A new life of service to the Church awaits 22 men who were ordained as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
The men were ordained Aug. 29 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. It was the first ordination for Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski as Archbishop of St. Louis. He was installed as the archdiocese’s 10th archbishop four days prior at the same cathedral basilica.
Delivering the homily from the cathedra, Archbishop Rozanski described the diaconate as a calling based upon discernment — not only personally, but also with the support of their families, as well as the Church, which is responsible for their formation.
“In this self-emptying service, the deacon is called to give example to others of what it means to accept the cross, follow in the Lord’s footsteps and lead others to Him who is the author of all life,” he said.
The readings from the ordination Mass provide insight into the role of the diaconate of the Church, Archbishop Rozanski noted, with the apostles requiring assistance from the community to ensure that good works would be carried out. The role of the deacon, the archbishop said, is based in the charitable mission of the Church.
“It is an ordained order, solely based in charity, in looking out for others, so to being wholeness to the Christian community,” he said. “The Holy Spirit had led the apostles to this decision, through the laying on of hands those seven deacons were given the grace to stand within the community and minister within it.”
Sacrament of Holy Orders
Deacons share in the sacrament of Holy Orders with bishops and priests. At the ordination Mass, the 22 men declared their willingness to undertake the responsibilities of the diaconate, as well as obedience to the archbishop and his successors.
One of the highlights of the rite is the Litany of Supplication, also known as the Litany of Saints, in which the men lie prostrate on the floor of the sanctuary, and the congregation prays for the intercession of the saints for God’s grace and mercy for those to be ordained.
Archbishop Rozanski also imposed hands on the heads of each ordinand, conferring the power of the Holy Spirit through a prayer of consecration. He then said the prayer of ordination, asking for each man to be configured to the person of Christ.
Afterward, the new deacons are vested with the stole and dalmatic, vestments that symbolize their office within the Church. The deacons’ wives presented the vestments to priests and deacons who were chosen to vest the new deacons.
The role of a deacon
The work of the deacon is defined as a ministry of liturgy, Word and charity. Their service at the altar is a sign of the Church’s commitment to those in the parish and the community. The deacon endeavors to turn the Word into deed in his daily life.
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, deacons take part in a five-year program of formation, often juggling secular careers and family life along with it.
Typically, deacons serve the Church by assisting pastors at their home or nearby parishes; they assist at Masses and serve as needed for baptisms, weddings, funerals, communion services and the like. Some also serve in other ministries, such as prisons, hospitals, outreach to the homeless and people in need, ministering to divorced and widowed people or in advancing pro-life causes.
Origins of the diaconate
The origins of the diaconate are found in the first century, when the early Church was being established and a need for catechesis and service to others was recognized. After flourishing for 400 years, the diaconate declined and became little more than a transitional step to priesthood. The Second Vatican Council, held from 1962-65, restored this ministry of service to its original purpose.
In 1972, Cardinal John J. Carberry started a permanent diaconate formation program in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Cardinal Carberry ordained the first class of 12 men on Jan. 29, 1977.
A total of 487 deacons have been ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Louis since 1977. There are 209 active deacons currently serving in the archdiocese, and 102 retired deacons. There are currently 43 men in formation. In the United States, there are more than 14,000 active permanent deacons.
Age • 57
Family • wife: Jennifer; children: Kimberly, Theresa, Matthew and Stephen
Secular career • systems inspector, Tech Electronics
The Call • I have always felt a call to serve the Church, the Body of Christ, though I didn’t always know what that meant. When I saw other men from our parish enter formation for the diaconate, I wondered if this was the service to which I was being called. I entered formation to find out if God was calling me to be a deacon, and if I was willing to accept that call. Through prayer and quiet listening, and with the guidance of my spiritual director, I experienced a sense of clarity that in addition to my first vocation as husband and father, God was indeed calling me to be a deacon.
Terry Baldwin, Jr.
Age • 52
Family • wife, Gina; children: Jessica, Brian and Mackenzie
Secular Career • owner, Baldwin Construction; owner, Rising Star Martial Arts
The Call • Whether in business or personal life, I have always had a desire to be of service to others. Growth in the Catholic faith has led me to want to be of service to God as well. The diaconate seems to be the perfect union of service to God and to others. Our Lord granted me the gift of desiring “servanthood.” He artfully allowed me to experience good and bad, pain and sorrow, happiness and distress. All of which were a gift allowing me to walk beside others in an honest, heartfelt way on behalf of our Lord.
Age • 60
Family • wife, Diane Coppolo Bialis; children: John Metro, Margaret Ann and Mary Elizabeth
Secular Career • sales and sales management in the sporting goods industry, primarily in the baseball and apparel markets.
The Call • I always thought about doing more for the Church and trying to be of service in a more dedicated way. I considered the permanent diaconate when we lived in New York, but I received very good advice from my pastor to hold off and dedicate my efforts to my young family. About six years ago I felt a tug to rededicate myself and after some prayer and an extremely helpful discussion with a priest, I decided that God was in fact calling me to the diaconate. Along with my marriage to Diane, it was the best decision I have ever made.
Age • 62
Family • wife: Lisa; children: James Peter “JP” and Andrew
Secular career • technical fellow at Boeing; electrical engineer, research scientist and adjunct professor
The Call • My calling was not like a lightning bolt. Rather it was a quiet idea that persisted such that I knew it was from God.
John (Jack) Burke
Age • 59
wife: Susan; children, James, Matthew and Ryan
Secular career • associate dean and professor of pharmacy practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
The Call • My call to be a deacon developed over many years. I began to feel the call for greater service in the Church and saw my previous service as a pharmacist and educator as part of God’s way of preparing me. The five years of formation were very important in discerning that this was indeed part of God’s plan for me.
Age • 38
Family • wife, Liz Cairns-Callen; two sons, Simon and Milo
Secular career •
regulatory manager, Bayer Crop Science
The Call •
My call to the diaconate has been like a slow fire burning in my heart since childhood. Since the initial spark, it’s something that has always remained with me, like the memories of my departed loved ones, the Word of God and my Guardian Angel. It was likely the culmination of the influence of a lot of important people (such as my parents and grandparents, deacons and priests in my youth, and my teachers) and experiences (including altar serving, Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis and receiving the sacraments) that God placed throughout my life. The path was surely not a straight one, but because it came from God, it was perfect.
Age • 59
Family • wife Virginia (Ginnie) Westmoreland; children, Jack and Abigail
Secular career • public affairs office, Washington University School of Medicine.
The Call • I had considered the seminary when I was a kid, and then several years ago after a sudden death in the family, I had thought very seriously about diaconal service. But my kids were young, and the time wasn’t right. Through my work at the Catholic Student Center at Washington University, I got to be friends with Deacon Phil Hengen, who asked me to attend an information night. I did, and I heard some things that night that spoke to me. Now, more than five years later, I’m still here.
Age • 58
Family • wife, Mary Christine; children, Anthony and Jacqueline
Secular career • manager, U.S. Government
The Call • I have always felt drawn to service, and since coming into the Catholic Church, I have had so many opportunities to serve the folks in my parish and in the community. I truly believe the Lord is calling me to serve the Church in some capacity. I’ll go wherever He leads me.
Age • 57
Family • wife, Dana; children, Thomas and Abbey
Secular career • Ste. Genevieve County Coordinator for Southeast Missouri Transportation Services, and retired math teacher
The Call • My family instilled in me the importance of service at an early age. I’ve served the children of Ste. Genevieve county as a teacher until I retired. Now I will continue to serve the people of our county as a deacon and through SMTS.
Age • 61
Family • wife, Stephanie; daughters, Shannon, Kelli and Bridget
Secular career • director of CYC Sports for the Archdiocese of St. Louis
The Call • I pray for the opportunity to serve the Church, which has given me so much. Over the years, I have been inspired by so many faithful and hard-working priests. I look forward to serving them and our entire parish community.
Jesus (Jesse) Gatmaitan
Age • 68
Family • wife, Marissa; children, Jessamine (Jessa), Jason Mark and Jan Carlo
Secular career •
retired from Better Building Services, Inc.
The Call •
I developed my habit of prayer after becoming a member of the Alliance of Two Hearts. In one of our prayer meetings, I was one of four men present who were encouraged to go into the diaconate program. Living the lifestyle of CARE (Confession, Adoration, Rosary and Eucharist) the basic elements that were present in every First Friday-Saturday Communion of Reparation Vigil contributed a lot to pursuing this diaconal ministry. I thank God for the grace given to be part of this ministry and pray that I will be a good servant.
Age • 52
Family • wife, Christine; children, Jacob, Nathan, Joseph, Anne and John
Secular career • technical manager at Buckley Powder
The Call • I have always felt a calling to service in our Lord’s Church through diaconate ministries. After attending an information night in 2002, I decided to postpone formation until my children were older. Late in 2013, I was challenged by two visiting priests to our parish to reconsider diaconate formation, which was further confirmed by my pastor, and a good friend. I received loving support from my wife and children and began formation in 2015, continually receiving support from family, friends and parishioners.
Age • 59
Family • wife, Vickie; children, Nathan, Daniel and Joshua
Secular career • chief of police for the City of Perryville
The Call • My wife and I went to church one evening and someone at the parish gave a talk on the diaconate. I was not interested at first, but later on, I could not keep from thinking about it and read the church bulletin multiple times and could not keep from reading the bulletin. I finally said to my wife, I think I’m being called to the diaconate, and she responded that she already knew and that it took me long enough.
Age • 60
Family • wife, Susan; sons, Keith and Philip Jr.
Secular career • self-employed real estate broker
The Call • I don’t know when the Holy Spirit started calling me to the diaconate, I only know that I started listening sometime in 2014. It has never really felt like it was my idea, in fact it still doesn’t!
Age • 53
Family • wife, Kitty; daughters, Alexandria and Grace
Secular Career •
vice-president of sales, National Brokerages
The Call •
Since a very young age, I thought I was being called to the priesthood in the Greek Orthodox Church. God had a different plan. Kitty has always been by my side and has been an inspiration, guide and instrument of God’s love. I converted shortly after we were married, but God did not stop there. God is always working, and I felt a calling much later to the permanent diaconate. I am humbled to be a sign, in the heart of the Church, of Christ the Servant. I am very excited about living the Gospel with zeal every day and to serve God and His people.
Age • 55
Family • wife, Mary; children, Justin, Gillian and Monica
Secular career • computer programmer, Cass Information Systems
The Call • I was drawn to go to the diaconate information night in 2013, but felt I had too many other commitments at that time. In 2015, I felt the call to go to another diaconate information night, encouraged by our parish deacon. At that time, I had finished my other duties on the school council and the Boy Scouts and felt that the diaconate was where God wanted me to serve.
Age • 58
Family • wife, Jackie; children, Jacob, Justin, Jeanette and James
Secular career • physician
The Call • In Acts 6, we read an account of “the Twelve” calling for help from among the disciples to address growing needs within their community. That call has always resonated with me but then became very personal. Entering the diaconate is my response to that call.
Age • 59
Family • wife, Janet; children, Kathleen, Michael, Daniel, Joseph, Patrick, Mary Grace and Matthew
Secular career •
attorney, Quinlan Law Firm LLC
The Call •
I was approached by our parish deacon and invited to consider the diaconate. I said a pretty firm “no.” But the question kept coming to me during my prayer. About a year later, my pastor asked me to consider it. But God was persistent in my prayer — nothing mystical, but a growing sense that God was calling me to greater service in His Church. As time went on, the call became increasingly clearer.
Age • 50
Family • wife, Anna Marie; children, Robert and Victoria
Secular career • MRI technologist, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles
The Call • Being a cradle Catholic, I always sought to please the Lord, and with the help of my wife, Anna, I remained faithful to my Catholic upbringing. Through annual retreats and daily Mass, I discerned to serve in the Roman Catholic Church which, I have chosen as my own. During our formation, I came to understand that I desired to stand up and defend the Church, the custodian of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ on Earth — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Age • 61
Family • wife, Amy, children, Christine, Deborah, Michael and Thomas
Secular career • engineer, Boeing
The Call • When Amy and I were living in Washington state, my pastor suggested that we attend a leadership training program sponsored by the Seattle Archdiocese called Llamdos A Crecer (Called to Grow). It was a multi-year program and most of the couples in attendance were looking at the diaconate. I was not at the time, but I started seriously to consider it. This interest continued to stay with me as we started our family and raised our children. I kept telling God to wait until the children were older. Finally after the youngest went off to college, I filed the paperwork and was accepted.
Age • 55
Family • wife, Michelle; son, John
Secular career • energy advisor, Ameren-Illinois Energy Efficiency Program
The Call • As a 2006 convert, I initially felt the call, but did not know what a deacon was. But God kept asking, and in 2015, I answered. As members of the Body of Christ, we each have a specific role to fill. No one’s role is more important than another, but it is vital that we each fill the role we are called to fulfill.
Age • 69
wife, Lucy; children, Laura, Eric, Ellen, Brian, Emily and Andrew.
Secular career • retired attorney
The Call • Like many in my generation, in my younger days I wanted to be a priest. That lasted until about fifth grade. Once I abandoned that idea, I got caught up in growing up, getting educated, getting married and starting my career. Around 20 years ago, I began to think about the possibility of serving as a deacon. I got lot of encouragement from people to whom I mentioned it. The deeper into formation I got, the more convinced I became that God is truly calling me to serve Him and His people as a deacon.
Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has made the following appointments:
Deacon Vincent J. Baker is appointed to assist the pastor of Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish in St. Charles.
Deacon Terry M. Baldwin, Jr. is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in DeSoto.
Deacon Gregory M. Bialis is appointed to assist the pastor of Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Manchester.
Deacon James M. Bornholdt is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Pacific.
Deacon John M. Burke is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Manchester.
Deacon Steven T. Callen is appointed to assist the pastor of Holy Infant Parish in Ballwin.
Deacon James M. Dryden is appointed to assist the director of the Newman Center at Washington University.
Deacon Dana Matthew Engelhardt is appointed to assist the pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in St. Louis.
Deacon Allen B. Engelmann is appointed to assist the parochial administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Zell.
Deacon Daniel D. Fitzgerald is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Brentwood.
Deacon Jesus I. Gatmaitan is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Lemay.
Deacon Keith M. Henderson is appointed to assist the pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Union.
Deacon Direk L. Hunt is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Vincent De Paul Parish in Perryville.
Deacon Philip G. Hutsler is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Ferdinand Parish in Florissant.
Deacon Dean G. Mandis is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Pacific.
Deacon John T. McManemin is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Louis.
Deacon Stephen J. Pieper is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood.
Deacon Michael D. Quinlan is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Clement of Rome Parish in Des Peres.
Deacon Anthony G. Shipp is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Paul Parish in Fenton.
Deacon William G. Smith is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Monica Parish in Creve Coeur.
Deacon Michael E. Thompson is appointed to assist the pastor of Assumption Parish in Mattese.
Deacon David B. Tobben is appointed to assist the pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish in Washington.