“Friday, August 9, the Vigil of the Feast in honor of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver was principal celebrant for Mass at Spirit of Christ Church…”
article by Deacon Rex Pilger
Friday, August 9, the Vigil of the Feast in honor of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver was principal celebrant for Mass at Spirit of Christ Church, Arvada, with concelebrants Msgr. Thomas Fryar (Moderator of the Curia), Msgr. Bernard Schmitz (Vicar for Clergy), and Fr. David Blue Jacket (pastor), and pastors and priests of parishes in which Archdiocesan deacons serve. The deacons sat in college while two of their number, Deacons Joseph Donohoe (Director of Deacon Personnel) and Melvin Corley (Spirit of Christ parish) served at the ambo and altar. Wives and family members of the deacons completed the assembly.
In his homily Archbishop Aquila made note of the readings for St. Lawrence, 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, Psalm 112:1-2, 5-9, and John 12:24-26, which call for sowing the Word generously, taking care of the poor, and willingness to even die for the Lord and His Church, thereby bringing forth an abundant harvest. The responsorial Psalm, which speaks of the happiness of the person who is merciful and generous, provided an important insight the Archbishop shared: Those persons who are happy are those who are focused on the needs of others and not on themselves. One can become sad, even depressed, if the focus is on “me.” Deacons lead in example by service of the Lord through whom they serve others, especially the poor. After the homily, the deacons of the Archdiocese renewed the promises of their ordination to serve in the Threefold Ministry of the Word, Altar, and Service.
Dinner for deacons and their wives was hosted by Spirit of Christ parish and served by Knights of Columbus Council 12979 and their Ladies Auxiliary. After the final course, Deacon Donohoe shared his perspective on the state of the Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Denver, especially in relation to new initiatives directed and encouraged by the Archbishop. The holiness of the clergy of the Archdiocese, both deacons and priests is the first primary focus. Of particular interest for all deacons is the encouragement of formation of small sharing groups similar to the Emmaus program in which many priests of the Archdiocese participate.
The Archbishop expressed his gratitude for the ministry of the deacons and especially to the sacrifices the wives of deacons offer through their gift of their husband’s ministry. Monsignor Bernie Schmitz then introduced Fr. Scott Traynor who will be the new Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, beginning in December. Also there will be a new spiritual director for deacon formation, Father Dennis Brown, OVM.
As is traditional in the annual gathering of deacons and wives, those deacons who had achieved milestones in their ministry were recognized by Archbishop Aquila, Msgr. Fryar, Msgr. Schmitz, and Deacon Donohoe. The years of service and honored deacons include: 40 Years: Antonio Sandoval; 35 Years: Harold Del Real, Anthony Dudzic, Russell Halpine, Joseph Hawley Earl Webster, 25 Years: Rex Pilger; 10 Years: David Baez, Michael Berens, Kelvin Brath, George Brown, Bob Cropp, John Driesbach, Jerry Kotas, Kevin Leiner, Mario Martha-Pro, Gerry Martinez, Dennis Morales, Ron Roderick, Andrew Sanchez, and Bill Senger; and 5 Years: Ruben Duran.
by Deacon Rex Pilger