Paul Rosenblum is ordained to the permanent diaconate

CHARLESTON—Paul Rosenblum started on a journey of faith and love when he met his wife Cathy more than 30 years ago in Massachusetts.

He was raised Jewish. She had been raised Buddhist in Korea and became a Catholic in the early 1960s. Her example of faith led him to convert to Catholicism and then to begin studies for the permanent diaconate.

The years of work, prayer and devotion were fulfilled when Rosenblum was ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone on May 9 at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Charleston.

During the ceremony, the bishop described the duties of a permanent deacon and urged him to carry out his work with love and humility. During the Litany of the Saints, Deacon Rosenblum prostrated himself before the altar. Bishop Guglielmone laid hands on him and prayed, and he was presented with the Book of the Gospels.

Deacon Rosenblum said his interest in the faith blossomed during the ’90s when the family was living in Texas. He started attending Mass with Cathy and then went through the RCIA program in 1996. He first thought about studying for the diaconate shortly after they moved to Charleston in 2001 and he took a job as a biology professor at The Citadel.

“I’m not sure I ever said anything about being a deacon to Cathy, but she pointed out a listing about the diaconate formation program in the bulletin one day, so she knew that something was going on,” he said. “She seems to know that all the time.”

“I’m very proud of him,” Mrs. Rosenblum said. “He worked very hard and I think he will make an excellent deacon because he is very faithful, always searching for knowledge and more meaning.”

They have one son, Kevin Rosenblum, who currently lives in Virginia with his wife, Jeanna Rosenblum, and 3-month-old son Elliot. All three were able to attend the ordination.

Deacon Rosenblum will be assigned to St. Mary of the Annunciation, and will also continue his duties with the Charleston Area Port and Seafarers’ Society, an interdenominational ministry at the area’s ports. Rosenblum has worked with the ministry for almost 10 years and said it allows him to represent the Church and the Apostleship of the Sea to people who work on container ships and other vessels.

More than 100 permanent deacons currently serve the Diocese of Charleston. Men in formation for the diaconate may be married or single, and generally attend classes for four years.

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