The Deacon's Bench

Ordination season is fast upon us — and there’s news of some deacons about to be ordained in St. Louis:

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will ordain 13 men to the Order of the Diaconate at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue in the Central West End.

This is the 28th class of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which began the program in 1975. The men to be ordained are Deacons Kevin Carroll, John Darin, Charles Durban, Joseph Iovanna, Philip King, Donald Kintz, John Komotos, Samuel Lee, Lawrence Nava, David Osmack Sr., John Schiffer, Richard Tadlock and Joseph Wingbermuehle.

Permanent deacons are ordained clergy who serve in various ministries. Among the deacon’s ministries are serving during the Mass, including proclaiming the Gospel and at times preaching; being an ordinary minister of Communion; officiating at baptisms; witnessing marriages; and presiding at wakes and funerals. Permanent deacons also minister in hospitals, Church agencies and other related areas.

Many deacons are married men, and many retain their jobs and careers while serving the Church as deacons on a voluntary basis.

The diaconate has a required four-year formation program that follows a 12-month screening and evaluation process. The formation program includes academic courses, pastoral courses, field experiences, spiritual formation and an annual retreat. Following that are three additional years of post-ordination formation.

The link has pictures and quotes from the men involved. Welcome aboard, lads — and know that many prayers (among them, my own) will be with you this Saturday.

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