32 deacons celebrate a combined 585 years of service to the Church in Detroit

Thirty-two men celebrated a combined 590 years of service as permanent deacons to the Archdiocese of Detroit during a private jubilee Mass at Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. (Photos by Gabriella Patti | Detroit Catholic)

Deacons give thanks to God for gift of ordination; Archbishop Vigneron thanks God for gift of deacons

DETROIT — Thirty-two men celebrated a combined 585 years of service as permanent deacons to the Archdiocese of Detroit during a private jubilee Mass on Nov. 7 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron presided over the liturgy, expressing thanksgiving for the deacons gathered — calling them a “band of brothers” — as well as their wives for their years of service.

In his homily, Archbishop Vigneron drew parallels between the story in the Gospel of Mark of the widow who gave an offering of her last two coins to God, and the ministry and calling of the diaconate.

“This widow is the measure of your ministry,” the archbishop told the deacons. “She is a lesson for you who are particularly consecrated to the works of charity.”

During the Mass, Archbishop Vigneron led the deacons in a renewal of the diaconate rite and a “renewal of their resolve” to not be served to but to serve.

Archbishop Vigneron called on the deacons to share such lessons of Christian charity with those to whom they minister.

“To serve always, for us Christians, must involve giving something of our lives, our very selves," Archbishop Vigneron said. "This is what the Lord teaches us in his commentary on this devout widow."

This giving of oneself is first exemplified by Christ, who gave his life as a ransom for many, Archbishop Vigneron added.

During the Mass, the archbishop led the deacons in a renewal of their diaconal promises and a “renewal of their resolve” not to be served, but to serve.

“It is for this service from the heart, this service of yourself, this gift of yourself imitating Jesus who came to give his life, his self, to rescue others — it is for this service that we are gathered to give thanks to God,” Archbishop Vigneron said.

For Deacon Thomas Houle, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his ordination, charitable service is part and parcel of being a deacon.

For Deacon Thomas Houle, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate, this charitable service is what being a deacon is all about.

“It is such a blessing to be able to serve God and serve the people," said Deacon Houle, who serves the Central Macomb 5 family of parishes and primarily ministers at St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township. "It is all about service. It is humbling to be able to be called by God into His service.”

Those deacons celebrating milestone jubilees in 2021 include:

45 Years

Deacon Lawrence Girard (senior status)

Deacon James Hensel (senior status)

40 Years

Deacon Tom Bousamra (currently residing in Diocese of Gaylord)

Deacon Eugene Desjarlais (senior status)

35 Years

Deacon Ronald McIntyre (senior status)

Deacon Edward Wilson Jr. (senior status)

30 Years

Deacon Peter Cornell (St. James, Novi)

Deacon Steven Morello (St. John XXIII, Redford)

Deacon Clement Stankiewicz (senior status)

20 Years

Deacon Brian White

15 Years

Deacon Michael Cummins

Deacon Joseph Karle (Pontiac Area Family of Parishes 1; St. Mary of the Hills, Rochester Hills)

Deacon Zigment Kucharek (senior status)

Deacon John Parent (senior status)

Deacon Paul Stevens (St. John Paul II, Hamtramck)

Deacon Ronald Valade (Pontiac Area Family of Parishes 1; St. Irenaeus, Rochester Hills)

Deacon James Wilder (Assumption Grotto, Detroit)

10 Years

Deacon Donald Baross (South Oakland Family of Parishes 3; St. Thomas More, Troy)

Deacon David Ebner (Blue Water Family of Parishes 2; Immaculate Conception, Ira Township)

Deacon Michael Hammond (St. Gabriel, Ida)

Deacon Thomas Houle (Central Macomb Family of Parishes 5; St. Thecla, Clinton Township)

Deacon Ralph Luddecke (West Wayne Family of Parishes 4; St. Mary, Wayne)

Deacon Michael McCrandall (St. Florian, Hamtramck)

Deacon Michael Oldani (Our Lady on the River, Marine City)

Deacon Christopher Rabaut (Renaissance Family of Parishes 2; St. Augustine and St. Monica, Detroit)

Deacon Michael Stach (South Oakland Family of Parishes 3; St. Thomas More, Troy)

Deacon Christopher Stark (South Oakland Family of Parishes 1; Guardian Angels, Clawson)

Deacon Thomas Strasz (St. Joan of Arc, St. Clair Shores)

5 Years

Deacon Kenneth Perry Clark (St. Fabian, Farmington Hills)

Deacon James Nicola (currently residing in Florida)

Deacon Richard Rhein (North Macomb Family of Parishes 2; St. Francis of Assisi-St. Maximilian Kolbe, Ray Township, and St. Mary, Mystical Rose, Armada)

Deacon Aleksander Stanaj (SS. John and Paul, Washington Township)



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