Ordained to Serve

Three transitional deacons ordained, along with one permanent deacon
Managing Editor 

After their ordination, the four deacons pose with their bishop.  From left to right are Deacon David Beach, Deacon Ryan Kehoe, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Deacon Stefan Kaniewski, and Deacon Charles Delano.
Photo by Debbie Benz 

On May 12, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained three seminarians to the traditional diaconate, as well as one man to the permanent diaconate. The ordinations of seminarians Deacon Charles Delano, Deacon Stefan Kaniewski, and Deacon Ryan Kehoe, as well as the ordination of Deacon David Beach took place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. 

During the ordination Mass the men made promises to discharge the office of deacon with humble clarity, proclaim the faith in word and deed, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, to be obedient to the bishop and his successors, and the three seminarians took a vow of celibacy.” Then Bishop Paprocki laid hands on them and invoked the Holy Spirit with the Prayer of Ordination. The deacons were clothed with the stole and dalmatic and received the Book of the Gospels. 

Just prior to their ordination, the four men who are to be deacons stand before Bishop Thomas John Paprocki at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.  They are (from back to front) Deacons Ryan Kehoe, Stefan Kaniewski, Charles Delano, and David Beach. 
Photo by Debbie Benz

Deacon Beach is assigned to his home parish, Cathedral, and he looks forward to his work there.  “I am drawn to all aspects of the diaconate in the ministry of the word, the liturgy and in charity, in communion with the bishop and priests,” he said. 

The three transitional deacons will spend a good part of the summer in different areas before returning to seminary in the fall for their last year of study. Those internships are important because they are “on the job training.”

Last summer, Deacon Delano was greatly moved by the internship he served at Barnes Jewish Hospital. “My summer internship at Barnes Jewish Hospital confirmed my vocation more than any other experience,” he said. “Words can’t really capture the gift of visiting a person during one of their most vulnerable moments.  I listened to hurt patients question where God could be. I comforted crying family members watching their loved ones suffer. I heard staff talking about wanting to do more for patients who lacked family support. In all these experiences I saw God at work, not because of anything I said, but because people were reminded of His providence during a chaplain’s visit. I was able to pray with each of these groups, offer Communion to Catholics, and just be with them.  I tried to make Christ’s love present to them, and that’s what the priesthood is all about.” 

Deacon Kaniewski said he looks forward to this next year as a deacon and also, of course, to being ordained a priest. “What surprises me about my vocation is the fact that God chooses the time and place, and if I want to respond, I must be completely devoted to His will,” he said.

Deacon Kehoe agrees that all people must follow God’s call, not matter what it is. “It’s always worth following what God invites you to, whether it is a big life-changing moment or something less significant,” he said. “He is trustworthy.  I’ve seen that the Lord always provides the strength and the grace necessary to anyone He calls.” 

To be a deacon is to serve. As deacons, the four men can now assist at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and give homilies, baptize and witness marriages, and preside at wake and graveside services.