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Archbishop praises permanent deacons for their service

The permanent diaconate is called the ministry of service, and deacons of the Archdiocese of Omaha, their wives and families gathered Sept. 9 to honor service "“ the ordination anniversaries of eight permanent deacons.

Honorees included four marking 25 years "“ Deacons Charles (Skip) Baughman, St. Bernard in Omaha; Ron Horner, St. Stephen the Martyr in Omaha; John Huck, St. Matthew and St. Mary in Bellevue; and Duane Thome, St. Columbkille in Papillion.

Deacons Paul Poulosky, St. Joseph in Ponca, and Andrew Steffen, St. Rose of Lima in Crofton, received certificates for their 20th anniversary.

Recognized for 10 years were Deacons Don Cowles, St. Wenceslaus in Omaha, and Ed Osterhaus, St. Bernard in Omaha.

The wife of another member of that 10-year class also was honored at the anniversary dinner, held at the St. John Vianney social hall.

Norma Bostwick, whose husband, Buzz, died while in formation for the diaconate, continued to serve the diaconate community for the past 10 years, leading kitchen teams and helping coordinate special events for the group.

Others recognized during the program were deacons in attendance who were ordained more than 30 years ago. They include: Joe Ramirez, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Omaha, and James Watson, St. Cecilia in Omaha, for 32 years; and Lyle Hills, St. Margaret Mary in Omaha, and Ralph Hueser, St. Mary of Bellevue and Holy Family in Omaha, 31 years.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss, who presented certificates to the honorees, said that while the dinner recognized special years of service, it also honored all deacons for being attentive and responsive to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The deacon brings faith and a love for the Lord and his church to the ministry, but 'it's the gifts of the Holy Spirit that make a difference in the ministry of the deacon," the archbishop said.

'Without the gifts of the spirit, a deacon couldn't preach, couldn't touch people's hearts," he said.

Archbishop Curtiss called the diaconate a significant part of the ministry of the Archdiocese of Omaha. 'Our priests would be hard-pressed to meet the needs of the people without deacons," he said.

The archbishop also cited the wives and families of deacons for sharing in the service and told the deacons that the understanding and support of wives and family members 'makes you a better person."

The archbishop also led a special recommitment ceremony for the deacons, asking 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. Blessing the deacons, Archbishop Curtiss, challenged them to be committed to their ministry, Christ and his people.

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