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Four men to be ordained to diaconate

By Lisa Schulte
The Catholic Voice

The Archdiocese of Omaha will welcome four men from the rural communities to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, Oct. 22, at St. Mary Church in Norfolk.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss will ordain Louis Dohmen, Edward Fisher, Danny Hastings and Rick Larson at an 11 a.m. ceremony.

Permanent deacons are clerics who can perform all of the functions associated with their order. These include proclaiming the Gospel, preaching the homily, assisting the priest at Mass, administering solemn Baptism, distributing Communion, presiding over funeral and burial services, acting as the official witness at weddings and exercising certain ecclesiastical offices.

The following are biographical sketches of each deacon.


Parish: St. Michael, Tarnov; St. Joseph, Platte Center

Status: Married 29 years to wife, Doris; two daughters; four grandchildren

Profession: Diesel truck technician at Columbus Diesel Teck

Activities/Ministries: train altar servers, lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, help with religious education at both parishes, fourth degree member of Knights of Columbus, Christians Encounter Christ weekend retreat, committee member in the Rural Southwest Deanery for elder ministry

Wife's ministries: help with religious education, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, member of St. Anne's Committee

Couple ministries: lead baptism classes, visit shut-ins, assist with pumpkin maze, spaghetti fall festival, St. Michael's Historical Society and Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults

About the call to diaconate: 'The call to diaconate program was helped by working with a retired priest, Father Leonard Ficenec, and current priest, Father Rodney Kneifl."

Plans after ordination: 'To continue to be a servant of service."


Parish: Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Clarkson

Status: Married to wife, Monica, for 42 years; 6 children; 10 grandchildren

Profession: Community support for Catholic Charities in Columbus

Activities/Ministries: Knights of Columbus member (past charter member and grand knight), FCSLA insurance counselor and chaplain, lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, Christians Encounter Christ, ministry to shut-ins, parish council member, Parochial School Board member, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, leader of Clarkson Czech band, Clarkson Commercial Club, Emcee of Czech Festival stage entertainment and talent show, toastmasters

Wife's ministries: member of Altar Society for 42 years (past president and circle leader), religious education teacher and coordinator, makes altar linens, made banners for two priests' ordinations, prepare First Communion banner kits, sew and fit costumes for Christmas pageant, organize quilt project for the parish Fall Fest, member of Home Extension Club for 40 years, 4-H leader for 10 years, Czech Festival entertainment

About the call to diaconate: 'Much of the credit for my calling must be given to our pastor, Father Floyd Wessling. He had mentioned the diaconate several times through the years and it took shape after he approached us for a Christians Encounter Christ weekend. Another mentor from my childhood is Father Clement C. Kubesh."

Plans after ordination: 'I hope to be able to help our pastor and to provide service to our parish. I hope to continue my ministry to shut-ins and to hold Communion services and Stations of the Cross at appropriate times, and to help wherever I'm needed."


Parish: St. Augustine, Schuyler

Status: Married to wife, Carol, for 32 years; four children; four grandchildren

Profession: Flooring installer for more than 30 years

Activities/Ministries: lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, parish council member, sacristant for weekday and weekend Masses, head of ushers, head of Liturgy Committee, member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, rosary leader

Wife's ministries: extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, captain of the rosary crusade, usher, member of parish's Altar Society, on hospital board for home health for aging and homebound

Couple ministries: teach religious education, members of the Liaison Committee for the rural deacon community, assist at healing Masses, members of parish's Power of Praying People group

About discernment: 'In our spiritual journey through the years, we have been given so many blessings and graces, most of the time not even realizing it. But through prayer and growing closer to God we've become more aware of those gentle nudges that he has given us through the years, shaping us, molding us and guiding us to be of service to him and others and to our church

Plans as deacon couple: 'We feel a calling to help the elderly, to help in marriage and to help in family ministry. Marriage and the family are under such extreme attack at this day and age and must be defended and honored vigorously and adamantly. We feel for most of our lives we've been receiving or taking. Through the diaconate, we feel we can start giving back."


Parish: St. Michael, Central City

Status: Married to wife, Cris, for 26 years; 2 sons

Profession: Shift leader at Platte Valley Fuel Ethanol in Central City

Activities/Ministries: usher, chancellor for St. Michael Knights of Columbus, EMT for Hordville, Neb., Fire chief for Hordville Volunteer Fire Department, Village Board member, president of Sportsman's Club in Central City

Wife's ministries: choir, past director of religious education, past altar society president, president of Merrick County Fitness Center, treasurer of St. Michael Endowment Committee

Couple ministries: presenters for Marriage Encounter weekend, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors, teach religious education

About the call to diaconate: 'My call to the diaconate has been subtle and taken in steps. Several years after Cris and I got married, I joined the Catholic Church because I wanted to receive Christ's Body with Cris and our sons. But what really opened my eyes to God's plan for my life was our involvement with Marriage Encounter. I fell more in love with Cris and our family. In doing so, I fell more in love with God, serving his people and opening their hearts to God's call in their lives."

Plans as a deacon couple: 'We are interested in youth and adult continuing religious formation, but we are trying to be open to where the Lord is leading us to do or best work for him."

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