Lee Levenson's Life Outside the CockpitPhotos courtesy of Lee Levenson
Lee's story is best told in his own words:
In August, 1986, I suffered a head injury as a result of being struck by a UPS truck as a pedestrian in South Florida. As a result of my injuries, I was medically "sidelined," lost my medical certification, and was forced into retirement in my early forties.
After recovering from most of the residual effects, (vertigo, double-vision, post concussion, etc.) and realizing that I was lucky to be alive and not confined to a bed or wheelchair, I decided to get more involved in my Catholic faith in order to "give something back" for all of the blessings in my life. My volunteer work in the church ultimately led me to apply for acceptance into training and formation as a married member of the Catholic clergy known as a Permanent Deacon. In August, 2002, I was accepted and entered into formation with 15 other men at the regional seminary in South Florida. The seminary is a certified graduate university that awards Masters of theology, scripture, divinity and also trains men for the priesthood. Their training lasts one year more than that of a deacon.
12 of us made it through to ordination in September, 2006. As a deacon, we are able to perform marriages, baptisms, funeral liturgies, etc. We are also able to preach at Mass, teach religion, visit the sick and homebound and those in prison. Deacons are especially concerned with the poor, widows and the marginalized. We are strictly volunteers and are not paid for our ministry as deacons. Many of my brother deacons are still employed full-time in addition to their diaconal duties.
I myself focus on education for children and adults as well as the other ministerial duties mentioned above.
Lee's novel, an aviation thriller titled Mac Parker:Escape from Venezuela, was published In 2013. It can be ordered from Amazon.com. The dust jacket is shown below.