deacon

“Not to be served but to serve”

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On the heels of Auxiliary Bishop Mark S. Rivituso's episcopal ordination four days prior, four men were ordained as transitional deacons May 6 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson ordained Gerson Parra, Philiphraj Rathinam and Christopher Rubie for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Daniel Koko-Oleko for the Diocese of Tshumbe (Democratic Republic of Congo). Bishop Rivituso, Bishop-emeritus Robert J. Hermann and Bishop Felipe Sãnchez from the Diocese of Chiquinquira, Colombia concelebrated, along with archdiocesan priests.

Deacons’ diaper drive keeps babies covered

Deacon Mike Suden, left, from St. Bridget Parish in Pacific headed up the first deacon Diaper Drive collection last year, Archdiocesan deacons are collecting diapers for organizations who serve the needy in their parishes or nearby parishes.

The bounty from the deacon's Lenten Diaper Drive stays local, which is good news for the Office of the Diaconate.

Otherwise, the archdiocesan office at Cardinal Rigali Center quickly would be overwhelmed.

"They all wouldn't fit in here," joked Deacon Christ Ast, whose office might fit 15 percent of the 125,000 diapers in the inaugural collection last year.

Editorial | Called to serve the Lord

Much has changed in the 40 years since the calendar clicked over to 1977.

Numerous things have gone by the wayside, including — thankfully — bell-bottoms, disco and gas-guzzling vehicles. Secularly, we're on our seventh president and, in the Catholic world, our fifth pope and our fifth archbishop of St. Louis.

We've also experienced a drop in vocations to the clergy and to consecrated life, with Catholic education transitioning to the laity as a result. But thankfully, we've seen a great increase in the diaconate in the archdiocese, men firmly committed to serving the Church.

Information nights help men discern call to diaconate

Newly retired Kurt Loeffler of Queen of All Saints Parish in Oakville asked God for a sign that dioconate formation was the right move for him. God answered in the form of a parish deacon who called out of the blue asking Loeffler if he had ever considered the diaconate.

"I wanted to get hit over the head with a two-by-four ... and He hit me," Loeffler said, with a laugh. "That was my sign."

A call to faith

A call to faith

Deacon Mark Byington, who serves at St. Joseph Parish in Farmington, was a Dallas police officer for seven years, from 1987 to 1994, and teaches criminal justice at Jefferson County Community College. So, he provides the unique perspective of a criminal justice expert viewing the tragedy in Dallas through the eyes of faith.

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