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Culmination of Four-Year Diaconate Formation Program

Chicago, IL (May 30, 2007)—Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, ordained twelve laymen as permanent deacons, on Sunday, May 27 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. The newly ordained deacons completed a four-year program that included classes in Christology, Pastoral Theology and the Sacraments. They will immediately begin serving in their home parishes in Cook and Lake counties.

Deacon Bob Puhala, Director of the Diaconate Formation Program noted the crucial role wives play in discernment and formation. “While fully participating in the program’s offerings during the first year, they ascertain their compatibility with their husband's diaconal vocation and ministry,” Puhala said. “By participating with their husbands in the many classes during the next three years, the wives grow and discover their own gifts and talents as lay ministers in the Church,” he continued.

A deacon has a threefold ministry of the Word, the Altar, and of Charity. In the ministry of the Word deacons engage in the teaching mission of the Church. In the ministry of the Altar the deacon assists the priest at Mass, particularly by proclaiming the Gospel, leading the Intercessions, preparing the altar, and ministering the chalice to the people at communion. The ministry of Charity has roots in the bible where the deacon, which means ‘servant’, is described as caring for the poor and forgotten and as a minister of peace and justice.

Over 90 per cent of deacons are married, and most keep their regular occupations while ministering as a deacon. They are part of the clergy along with priests and bishops, and often serve as a bridge between laity and priests. They give witness to the spirituality of being a married, working person. The newly ordained deacons and their parish assignments are listed below. Their wives, who are not ordained, often assist in their ministry.

Deacon Thomas Christensen (Judith) will be assigned to St. Turibius Parish, 5646 S. Karlov Ave., Chicago.

Deacon Daniel Dietsch (Thelma) will be assigned to St. Joseph Parish, 17951 Dixie Hwy., Homewood.

Deacon Tom Dwyer (Anita) will be assigned to St. Edmund Parish, 188 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.

Deacon Patrick Hessel (Laura) Ordained for the Diocese of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Deacon James Horton (Linda) will be assigned to St. Alexander Parish, 7025 W. 126th St., Palos Heights.

Deacon Tom Knetl (Catherine) will be assigned to Our Lady of Knock Parish, 501 163rd St., Calumet City.

Deacon Ted Marszalek (Mary) will be assigned to Our Lady, Mother of the Church, 8747 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago.

Deacon Mark Purdome (Bridget) will be assigned to St. Paul the Apostle Parish, 6401 Gages Lake Rd., Gurnee.

Deacon Dean Vaeth (Linda) will be assigned to St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 1010 W. Webster Ave., Chicago.

Deacon Steven Wagner (Marialice) will be assigned to St. Thecla Parish, 6725 W. Devon Ave., Chicago

Deacon William Warmouth will be assigned to St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish, 1267 Everett Ave., Des Plaines.

Deacon Michael Wundsam (Angela Lucchesi-Wundsam) will be assigned to St. Zachary Parish. 567 W. Algonquin Rd., Des Plaines.

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