A great journey, via Elizabeth Fisher in Catholic Philly:
Richard Malamut was raised in the Jewish tradition, worshiped with his family at the Oxford Circle Jewish Community Center in Northeast Philadelphia, attended Hebrew school and went through the Bar Mitzvah ceremony. By the age of 13, his devotion led his family and friends to believe that he was destined to be a rabbi.
Neither they nor he could envision that his future lay in the diaconate of the Roman Catholic Church.
The first to pick up on where Malamut’s spiritual journey was headed was Kathy, his wife, and mother of the couple’s three children. She somehow knew, never pushed it, devoting herself to her own faith and leaving the rest, she said, to God.That intuition first struck during their engagement. It was the Christmas season and Malamut mentioned that he liked the carol, “Silent Night.”
“You do know who that’s about,” she responded to him. “He said he did, but he liked the song,” Kathy said. “I knew at that point that the seed had been planted. I knew where this was going.”
The couple married in 1981, but it would be another 15 years before her husband entered the Catholic Church, and it would take a heartbreaking crisis that would lead him to St. Charles Seminary to begin formation as a permanent deacon.
On a recent Saturday evening, following the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Mark Parish in Bristol, Deacon Rich — that’s how he refers to himself — shed light on his own stop-and-start journey that led him to his current ministry.