One by one, the 10 Permanent Diaconate candidates placed their hands on a Bible, promising to live out and share the powerful message of its ancient, holy words.
“Take this Book of Holy Scripture, be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane instructed during the Rite of Installation into the Ministry of Lector, Sept. 9, 2023, at a Vigil Mass at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota.
Installation to the Ministry of Lector is part of the candidate’s journey to ordained ministry in the Church, as the 10 are on track for ordination as Permanent Deacons in 2025.
According to the Church’s Law and practice, the instituted lector is charged with proclaiming the readings from the Sacred Scriptures (except for the Gospel), announcing the intentions in the Prayer of the Faithful (in the absence of a deacon), and reciting or singing the responsorial psalm if there is no cantor. As distinct from the typical Parish reader, these men will now exercise this ministry in a permanent way.
The following constitute the Permanent Diaconate Class of 2025:
- Richard E. Dahn, St. Agnes Parish, Naples;
- Richard A. Hellenbrand, St. Andrew Parish, Cape Coral;
- Thomas A. Januszka, St. Francis Cabrini Parish, Parrish;
- Stephen L. Jendrysik, Incarnation Parish, Sarasota,
- James N. Jenkins, St. William Parish, Naples;
- Ramon R. Kanacheril, St. Vincent DePaul Parish, Fort Myers;
- Mark A. Osterhaus, St. Agnes Parish, Naples;
- Orlando A. Rubiano, St. Vincent DePaul Parish, Fort Myers;
- Jeffrey P. Tenbarge, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Naples;
- John-William M. Trainer III, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Naples.
As part of the Rite, the deacon candidates were individually called forth to be presented to the Bishop. Following the homily, the Bishop continued the Rite by reciting a prayer of blessing on the men – granting that, as they meditate on the Word of God, they may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to His people. Then each candidate came forward to be presented the Holy Scriptures by the Bishop.
“Be conscious of what it is you do,” Bishop Dewane said. “In proclaiming God’s word to others, it is key that you accept it yourselves, and do it in obedience to the Holy Spirit.”
The diaconate candidates were told by the Bishop that this new responsibility is more than just reading Sacred Scriptures; it is about their understanding the text, and also revealing the Word of God to those around them.
Deacon Bob Gaitens, the Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate, said the deacon candidates have worked hard to get to this point.
“This is an important milestone as the candidates are very busy with ongoing intellectual study through the formation program,” Deacon Gaitens said.
Deacon candidates admit that their journey can feel like a marathon at times, and it can be a challenge to fit the many requirements along with their ongoing daily life requirements of marriage, family, and work. Installation rites offer a much-needed boost as they continue on their path.
John-William Trainer III, of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples, was overjoyed to have reached this important moment in his formation journey. He credited the support of his wife, Angela, their three children, and Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary with his reaching this point. “I feel so blessed,” Trainer said.
Present for the installation were the wives of the candidates, who also take part in the formation process attending several of the formation weekends each year with their husbands. The wives are an integral part of the diaconate program as they support their husbands through prayer, sacrifice, and by assuming added duties of home and family.
Also present were children of the candidates, other supporters and friends as well as the recently selected Permanent Diaconate Class of 2028, who were taking part in their first formation weekend.
Upon completion of their formation program and Ordination to the Diaconate, Permanent Deacons may officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals, read the Gospel and preach at Mass, and help with the canonical process for marriage and baptism. One of their greatest priorities, however, is service to the poor and marginalized.
Please keep the 10 Permanent Deacon candidates and their families in your prayers.