There were peaks and valleys both en route to becoming a permanent deacon and in the final destination — the ordination itself, which occurred June 13 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg. “Lying prostrate and being prayed for by everyone was the highlight for me,” said Deacon William M. Newhouse, 60, of Hempfield Township, a parishioner of St. Paul Parish, Greensburg, one of four men ordained a permanent deacon this past week. “The high point for me was when I was at my lowest.” Deacon Jeffrey Cieslewicz, 56, of North Huntingdon, a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, North Huntingdon, said the path to becoming a deacon took nine years for him. “During the process, there were lots of high and low points,” including his children’s weddings, a grandchild’s birth and his parents’ deaths, “but I would discern whether to return each term and I felt God calling me back,” he said. Deacon Stephen E. Black, 60, of Homer City, a parishioner of Holy Family Parish, Seward, said the ordination, after years of religious preparation, was the pinnacle of his journey. “The highlight was seeing my family all smiling so big and seeing the other deacons there just looking so ecstatic,” Deacon Black said. Family played a part in each of the men’s experience. “This is the second time I’ve said ‘I do’ in a sacrament,” Deacon Black said, reminiscing about wedding his wife, Sandra. Deacon Michael J. Orange, 51, of Latrobe, a parishioner of St. Vincent Basilica Parish, Latrobe, said his family’s presence made it extra special — wife Maryrose delivered the first reading, and a son sang the responsorial psalm. Maryrose said her favorite part of the ordination was when the newly ordained deacons received the traditional fraternal kiss from the bishop and other deacons in attendance. The “kiss” also included varying degrees of back-slapping hugs.
Congratulations and welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!