicating with and understanding one another’s views; it is not a place for simply arguing.
“Why should I be interested in
what this man has to say?
Let me try to answer what may be an obvious question at this point: “Why should I be interested in what this man has to say?” Well, I’ve puzzled over many of the same things you may have. For instance, for years I heard readings at Mass and wondered “What’s the point in that passage; what’s that story or parable got to do with me?”
About ten years ago, I decided to do something about that. Since then, I have extensively studied many texts, commentaries, articles and writings on biblical interpretations. And, through my years in formation and as a deacon I’ve become well-versed in the teachings of the Catholic Church. So, over the years I’ve been able to glean, from a multitude of good, well-researched sources, explanations of many Scripture passages that are mutually-consistent; are grounded in what is currently known of the times and life circumstances when they were written; and, are consistent with sound Catholic teachings.
My invitation to you.