Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz ordained 15 men to the permanent diaconate last Saturday at the Cathedral of the Assumption. A standing-room-only crowd of the deacons’ families and friends filled the cathedral to capacity during the jubilant celebration.
“We all promise at this Mass to pray for you deacons that you may serve humbly and well,” the archbishop told them on behalf of the congregation. “The church rejoices.”
During his homily, Archbishop Kurtz said that the call to serve as a deacon is a “true call to holiness.”
Some people might see the diaconate as “just another job,” he noted. “But we know that the call to the diaconate is not just a job, a little side list of things to do along with sleeping, eating and shopping. The call to the diaconate is truly meant to be an icon in our world, in our parishes, in your families,” the archbishop said. “To be a very icon, even though an imperfect one, to be an icon of Jesus Christ himself as one who came not to be served, but to serve.”
“We are all called to that service,” the archbishop added. “But we need icons. We need people who, in humility, will strive for a life of virtue, a life with which they conform their very selves to Christ, so that when others see you, they see Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Kurtz also noted that the Prophet Jeremiah, in the day’s first reading, told his listeners, “From the very moment of conception, God had a plan.”
“You were good enough, with the help of others through many, many different paths, to respond ‘yes’ … to that plan,” he told the deacons.
Following the homily, during the Rite of Ordination, the deacons promised to follow the example of Christ and to be obedient to the archbishop and his successors. Deacon Carl A. Fahringer, who is not married, also made a commitment to celibacy.
The archbishop ceremoniously presented each deacon the Book of Gospels as a sign of their duty to proclaim the Gospel and to preach its meaning. At the end of the rite, the archbishop and the other deacons of the Archdiocese of Louisville gave each new deacon the “kiss of peace,” embracing each as co-ministers in the church.
Saturday’s ordination brought the total number of permanent deacons serving the Archdiocese of Louisville to 140.
The new deacons and their parish assignments are:
- Derrick A. Barnes, St. Margaret Mary Church, Louisville
- Ralph E. Bartley, St. Frances of Rome and St. Leonard churches, Louisville
- Stephen W. Beckham, St. Martin of Tours Church, Flaherty, Ky., and St. John the Apostle Church, Brandenburg, Ky.
- Joseph E. Bland, Annunciation Church, Shelbyville, Ky., and St. John Chrysostom Church, Eminence, Ky.
- Jerome L. (Jerry) Buehner, St. Bernadette Church, Prospect, Ky.
- Robert R. Caruso, Immaculate Conception Church, La Grange, Ky.
- Carl A. Fahringer, All Saints Church, Taylorsville, Ky., and St. Francis Xavier Church, Mount Washington, Ky.
- Gary W. Fowler, St. Paul Church, Louisville
- Timothy D. Golden, Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Elizabeth and St. Therese churches, Louisville
- J. Andy Heinsohn, Holy Trinity Church, Louisville
- R. David Hotz, Immaculate Conception Church, LaGrange, Ky.
- W. Timothy Johnson, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Thomas More churches, Louisville
- John C. E. (Jack) Koenig Jr., M.D., St. Margaret Mary Church, Louisville
- Christopher F. McDonell, Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville
- Dennis M. Nash, Good Shepherd Church, Louisville
By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor