My Personal Journey

About Life in Focus

My personal journey in this world began on April 15, 1940.
Following a rather normal childhood, the first part of my journey began with an elementary education at Immaculate Conception Catholic grade school in Johnstown, PA. My high school years were spent at Marianist Preparatory School in Beacon, NY and college at the University of Dayton in Ohio, both run by the Marianist Fathers & Brothers.
That completed my formal education, prior to preparation to become a Deacon in the Catholic Church.

From 1960 to 1982, my life went through some major changes, beginning with a move to Lancaster, PA. However, the most significant change began with my introduction to Barbara Ranck on May 19, 1960, her nineteenth birthday. For over 58 1/2 years, I was married to the love of my life, Barbara. We were married in November of 1962 and, in the next five years, created our family, which included three sons, James William, David Michael, and Jeffrey Stephen, who has already gone to his eternal reward. We have four grandchildren, Timothy, Dannielle, Christopher and Nicholas.
Barbara went to her eternal reward on August 3, 2021.

From 1962 to 1976, I had various employment opportunities and jobs, none of which proved to adequately fulfill our family’s needs. Sometimes there were two jobs and sometimes three. The next 24 years were spent in the newspaper business, in sales, sales management, and as the General Manager of a six weekly newspaper group in Cambria County, PA. Beginning in 2000, I was employed for three and a half years as Director of Training for the Thomas Automotive Family based in Bedford PA.

During the period from 1970 to now, my spiritual life has also undergone some major renovations. The next major event was the invitation from my pastor, at Saint Ann Parish in Lancaster, PA, to consider becoming a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church.

In 1985 the Most Rev. James J. Hogan ordained me as a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church and I have served in two different parishes in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. In July of 2003, the next Bishop, the Most Rev. Joseph V. Adamec appointed me to the position of Director of the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons for our diocese. Eleven years later, at the end of December 2015, I retired with the help of Deacon Michael L. Russo, who first took over the Formation Process and eventually agreed to accept the appointment as Director of Diaconate.

To learn more about what it means to be a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church, click on the Companion Site link in the menu below.

I continue in my assignment as Deacon for Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Lakemont, Altoona, PA, where I have served since July of 1995..

The picture at the top of this page is from a visit with the Carmelite Nuns at Carmel in Loretto, PA while participating in a Novena to Saint Therese of Lisieux which, you can read about in chapter seven of my book, helped me to decide to finish this book about the little phrase.

on the moment
in GOD's LOVE."

To see more about where this happened, you can visit the site of the Carmelite Monastery by just clicking on the Link to the Carmel of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the home of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Loretto, Pennsylvania.

Explore more of where I'm headed on this journey of faith, by clicking
The Inside story

The book is now available on KINDLE through Amazon, the NOOK through Barnes and Noble and the IPad through Apple books. It is also available in print through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other online bookstores. For a special price on that little book go to The Ewings Publishing.

To get a glimpse of what you will experience with the book, view the video trailer below:

I hope you will look forward to reading the rest of the story.

© 2004-2017 Gene P. Neral