Statement issued Friday:
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will ordain 11 men to the Order of the Diaconate on Saturday, May 21, at 11:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Fort Wayne.
Due to an expected large congregation, admittance of family, friends and guests is by invitation only.
These men will serve permanently as deacons – the first new group of permanent deacons in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in at least 23 years.
The men being ordained and their home parish are as follows:
South Bend area
•Robert Byrne, wife Jaci, home parish, St. Anthony de Padua, South Bend
•William Gallagher, wife Mary, home parish, Sacred Heart, Notre Dame
•Melvin Tardy, Jr., wife Annie, home parish, St. Augustine, South Bend, Granger
•James Fuchs, wife Kathy, home parish, St. Pius X, Goshen
•David Elchert, wife Donna, home parish, St. John the Evangelist, Ligonier
•Stanley LeMieux, wife Karen, home parish, St. Patrick, Fort Wayne area
•James Fitzpatrick, wife Karen, home parish, St. Vincent de Paul
•John Hilger, wife Mary, home parish, St. Patrick, Arcola,
•Jerome Kohrman, wife Ginny, home parish, St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne
•James Kitchens, wife Emily, home parish, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne
•James Tighe, wife Pat, home parish, St. Jude, Fort Wayne
The office of deacon in the Catholic Church may be described as one of service in the sacred liturgy and in the ministries of charity. The deacon proclaims the Gospel during the Mass and also may be given the task of preaching. In addition, the deacon functions as an ordinary minister of Holy Communion. As clerics, deacons are required to recite the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours. Deacons, like priests and bishops, are ordinary ministers of the sacrament of Baptism, and can serve as the Church’s witness at the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony when done outside of Mass. Deacons also may bring Viaticum to the dying, and preside at funerals outside of Mass, as well as burial rites. They may lead various other liturgical services, such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and may bestow certain blessings. Deacons cannot hear confession and give absolution, anoint the sick or celebrate Mass.
The ministry of charity involves service to the poor and marginalized, and pastoral work within the parish. Deacons teach in the name of the Church, and always with a close relationship to Sacred Scripture.