Meet LolliPop…also known as Deacon Gregory and Ellen Amarante

(pronounced “ah-mah-RAHN-tay”)

The short story: We met in high school. We married young (ages 19 and 21). We had children young. We raised our children. They married young. They had children within a year of marrying. We’re grandparents!

About Ellen (by Gregory)

Ellen is brilliant! She claims I’m biased, but she really is very smart. I often said she should have been the one to focus on a career, but I was so blessed to have her focus on our family. She’s devoted, diligent, organized, and tenacious. I think the one thing she likes more than being a mother is being “Lolli” to our grandchildren. 

Over the years, Ellen has managed the home with a healthy balance of frugality and frivolity. We had some very lean years when I was the only one working. We had to make a lot of sacrifices, but Ellen’s ability to plan and organize put us ahead in the long run. We were still able to enjoy some splurges along the way, and we made some great memories. We have a lot to be thankful for because of her.

I am also grateful for Ellen’s spiritual partnership. Her devotion to the Scriptures goes back to her childhood and now, she is particularly gifted in women’s ministries. She likes to lead Bible studies and other book studies of spiritual value. Her care for the spiritual well-being of her sisters in Christ is an encouragement to me and so important in our parish. Having Ellen’s own spiritual life influence and challenge my own is a great benefit to my own growth and ministry.

As a professional educator, Ellen is a true scientist in the classroom. She doesn’t simply teach; she observes students collectively and individually, working with colleagues to adjust and determine strategies that will improve effective pedagogy and meet the educational needs of every student whether at the elementary or collegiate level. I’m sure you’ll get a taste of her passion for her work right her on our site, so come back and join the conversation often.

About Gregory (by Ellen)

Here’s the thing about Gregory – he really can do it all. Dripping faucet? No problem. Want to know how to make bread from a home grown sourdough starter? He’s your man. Perhaps you need a dream home designed completely on PowerPoint? Gotcha covered. Oh – and perhaps you have some messy data to clean up? He has a plan. Confused about the distinction between efficacious and sufficient grace? He can explain. Renaissance Man seems  a trite term, but it fits.

While all of this intellectual and practical skill is admirable (and sooo helpful), the kicker is that Gregory is also a man of deep love and fidelity. I know without a doubt that I am loved today, and will be loved tomorrow. He has operationalized our wedding vows in ways that neither one of us could have expected, and has done so with a tender and open heart. He has accomplished this not by his might or ability, but because he has truly and fully surrendered himself to God’s divine providence.

It’s true – my tribute would not have been so flowery on a cold February day in 2001 when Gregory explained that he would be returning to the Catholic faith he left as a teen. Oh no. It would have been the opposite of flowery that day, and for some time to follow. Over time, my defensive spirit and poorly constructed theology tumbled, and I embraced the fullness of Truth in no small part due to Gregory’s peaceful, patient, inviting consistency. I’m sure you will hear more about this journey, but it is a major part of who my Deacon husband is, and must figure into this introduction.

I’m excited that you have the opportunity to know this wise, introspective, and humble man. I’ve loved growing grand with him so far!