Ana Dee Tirado first met her future husband, Ramon, she knew there was something quite special about the man. In agreement,
when Deacon Ramon’s youngest daughter was a child, she asked her father why he was always so happy after he had helped
other people. His answer to her was that a person can gain so much more from giving and that it makes us
feel cheerful when we help others. She also saw something special in her father. Now, she has grown up and has embraced that
same philosophy. She is a social worker and recently told her father that she too is happy about serving others. “I
know why you were always smiling.” She told him.
I had previously met Deacon Ramon, in passing, during
Mass. I knew he was a nice guy, seemed cheerful and quite courteous. But during a forty-five minute phone
interview for the Precious Blood CC website, I realized immediately why this man’s family and apparently many others
within the Arlington Diocese, including Father Leo, have embraced Deacon Ramon so warmly. He is revealing,
kind, honest, and driven by his faith. One conversation and it became quite apparent that our Precious Blood Deacon is a man
of service to the Catholic Church, the Parish, and people, in entirety of faith and service. We of Precious Blood are blessed
to have this Deacon Ramon Tirado among us.
Ramon Tirado was born in Puerto Rico. He
was raised Catholic and at the age of twenty-one, he was drafted in the United States Army. He served as
infantry but found himself in the mess hall with the title chef. “…and I can’t cook,”
Deacon Ramon laughed. “Ana couldn’t believe I was a chef. She says I can’t even boil water.”
years later, Deacon Ramon had served his time in service and was discharged. He moved to Washington, D.C. where he met Ana,
his love and future wife. He found employment with Safeway in Arlington, Virginia and remained with the
company until retirement at the age of fifty-six.
Ana and Ramon attended a few Catholic Churches in the
District but landed a home at the Church of The Nativity. Ana taught Catechises and she and Deacon Ramon
assisted with the Spanish Mass. When the couple first started at the Church, the Spanish population was fifty.
Three years following, the Spanish members had grown to an amazing eight-hundred.
Ramon was spiritually called to pursue a Diaconate vocation. However, with four children, a full
time job, and his busy church duties, he felt he should wait to pursue the program. After retiring from Safeway, he decided
it was time. Unfortunately, the Arlington Diocese did not have an operational Diaconate program. He could have attended the
Seminary in the District of Columbia but that would require that, following ordination, he would have to remain in service
in Washington D.C. instead of Virginia. Deacon Ramon wanted to serve in Virginia.
He and Ana returned to
Puerto Rico. They still had family there and knew that he could attend a Diaconate Program and possibly,
eventually, return to Virginia. “It was kind of difficult for me because I had been away for so long
and things had changed.” The Deacon shared. “But I went to classes and worked part-time too.
Of course the part time was often more like full time.” Deacon Ramon attended classes for seven years,
leading to Diaconate ordination.
Deacon Ramon and Ana returned to the United States and lived in
the Arlington area. The couple decided to look for a new home and a place to settle. Concurrently,
Deacon Ramon was serving the Diocese’s, Spanish needs in Arlington. However, he was encouraged to
go ahead and search, attend different churches that he might like to pursue.
explains the events: “Ana came to Culpeper to see a house. She called me and told me I would love
it here. She told me I had to come and see Culpeper. And so I did and we both really liked it. So, we decided to move here.
We figured we would have to travel to Arlington for our Church services. One day we were heading to town, passed through downtown
Culpeper,...” He laughs, “…and we looked over and there was Precious Blood”.
Ramon attended Precious Blood and a parishioner met him. He shared with her that he was a Deacon.
Father Leo got word and met with him. After a visit, Father Leo welcomed him and together they worked through
the process. Deacon Ramon was at the service of the Arlington Diocese
and the Diocese decided that Culpeper was a suitable place for him.
“I love Precious Blood,” Deacon Ramon shared with me. “I
love being of service. I like helping people.”
The deacon did share a challenge;
“The language,” He said. “I can get nervous with just the readings in front of the congregation. That's
normal. But when I had to do it in English…” He laughs heartily. “…that can cause
real nerves. But my daughter helps me interpret the word translation and that is a great help. I’m trying hard.”
Deacon Ramon has perfect English language skills is a mute point in the Precious Blood parish. One greeting from the man and
all hearts are joyful. His excitement to serve the Lord makes language minuscule, in comparison.
interviewed and written by Chris Aycock.