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April 17, 2019

There was a television series called The Bible broadcast in March 2013. Brent Davison and his family watchedDavison the series at the urging of Brent’s mother. One scene had a profound effect on the New York State Police veteran officer.

“At the birth of Jesus; it was like God filled me with grace and let me know immediately who that child was,” Davison said. “I broke down sobbing. I always knew who Jesus was and that he has always been there for me, but I had turned away from him for a good percentage of my life. At that moment I turned toward him and he filled me with enlightenment and grace and drew me to the church.”

That is Davison’s awakening story. Davison had been baptized a Catholic and received First Communion in his home town, Mooers Forks, but the circumstances of life and his parents’ divorce pointed Davison away from the Catholic Church that had received him early in his life. His church experiences during his youth and teenage years were spotty. If they happened at all, they were protestant or evangelical.

Davison calls the reaction to The Bible series his “strong conversion.” The Bible was produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and was broadcast weekly between March 3 and 31, 2013 on the History channel.
The acceptance of Christ as his savior led Davison and his wife, Nikki, to begin searching for a church. Since they both had Catholic backgrounds, their journey took them to St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh and Msgr. Dennis Duprey, the parish pastor.

Soon the Davisons were in a modified RCIA program.

“We called it family catechesis,” Davison said.

RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Both Brent and Nikki received confirmation and their two sons received the Eucharist for the first time at the vigil Mass in 2015. Subsequently they had their civil marriage blessed and their oldest son, Brendan, was confirmed.

We could easily wrap-up the story of Brent and Nikki Davison here. But there is more.

After growing up in Mooers Forks, Brent Davison joined the Army right out of high school. His duty stations included Germany and two years at Fort Drum near Watertown. Following separation from the Army, he enrolled in Clinton Community College and graduated with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, he went to work for the New York State Corrections Department as a corrections officer. Within two years, he was welcomed into the ranks of the New York State Police. Today, 22 years later, Brent is the Captain/Zone Commander for the State Police in Plattsburgh (Troop B).

Brent and Nikki Davison have been married for 21 years. They have two stepchildren, Kayleigh Raville and Jordan Deno; two sons, Brendan and Evan; an adopted daughter, Marissa, who is 9, and two foster sons, James (7) and Joseph (3).

Did we mention Brent is currently in the formation program for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Ogdensburg?

Brent Davison said the presence of Deacon John Drollette at St. Peters convinced him a police officer could serve the church as a deacon. Deacon Drollette, a former police officer in Plattsburgh, was ordained in 2013 when he was still active in police work. He has just recently been named director of the Permanent Deacon Formation program by Bishop Terry R. LaValley.

“It was like for some reason I knew I was supposed to be a deacon, but I can’t explain why,” said Brent Davison. “When I was converted, I received the grace to understand certain things, and I knew I was supposed to serve my church just as I had served my country and my community.”

Brent Davison questioned whether being a police officer, as he is, and being a permanent deacon was a good fit.

“Deacon Drollette showed me a police officer could be a deacon and that seemed right for me,” he said.
Msgr. Duprey was supportive. Davison knew he needed to complete the Formation for Lay Ministry course as a pre-requisite to deacon formation. Since a class was to begin in Peru that fall, he enrolled and was commissioned two years later. He was still discerning the call to the diaconate.

Msgr. Duprey encouraged him, and now Davison is finishing the first of three years of academic and spiritual formation for ordination as a permanent deacon.

Nikki Davison is a registered nurse first assistant at Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh. With both of them working and with a large family to support, the additional formation work can be a challenge.
“I won’t say it is always easy, but I constantly pray to God, ‘if you want me to be a deacon, you have to see me through this’ and he always has. My wife and I both make sacrifices,” Brent Davison said.

There are twelve men in the formation program currently preparing for work in the Diocese after ordination in 2021. Each of them has a unique vocation story.

For further information about the Permanent Deacon program in the Diocese of Ogdensburg contact your Pastor or Deacon John Drollette through the diocesan website: https://www.rcdony.org/deaconfor.html

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