26 men ordained to the permanent diaconate

SUMMERVILLE — On Sept. 21, 26 men were ordained to the diaconate at St. Theresa the Little Flower Church.

The new deacons include Ronald J. Anderson, Reginald Armstrong, Mark Arnold, Thomas Baranoski, Michael Beeler, William Bower, James H. Collins, Lawrence Corum, Donald DeNitto, John DeWolfe, Robert Gerald Jr., Shane Graham, Walter C. Hollis, William LaCombe, Gerald Loignon Jr., Matthew A. Mannino, Jeffrey P. Mevissen, James Moore, Oliver R. Moore, Orean D. Palmer, Coleman T. Parks, Edward Peitler, Robert Pierce, Donald Roseborough, Gregory Sams, W. James Williams II.

Two more will be ordained in a liturgy during the diocesan Hispanic celebration in October, according to Msgr. Joseph R. Roth, vicar general and director of deacons.

Diaconate ordinations are held every five years.

In his homily, Bishop Robert J. Baker discussed the calling of a deacon.

“The priests of the Diocese of Charleston on retreat this past week were treated with beautiful reflections on the life of Stephen, a deacon and martyr of the early church.

“We were reminded that Stephen was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, a man richly blessed by God and full of power who performed great miracles and wonders among the people.

“You men called to the diaconate today are called, life Stephen, to be men full of faith and of the holy spirit — men richly blessed by God and full of power to help in building up the kingdom of God.

“Stephen was a man to whom the book of Acts of the Apostles says the spirit gave great wisdom. It is that same spirit I will call upon today in this ordination ceremony to enable you to be given great wisdom in sharing insights into the Holy Scriptures you will preach on. That lofty role will be joined with the lowliest task of service to people in need — the poor, the sick, the struggling, and this work will be grueling and almost degrading at times.

“But the same spirit working in you through this sacrament will enable you to carry out your responsibilities with great dignity, joy and faith, collaborating very closely with the priests of our diocese and with me, your bishop.

“May the Holy Spirit serve as your mentor and guide and the deacon St. Stephen as your special model of ministry to all the people of God.”