Five to join the diaconate - Catholic Courier

Five to join the diaconate

The ranks of the permanent diaconate will grow on May 22, as Bishop Matthew H. Clark ordains five men during a 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Canandaigua.

The men who will be ordained to the diaconate are: Duncan Harris of St. Paul’s Parish in Webster; John McDermott, of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Rochester; Robert Meyer of St. Paul’s and St. Rita’s parishes in Webster; Peter Niche of St. Patrick’s Parish in Macedon; and James Witulski of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Greece.
Harris, 48, is an engineering manager at Harris RF Communications in Rochester. He and his wife, Carol, had previously belonged to St. Rita’s, where they taught religious education and were involved in marriage preparation and music ministry. Harris is currently involved in hospital visitation ministry and serves as a lector at his parish.

“What I particularly like about the diaconate is its call to service, especially to those on the fringe, and I think that’s something that calls to me,” Harris said, adding that he’d felt called to the diaconate for several years but waited until the time felt right to pursue it.

McDermott, 50, is a product manager for Eastman Kodak. While traveling with the company’s international division from 1983-99, he and his wife, Betsy, were involved with music, parish councils and social committees in a number of parishes overseas. He currently is active in music ministry at Blessed Sacrament, playing the guitar with his son at the parish’s contemporary Mass.

McDermott said his wife has been very involved in the deacon-formation program and is also earning a master’s degree in theology.

“We’ve learned a lot about the Catholic Church, we’ve learned about our faith, we’ve deepened our spiritual life. We hope that this will be an extension of all we’ve been doing,” he said.

Meyer, 58, works in the research laboratories at Eastman Kodak. He has served as a lector and eucharistic minister at St. Paul’s and St. Rita’s, where he attends Mass with his wife, Barbara. He also helps out at St. Bridget’s Parish in Rochester whenever possible. He has served as facilitator for a Webster charismatic-renewal prayer group, worked with the local gay and lesbian community, and served as chaplain at Monroe Community Hospital.
“I was sort of called by the Lord to go into this. I guess the Lord works in his own way, the way he wants. I’m just going to take a little at a time and see where the Lord’s going to be leading with me,” Meyer said.

Niche, 48, is an independent sales representative. He has served as a lector, eucharistic minister and member of the parish pastoral council at St. Patrick’s, where he attends Mass with his wife, Maureen. He has also served as chairman of the parish council planning committee for the Catholic Community of Wayne County.

“I thought about being a priest as a kid, but I just never pursued that. I wanted to be married and have a family,” Niche said, adding that he was eventually led to the diaconate and that he’s enjoyed and learned a lot from the formation program.

Witulski, 51, is a registered dental hygienist at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Rochester. He and his wife, Mary, have been involved in ministry in their church from the hands-on level to the committee level, through such groups as the social-ministry committee and social-action network.

“I just felt that I wanted to do something more. The more I came to love God, the more I came to love his church. I came to recognize his great mercy and love that God has for me. That call to the diaconate was one way that I could respond to his call and his love and one way of giving back,” Witulski said.

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