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It’s the first ordination of deacons in the diocese in more than a decade:
Fifteen years ago, a group of men set out on a journey to be ordained as permanent deacons. It was a process that should have taken five years to complete. However, the untimely death of Bishop Kevin Britt in 2004 changed all that. As they neared ordination, the men were notified the permanent diaconate program was being suspended indefinitely. Although disappointed, these men used the turn of events as an opportunity to shift their focus to other work and their families. They remained steadfast in their belief that once the Lord calls someone to the diaconate, the vocation remains, despite any obstacles that may arise. “It’s my belief that God never changes his call,” says Dean Vernon, one of the men preparing for the permanent diaconate. That faithfulness was rewarded when Bishop David Walkowiak reinstated the program in 2015. Dean, along with two others from the group that began their formation so long ago, answered the call to resume their studies and finish the process.
Last week, that process came to fruition:On Wednesday, June 21 Bishop Walkowiak ordained Dennis Rybicki, Dean Vernon and Lance Walters to the permanent diaconate.
Read more about the men here. And you can watch the bishop’s homily above.
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!