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Deacon Neal was born in Brooklyn, NY and he has 1 sister and 1 brother. He and his wife Margaret Mary, everyone knows her as Muffie, have 2 children, Theresa E. Kramer, and Margaret E. (Peggy) Harton.
He attended Diaconate training in the Diocese of Tulsa. He was ordained in Tulsa at the Cathedral of the Holy Family on May 31, 2014.
Regarding Neal’s vocation:
“I never thought about the diaconate until I was asked to consider the ministry by Deacons Greg Stice and John Sommer. I really didn’t feel worthy to be in this program but decided to enter the program and determine if it was the direction God was calling me. I still feel unworthy to serve as one of his Deacons because I am an unworthy sinner. I do trust that God would not have let me complete this process if this was not His will. I trust He will lead my ministry in the direction best used to bring glory to God.”
Concerning the formation process:
“I am very grateful to His Excellency Bishop Slattery and the Vicar of Deacons, Msgr. Patrick Brankin for the well rounded formation we received. The Bishop spared no expense in bringing to Tulsa to instruct us the most brilliant instructors in the country. It was a long process and at times quite overwhelming but how could such a vital ministry require anything less. I have been graced with a very forgiving and supportive wife that keeps me very well grounded. I am also very proud to have been involved in a program with the other men in my ordination class. These men are among the finest men in the diocese.”
His Aspirations for Ministry:
“I am anxious to serve God’s people in the liturgy, in catechesis, and counseling men and women to help them to avoid the mistakes I made in my life. I hope, by God’s grace, to inspire hope and healing in Christ for those in pain as well as ignite a fire in the faithful for God’s word. “
“And he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)”
Rev. Neal Harton