Bishop Matthew H. Clark will ordain six men to the permanent diaconate and one man to the transitional diaconate during a 10:30 a.m. Mass June 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 296 Flower City Park in Rochester.
Emmanuel Asis, Bob Corsaro, Greg Emerton, Dennis Lohouse, Walt Toot and Dan Williams will become permanent deacons; seminarian Edison Tayag, who is scheduled for ordination to the priesthood in June 2008, will be ordained a transitional deacon.
Asis and his wife, Zenny, belong to St. John the Evangelist Parish in Greece, where he is a lector and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. He and his wife also have been involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
Asis is an inspector and assembler at ENI Technology Inc. in Henrietta. He and Zenny also are involved in the local Filipino community. A Filipino deacon was actually the first to urge Asis to consider the permanent diaconate, he said.
“The Lord has been showing me that I have to serve him,” Asis said. “He called me and I pursued the formation program to serve him more.”
* * *
Corsaro operates his own insurance agency and also represents the Palmyra-based Van Parys Associates agency. He and his wife, Suzan, belong to St. Joseph Parish in Penfield, where he serves as a lector, acolyte, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and Stephen minister.
Suzan also is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, and has been involved in religious education and the children’s liturgy program. The Corsaros also regularly visit residents at Atria Penfield, a senior-living facility.
Corsaro said the first seeds of his new vocation were planted about eight years ago, when his father-in-law was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. After his father-in-law passed away, he said he felt compelled to become a Stephen minister so he could help others going through similar situations.
“As a result of all I was involved in, especially caring for those in crisis, I felt a calling to the diaconate,” he said. “I’m very anxiously looking forward to serving the church in whatever way I can.”
* * *
Emerton recently retired from Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where he taught sociology and liberal arts. His wife, Karen, is retired from Rochester’s Catholic Family Center, where she served as director of children and family services.
The Emertons belong to St. Matthew Parish in Livonia, which was formed in 2004 through the merger of St. Joseph Parish in Livonia and St. William Parish in Conesus. Emerton had served as president of St. Joseph’s parish council before the merger, and he also is a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
After more than four years of formation, he noted that he’s ready to become a deacon and is looking forward to his ministry.
“It’s been a long road, but it’s really just the beginning,” Emerton said.
* * *
Lohouse is an owner of Bryce Capital Management. He and his wife, Barbara, belong to Rochester’s Cathedral Community, where both are lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. She has been involved in the community’s baptismal-preparation program, while he served on the finance council for many years.
Lohouse said his calling to the diaconate started as a whisper and steadily grew stronger over the course of seven or eight years.
“You have a feeling that you’re called to do something deeper. I’m just very much looking forward to serving the people of God,” he said.
* * *
Toot is an engineer at Optimation Technology Inc. He and his wife, Mary, belong to Holy Cross Parish in Charlotte, where he is a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion, and Mary is the parish’s religious-education director.
Toot said he felt the first stirrings of his calling several years ago, and that it slowly grew stronger.
“It wasn’t like one day I woke up and it hit me, but I know I started seriously thinking about it when my sister was married,” Toot said.
A few years ago Toot’s sister had asked him to proclaim a reading and give the blessing at the reception, and people later told him those things seemed a natural fit for him. He’s looking forward to ministering to people “where the spirit sends me,” he said.
* * *
An independent contractor, Williams is a land agent who talks to landowners about leasing property for natural-gas exploration. He also is a pastoral minister at St. Gabriel Parish in Hammondsport, where he and his wife, Sandra, are involved in parish life. Both are involved in a small Christian community and sing in the choir. Their 8-year-old daughter, Ruby, has served as a cantor, and Sandra coordinates a monthly children’s liturgy.
Williams said his parish work inspired him to do more to serve the church. He entered the formation program after much prayer and discussion with his family, and the years of diaconal training have helped him better understand his own faith and spirituality, he said.
“What a prayer life will do for you is to help you realize the grace of God that has always been present in your life,” Williams said.
* * *
Seminarian Tayag is currently serving his pastoral year at St. Mary Parish in Auburn. After finishing his assignment there in May, he’ll begin his clinical pastoral education at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He will remain there until Aug. 9, when he hopes to visit his family in the Philippines before going back to the North American College in Rome for his last year of seminary training.
Tayag has been a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Churchville and St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Watkins Glen. He said he’s excited about moving one step closer to his ordination to the priesthood.
“I’m going to be of service to the church and to put forward what the church asks from me in service to the people of God,” Tayag said.