Five area men will be ordained permanent deacons in the Diocese of Buffalo on Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., Buffalo. The men have completed a training program of spiritual, theological and pastoral formation which lasted several years.
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands will confer the sacrament of Holy Orders of Deacon to these men.
In the Catholic Church, there are two types of deacons, transitional and permanent. Transitional deacons will be ordained a priest and a permanent deacon is ordained without continuing on to the priesthood. Many permanent deacons are married, have children and work outside the church. Each of this year’s candidates is married, has children and is employed.
David E. Clabeaux and his wife Kathleen are members of Queen of Heaven Parish, West Seneca, and have three sons. As an active member of his parish, Clabeaux has served in many roles including lector, catechist, Eucharistic minister and bible study discussion leader. During his field ministry he served at the Franciscan Center in South Buffalo, and at area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He is employed by Buffalo Neurosurgery Group and is a member several professional organizations such as the American College of Medical Practice Executives, American Registry of Radiological Technologists and the Society of Non-Invasive Vascular Technologists.
John H. Hendricks of St. Martha Parish, Depew, is employed by Ace Mechanical Services. At his parish, he has been a lector, Eucharistic Minister and religious education teacher. Hendricks experienced a variety of work while fulfilling his field ministry requirements. He worked with former prisoners at Bissonette House and serviced the needy at the St. Lawrence Outreach and Food Pantry and the St. Vincent DePaul Society, both in Buffalo. He and his wife Kathleen have a daughter.
Alejandro D. Manunta, works for Accumed Innovative Technologies, Inc., and is a member of St. Christopher Parish in Tonawanda. He and his wife María Inés are the parents of four children, two boys and two girls. He has worked on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the baptismal preparation and Spanish for Nicaragua teams. In addition, Manunta is a member of the men’s spirituality group at his church. As part of his field ministry, he worked in the diocesan Office of Cultural Diversity and at the Little Portion Friary in Buffalo.
Employed by Hospice Buffalo, Richard R. Stachura Jr., was also a member of the New York Air National Guard and is a life member of the Snyder Fire Department. During his formation process for the diaconate, Stachura worked at Crossroads House, a home for the dying, in Batavia. He also has served his parish of St. Mary, Swormville, in several different ministries including Eucharistic Minister, lector and catechist. He and his wife Alberta have a son and daughter.
Blessed Sacrament, Tonawanda, parishioner Edward M. Zablocki also will be ordained on June 9. A member of the Secular Franciscan Order, Zablocki is employed by the State University of New York at Buffalo. His preparation for the diaconate included working at Vive La Casa Refugee Center, Buffalo, and with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. He has been a lector and Eucharistic Minister at his parish, as well as a member of the baptismal, Pre-Cana and Mission teams. He and his wife Mary are the parents of two sons.
In 1967, the pope, Pope Paul VI, as suggested by the Second Vatican Council, restored the permanent diaconate as an independent order in the Church. Deacons are considered clergy in the Church, but are not ordained priests. Both single and married men are allowed to become permanent deacons. However, single men who are ordained may not marry after ordination and married men may not remarry in the event of the wife’s death.
Once the permanent diaconate was approved by the Holy See in1968, a committee for the permanent diaconate was established in the United States. Bishop Kmiec chaired this committee in 1997 when he was bishop of Nashville.
Permanent deacons may officiate at weddings, baptisms, funerals and wakes. They also may preach and distribute Holy Communion. The role of the deacon traditionally has been one of charity and administration. Following their ordination, Bishop Kmiec will assign the new deacons to diaconal ministry in a parish, hospital, prison, human services agency or diocesan office.