The following story appeared in the June 23 Idaho Catholic Register.
Deacon Pete Lauder and Jan (Courtesy photo/Deacon Pete Lauder)
Editor’s note: Deacon Pete Lauder, who serves at St. Mark’s Parish in Boise, wrote the following about his career, his call to the diaconate, and his move to Idaho.
By Deacon Pete Lauder
for the Idaho Catholic Register
I was born in Binghamton, New York, and later moved to Natick, Mass., where I grew up. I have a sister who still lives in New England.
I had a very strong inclination to attend a Catholic high school, even though my parents never really encouraged me to do so. However, they were supportive of my decision. Looking back on those days, I’m sure the Holy Spirit was guiding me to that school. I remember wondering if I had a vocation for the priesthood in high school. In college, I decided that God was preparing me for another vocation.
I graduated from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., in 1974. St. Anselm College is home to a Benedictine monastery, one of very few in the U.S. I guess that qualifies me as a cradle Catholic.
My wife, Jan, attended Rivier College in Nashua, N.H. We had a wonderful experience in college with many friends, skiing and politics. (New Hampshire is famous for being the first state in the union to have a presidential primary each election year). We were married in 1976.
I had a job offer in California, so we packed up and moved West. We took the bus because we were poor. Our meager furniture was on a moving van. We had no relatives or friends in California, so we were quite alone. Los Angeles was a real culture shock. We felt like trailblazers.
I spent my entire business career in the logistics industry, a booming business in southern California for many decades. I eventually owned a small engineering firm in Orange County. We designed high-speed conveyor systems for large online retail companies.
We were members of St. Juliana Parish for more than 40 years and had many friends.
About 20 years ago, I was encouraged by my pas-tor to enter the diaconate program. Jan and I attended the initial meetings and decided that our growing family and new business didn’t allow the time commitment required for the program. I was certain at that time that I had passed up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve God in that ministry.
Ten years later, to my surprise, I was approached again by a different pastor asking me the same question. Jan and I prayed on it for a long time and decided that I couldn’t say no to God again.
I sold the business in 2015 when I was ordained a deacon. I served in our home parish of St. Juliana in Fullerton for seven years, until we moved to Idaho in November of 2022.
So, why Idaho?
Our daughter and her family were living in San Diego and were running out of space with three kids. Adding a room proved to be very expensive, especially during the COVID pandemic. They started exploring other places to live. After careful research they decided Boise was a great place to live and raise a family. Many years ago, we told our daughter that if they ever decided to leave California, we’d follow them. They called in that marker 18 months ago, and now they live three miles away instead of 90.
We are blessed beyond measure to have four children and nine grandchildren. Our oldest son, a captain in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, is married with four kids. Our second son lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and works in the hospice field. He is married with two kids. Our daughter and her family of three children live in Meridian, and our youngest son lives with us.
We have greatly enjoyed the diaconate ministry. You never know the future, or what will happen even next week. Believe me, if you had told me two years ago that we would be living in Meridian, Idaho, I never would have believed you.
Through His grace, we have experienced many blessings, including baptizing five of our grand-children. We are also certified presenters of the Holy Shroud of Turin. As members of the American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud, we have spoken to many groups about the Shroud, the most studied relic in history. We are excited to offer this presentation to any parish or interested organization for no charge.
We couldn’t be happier with our decision and theirs to serve at St. Mark’s Parish. We are so blessed to be part of the St. Mark’s community.
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