Deacon Rick Chabot was born in Birmingham, AL and is the second of four children. He attended parochial grammar school in Alabama but moved to Texas for public high school and then Texas State University. His family was active in their faith with Mom and Dad always attending church as a family and usually more than once a week. His Italian mother prayed the Rosary every morning and evening and the children were free to join in if they wanted to, but were not forced.
Rick was the first born son and it was expected for him to become a priest. He never had a calling to be a priest and the Texas girls put an exclamation point on that decision. He pursued a lofty career as an Air Force pilot and then as a commercial pilot.
A priest in Texas saw diaconate potential for Rick as he was active in multiple ministries there. Monsignor Henry Petter encouraged Rick to apply just before he had a job change and moved to Orlando. Monsignor contacted our pastor,
Fr. William Ennis, and shortly afterwards Rick started his diaconate training to obtain a Masters of Theology degree from Saint Leo’s University. Rick was ordained at Saint James Cathedral by Bishop John Noonan in June of 2012.
Deacon Rick enjoys working with the people of the parish and in other places such as the homeless shelters where he can be involved in helping others. “God gave us the gift of life and as a community we should be helping in any way possible.” For that reason Deacon Rick is involved in many activities at Holy Family including the Building and Finance committees, FOCCUS Marriage Preparation Ministry and the Ministry to the Sick at Doctor Phillips Hospital as well as at Nemours Hospital.
His favorite Biblical thought is to ‘love God with all your heart and soul and to love one another as He loves us.’ He said that we, as a community of believers do not understand that God is ‘everywhere and in everyone’ and that some people help us remember this, and sometimes we help others remember this.
Deacon Jack Martin has been his spiritual director and he has encouraged Deacon Rick to never forget that the church is people.