I am a husband, father, Catholic school administrator, Catholic deacon, son, brother, uncle, godfather...all at the same time! In deacon formation we learn that a deacon's life is not a pie cut into distinct slices but rather more like a stew, with each ingredient flavoring the whole.
But it's easier to write an "about me" page in distinct slices.
I was born on Long Island, NY, but my parents and I moved to Tulsa, OK, when I was nine months old. My wife and I have been married for sixteen years, and we have one son, a tenth-grader.
I am a campus minister at Cascia Hall Preparatory School, a Catholic, Augustinian school serving grades six through twelve. Before taking that role, I taught (English, theology, and journalism) and served as assistant principal there, and I'm also an alumnus.
I was ordained a deacon of the Diocese of Tulsa on June 17, 2017, by Bishop David Konderla. I am assigned to the Parish of Christ the King, which I have attended for almost all of my life, as chaplain to the diocese's Catholic School teachers, to the Deacon Council, and to the Deacon Formation Team (my wife and I lead the wives' formation program). I also exercise my diaconal ministry at my school.
Several of the men in my formation class chose to design ecclesiastical coats of arms to represent and inspire their new ministries as deacons. Here is an explanation of mine.
Rev. Deacon Michael J. Loeffler’s Diaconal Coat of Arms
The dominant symbol of Deacon Loeffler’s shield is the diagonal stripe, representing the deacon’s stole, which is the liturgical symbol of his office. A deacon wears the stole over his left shoulder and fastened at his right hip, leaving his right arm always available to offer Christian service. This stole is brown, representing the wheat of the Eucharist, at the altar of which the deacon serves. This color of wheat also represents the farming heritage of the family of Deacon Loeffler’s wife.
The stole is adorned with three crosses in a Marian blue. Deacon Loeffler holds personal devotions to Our Blessed Mother under her titles of Our Mother of Good Counsel and Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. The number of the crosses represent the Holy Trinity, the theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), the Augustinian core values (truth, unity, and love), the munera or ministries of the clergy (teaching, sanctifying, and governing), and the three members of the Loeffler Family. Each cross is adorned with fleur-de-lis, representing the experience of Scouting that Deacon Loeffler has shared with his son.
The symbol above the stole is the emblem of the Parish of Christ the King, which has been Deacon Loeffler's church community since 1984. It includes Christ’s crown upon a stylized chi-rho (XP), the first two letters of “Christ” in Greek. The elongated rho also resembles a shepherd’s staff.
The symbol below the stole is inspired by the seal of the Order of St. Augustine. Deacon Loeffler has been a student of or an educator with the Augustinians from 1990 through 2001 and again since 2006. The emblem recalls a line from Augustine’s Confessions: “With Your Word you pierced my heart, and I loved you.”
The color pairs of gold and black and green and white are taken from the German and Irish flags, respectively, representing Deacon Loeffler's familial heritage. Green and white are also the official colors of the State of Oklahoma.
Behind the shield is the sword of St. Michael, pointed downward in a posture of peace. St. Michael is the patron saint of Deacon Loeffler himself and of his immediate family.
“Calicem salutaris accipiam” is Latin for “The cup of salvation I will raise,” from Psalm 116:12-14, which Deacon Loeffler has taken as his diaconal motto: “How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? / The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name. / My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all his people.”