The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Shore thing: new deacons for Wilmington

Thumbnail image for g13c000e96bf0bf701888fb22059091e4e86870fc9b2d8f.jpgA diocese in Delaware is about to gain a new batch of deacons (just in time for All Saint’s Day — and the Advent-Christmas rush that will follow!)


Fifteen men from throughout Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore will soon become permanent deacons in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, bishop, is scheduled to ordain the men at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Bear.


The men to be ordained are: Bruce A. Abresch, of Salisbury, Md.; Philip A. Belt, of Dover; Michael S. Boyd Sr., of Smyrna; Francis C. Conway, of Wilmington; John L. Davis, of Chestertown, Md.; Kenneth J. Hall, of Lewes; Sherman Mitchell III, of Hartly, Del.; Larry R. Morris, of Hockessin; Kenneth R. Pulliam Sr., of Bear; Heriberto Rodriguez, of Wilmington; Charles J. Schauber Sr., of New Castle; Robert J. Sprouse, of Rehoboth Beach; James W. Walls, of Lewes; Dennis G. Wuebbels, of Hockessin and Luke E. Yackley, of Perryville, Md.
All of these men are married.

“The Catholic community in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore is blessed that these men have answered God’s call to serve us as deacons,” Malooly said. “With God’s help and their families’ support; each of these men will contribute greatly to building up the kingdom of God in this very important ministry.”


After Malooly ordains them, they will be assigned to serve in parishes and other ministries in the diocese. The new deacons will also assist at Mass by proclaiming the Gospel and preaching. They may also celebrate baptisms, witness marriages and preside over funerals.

“These men have completed an extensive, five-year spiritual, theological and pastoral formation program,” said Dr. Harold D. Jopp, Jr., a permanent deacon and director of the diocesan Office for Deacons. “We celebrate with their wives, families and friends as they begin their service to their parishes, the local Hispanic community, youth or whomever they are called to serve.”

Check out the link for more. (And guys: send along pictures! I’ll be happy to post them after the Big Day.)

Meantime, my prayers and good wishes are with you all.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 10:27 am

Great that there is more deacons, I think we need them; but only 15? I guess the Church is being careful not to bring to many married men at once into ordained ministry or displace the priests who are scarce in the U.S. nowadays.
By the way, you can get a Bachelor in science or arts in four years and a master’s degree in two or three as a postgraduate student. Five years still looks like too long to me (I know, I know it is better). You can be a Marine (I was) with 13 weeks of Boot Camp and a few months of Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
Our priests go through at least 8 – 13 years of school, and many pursue other academic specialties in addition. This is fine, but I think it tends to isolate priests from the real world of their flock.

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