Bishop Mark ordained Christopher Conner and John Roth to the Permanent Diaconate on May 26 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.
Deacon Conner is a member of Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings, and Deacon Roth is a member of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon. The Bishop has appointed both men to Diaconal Service at their respective parishes.
[Photo (left to right): Father Mark Reid, Administrator of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon; Deacon Roth; Bishop Mark; Deacon Conner; Father Thaddeus Rettger, OSB, Pastor of Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings; and Deacon Michael Russo, Director of the Permanent Diaconate.]
In his homily, Bishop Mark told the story of a deacon who encountered a woman at a store. He was wearing a shirt with the embroidered deacon insignia and a cross on a chain around his neck.
The woman asked, “What kind of preacher are you?”
Realizing that the woman did not recognize the insignia on his shirt, he responded, “I hope that I’m a good preacher.”
The Order of Deacon is inseparably oriented toward the ministry of the word and the ministry of service, noted the Bishop.
“The kind of preacher you will be depends on the way you follow the example of the Lord Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve; to lay down his life so that others may have God’s life in them,” he advised. “That’s what is at stake when you hear the words of the ordination ceremony, ‘Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.'”
Continued Bishop Mark: “John and Chris, thank you for taking the risk to trust in the Holy Spirit, to listen to the Church, and to respond to the people who ask ‘What kind of preacher are you today and for the rest of your life?'”