My name is Deacon Ron Meyer. My wife Jan and I recently moved to Greenville from Gaithersburg, Maryland. We have been visiting our children and grandchildren here for the last 10 years and attended Our Lady of the Rosary as visitors. With two daughters and five grandchildren living here, we decided the time had come to relocate permanently. We moved to Greenville on October 1st of last year. Soon after our arrival, I petitioned the Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC, the diocese for which I was ordained, to request that faculties be granted to me to serve as a Deacon in the Diocese of Charleston. Bishop Gugliemone informed me this past week that he had granted my request and was assigning me – at Father Longenecker’s and my request, to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. So it is with great joy that I begin to serve the people of this Parish.
I am 73 years old, have been married to my wife Jan for 44 years and have 3 wonderful daughters, two of whom live in Greenville. Jan and I have 7 grandchildren, 5 of whom live in here (4 boys and one girl). My youngest daughter lives in Brooklyn with two more granddaughters, the youngest of whom was born this past November.
Jan and I are both native Washingtonians (the D.C. variety). We met shortly after my return from a tour of duty as a military advisor in An Giang Province, South Vietnam. While Jan grew up in Washington, DC, I grew up in South America, specifically, Bogota, Colombia. My dad worked in the US Foreign Service and we moved to Bogota in late 1945. I completed most of my elementary schooling in Bogota, and attended a Colombian high school for two years. I finished high school in the US and went on to graduate from Georgetown University in Washington, DC (Go Hoyas). Jan and I earned our Masters degrees after we were married, Jan in counseling and I in Business.
Following 6 years if military service in SE Asia, Europe and the US, I went to work for the Transportation Systems Division of General Electric in Erie, PA. I retired from GE in 1996 after a 26 year career and embarked on a series of forays into the small business world. Jan moved into Hospice, then Hospital pastoral and bereavement counseling where she worked for over 15 years at Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, MD. I still work for a small company out of my home on a part time basis.
I began my studies for the Diaconate in 1995 and was ordained for service to the Archdiocese of Washington by Bishop William Lori in August of 2000. Being fluent in Spanish since childhood, my diaconal assignments in Washington were focused on the Hispanic Community of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg. I was given charge of the baptismal preparation program and was part of the effort to build a small chapel and initiate Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. I have also been active in the Pro-Life movement and look forward to continuing that ministry in Greenville. Father Longenecker has indicated his desire that I get involved in the work of St. Vincent de Paul in the Parish, with a goal of expanding the food input and scope of services in the areas surrounding our Parish. These discussions have all been tentative until this week as I could not serve as a Deacon until granted permission to do so by Bishop Guglielmone.
Jan and I are looking forward to meeting as many of you as we can, as soon as we can. We have been made to feel very comfortable at OLR and we look forward to many years of service and support to, and with, all of you.