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Archbishop praises permanent deacons

A model of faith for the archdiocese.

That's how Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss described the permanent diaconate in his remarks during the annual ordination anniversary dinner in Omaha.

Twenty permanent deacons of the archdiocese were honored during the reception-dinner program Aug. 25 at St. Vincent de Paul School.

Noting there are about 200 permanent deacons in the archdiocese, Archbishop Curtiss said the archdiocese is blessed by diaconate ministry.

'How many people have been touched by their ministry?" Archbishop Curtiss said of the honorees, their wives and families.

'Deacons are tremendously important to the people of the archdiocese," he said, listing the ministry of the deacons in the sacraments, outreach programs, special needs and liturgies, especially serving at the altar and proclaiming the word and preaching.

Two deacons living in the archdiocese "“ Andrew Foray of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue and Pete DesRosiers of St. John Vianney Parish in Omaha "“ were honored for their 30th anniversaries. Both men were unable to attend.

Honored for 25 years was Deacon Charles L'Archevesque of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue.

Four deacons from Omaha parishes were 20-year honorees. Recognized were Deacons Frank Hilt, Our Lady of Lourdes; Stan Kurtz, St. James; Eugene Schimonitz, St. Pius X; and Chuck Weskirchen, Sacred Heart.

Those recognized for the 15th anniversary of their ordination were (Omaha parishes unless noted) Andy Anderson, St. Wenceslaus; Frank Barbour, St. Benedict the Moor; Marv Capoun, St. Augustine in Schuyler; Dennis Dethlefs, St. Stephen the Martyr; Tom Livingston, St. Margaret Mary; Jerry Overkamp, St. Columbkille in Papillion; Fred Ridder, St. Leonard in Madison; and Glenn Tylutki, Christ the King.

Receiving certificates for their 10th anniversary were Deacons Ken Batenhorst, St. Mary in West Point; Jim DeBlauw, St. Augustine in Schuyler; George Knockenhauer, St. Leo; and Skip St. Arnold, Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk. Roland Kaiser, formerly of St. Columbkille in Papillion (now living in Missouri), returned for the dinner and also was honored for 10 years.

Deacon Bill Hill, vice president of the Deacon Council and master of ceremonies, also recognized deacons who have been ordained more than 30 years as well as widows of deacons from the special anniversary years.

Archbishop Curtiss also led a recommitment ceremony for the deacons and gave them a special blessing. In the ceremony, he asked them to pledge to hold their ministry in the faith of the church, proclaim the faith by their words and actions, and allow their ministry and faith to shape their lives.

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