Donald Weigel left his job six years ago as a corporate executive at a Fortune 500 company to pursue a different calling, to become a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church.
He returned to Western New York from Richmond, Va., and over the course of five years, he taught and worked with several Catholic ministries.
On Saturday, Weigel’s journey came to an end, as he was ordained a permanent deacon. “All that I had to give up was a job and a salary and stuff like that, and it wasn’t that big a deal,” Weigel said after the ceremony.
Weigel and two other men, Michael Dulak and Samuel Pellerito, were ordained permanent deacons in St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Buffalo on Saturday morning. Bishop Edward U. Kmiec presided over the hourlong ceremony.
“Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach,” Kmiec said to the three men as they put on long, white robes and knelt before him.
The Buffalo Diocese has about 130 permanent deacons, who can baptize, witness a marriage, perform funeral rites and help a priest at the altar during Mass. They also become responsible for charitable events and works around their parish, Kmiec said.
Up until 40 years ago, becoming a deacon usually meant a person would go on to become a priest. But now, most deacons do not go on to the priesthood, Kmiec said.
“For a while, people were not quite acquainted with the deacons, but as time has gone, they are now pretty well acquainted and very greatly accepted in their parishes wherever they work,” he said.
Check out the rest. Welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!