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:: Office of the Diaconate
Mass for Widows and Widowers

     If you have lost a husband who was a deacon or a beloved wife, please join us for a special Mass of Remembrance at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 9, at Ascension Church, 801 S. East Avenue, Oak Park.

     Fr. Mike Ahlstrom and Fr. Ed Salmon, both vicar emeriti, will concelebrate the Mass. Deacon Joe Winblad will assist at the Mass.
The Mass will be followed by a luncheon in Ascension's Pine Room. If you are accompanied by a family member, know that person is also welcome to join us.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, July 26, by calling the Office of the Diaconate at (708) 366-8900.


Diaconate Retreats

The following retreats have been scheduled at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat House.

August 18-20: Deacons retreat led by Deacon John Lucas
Sept. 8-10: Spanish deacon couples retreat led by Fr. Rodolfo Ramirez
Nov. 3-5: Deacon couples retreat led by Fr. Bill Stenzel

Jan. 5-7:
Deacon couples retreat led by Deacon Mark Duffey
Feb. 9-11: Spanish deacon couples retreat led by Fr. Rene Mena
March 16-18: Deacon couples retreat led by Fr. Mike Ahlstrom
April 13-15: Deacon wives and widows retreat
April 27-29: Spanish couples retreat led by Fr. Ezequiel Sanchez
May 4-6: Deacon couples retreat led by Fr. Mike Knotek
May 18-20: Deacon retreat led by Fr. Kevin Hays
June 1-3: Deacon couples retreat led by Fr.Bob Miller
June 8-10: Spanish couples retreat led by Fr. Jamie Mueller

All retreats begin with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will conclude on Sunday before lunch.
To register for a retreat, call (847) 566-6060. For more information, visit


Vicariate meetings

Vicariate meetings with the episcopal vicars have been scheduled.

August 16: Vicariate VI meeting with Bishop Joseph Perry at Holy Ghost Parish in South Holland. Begin at 6:30 PM in the church for Evening Prayer; followed by refreshments and conversation with Bishop Perry. RSVP to Deacon Joe Kudra at (708) 220.3570 or to

September 30: Vicariate III meeting with Bishop Alberto Rojas from 9 a.m. to noon at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, 3111 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago.


Sunrise Prayer Service


Deacon LeRoy Gill addresses the crowd assembled for the Sunrise Prayer Service in 2015.


The Sunrise Prayer Service for Safety of Our Children and an End to Violence will begin at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Oakwood Beach, 41st Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. The service is hosted by the Black Catholic Deacons of Chicago.

In the event of heavy rain, the prayer service will be moved to Holy Angels Catholic Church, 615 E. Oakwood Blvd., Chicago.


Women's Day of Reflection

A Women's Day of Reflection will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Carmelite Spiritual Center in Darien. The theme will be a "Grateful Heart" and will be led by Deacon Dave Brencic.

Cost is $10 and includes continental breakfast, refreshments and lunch. To register, call the Diaconate Office at (708) 366-8900.


Ministry Award winners

The winners of this year's Ministry Awards are, from left, Deacon Gerald Keenan,
St. Stephen, the Deacon Award; Deacon William Doerr, St. Philip Award for Evangelization; Deacon Kevin and Anita O'Donnell for Couple's Ministry; Gloria Askew, St. Priscilla Award; and Deacon Richard Voytas, St. Lawrence Award for ministry to the poor. Not pictured is Deacon John Connor who also won the St. Lawrence Award. The awards were announced at the Diaconate Convocation 2017.

Photo courtesy of Deacon Hans Goeckner


Diaconate Skills Survey

The Diaconate Office is inviting all deacons and wives to complete the skills survey.
We want to gather data about our levels of education, our job skills, our professional certificates and licenses, as well as information about who speaks which languages. Further, a key component is to ask what ministries deacons and wives are engaged in.

The information will be used for several purposes:
• We will find out who might be approached for or interested in various ministries.
• We will find out who might be able to serve the Church with a particular skill set as Renew My Church continues.
• We will find our in what areas most of us are doing our ministry and thereby be better informed about where we might focus ongoing formation initiatives.
• We might be able to create "A Diaconate Yellow Pages" for those who are interested in listing their businesses.

The link--for both men and women--is the following:

Enter your data, men and women. As the project unfolds and the data comes in, we will give you reports on gross numbers. That is, we will keep your individual data private but will want to announce to the community numbers such as how many of us are engaged in this ministry or that, how many of us speak this or that language, how many have degrees, licenses or other credentials.


List of Spiritual Directors

The Office of the Diaconate has compiled a list of Spiritual Directors who are willing to meet with deacons and wives of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

When meeting with the Spiritual Director make sure to ask what the stipend for their service will be.



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Deaths in our community

Deacon James Gallagher, class of 1982, died Aug. 5, 2017
Deacon Joseph Brady, class of 1977, died July 26, 2017
Deacon Miguel Garcia, class of 1995, died July 4, 2017
Deacon Ted Lisowski, class of 1974, died June 21, 2017
Deacon John Zurawski, class of 1986, died May 22, 2017
Deacon Philip Bertolani, class of 2003, died May 14, 2017
Deacon Benito Velasco, class of 1986, died May 13, 2017
Deacon Roman Revering, class of 1984, died May 3, 2017
Deacon Duke Vemich, class of 1976, died April 13, 2017
Deacon Michael O'Malley, class of 2002, died April 11, 2017
Patricia Gniech, wife of Deacon George Gniech, class of 1986, died March 27, 2017
Dorothy Tryba, widow of Deacon Edmund Tryba, class of 1972, died March 26, 2017.
Patricia Szostak, wife of Deacon Jerry Szostak, class of 2013, died Feb. 16, 2017
Carol Winter, wife of Deacon Edward Winter, class of 2003, died Feb. 10, 2017
Deacon James Cozzo, class of 2002, died Feb. 4, 2017
Deacon Robert O'Keefe, class of 1984, died Jan. 31, 2017
Mary Kay McGorey, wife of Deacon Tom McGory, class of 1979, died Jan. 30, 2017
Julia Hernandez, wife of Deacon Sigfredo Hernandez, class of 1986, died Jan. 26, 2017
Nelda Dunn Foggie, wife of Deacon Willie Foggie Jr., class of 1986, died Jan. 6, 2017
Theresa DeBellis, widow of Deacon Francis DeBellis, class of 1984, died Dec. 30, 2016
Petra Maldonado, wife of Deacon Melquiades Maldonado, class of 1972, died Dec. 26, 2016
Bill Murata, father of Shawn Tiemeier, wife of Deacon David Tiemeier, class of 2006, died Dec. 25, 2016
Deacon James Sanford, class of 1986, died Dec. 22, 2016
Deacon John McMahon, class of 1983, died Dec. 21, 2016
Deacon Gene and Carol O'Hern, class of 1999, died Dec. 12, 2016
Deacon Miguel Perez, class of 1993, died Nov. 26, 2016
Deacon James Davis, class of 1977, died Nov. 9, 2016
Deacon J. Brendan Foley, class of 1989, died Nov. 8, 2016
Anton Neu, father of Deacon Andy Neu, class of 2001
Candace Rottman, wife of Deacon John Rottman, class of 2002, died Oct. 24, 2016
Deacon Sabino Sanchez, class of 1997, died Oct. 24, 2016
Deacon Terris Albano, class of 1999, died Oct. 13, 2016
Marites Negron, wife of Deacon Miguel Negron, class of 2015, died Oct. 7, 2016
Jeanne Bell, wife of Deacon Kenneth Bell, class of 1978, died Sept. 30
Deacon Norbert Lesnieski, class of 1972, died Sept. 23, 2016
Deacon Michael Romano, class of 1974, died Sept. 15, 2016
Deacon Roberto Rivas, class of 1994, died Sept. 11, 2016
Deacon William Reinert, class of 1994, died Aug. 27, 2016
Deacon Benito Centeno, class of 1972, died July 31, 2016
Deacon James Temple, class of 1984, died July 27, 2016

Please keep all the faithful departed and their families in your prayers.

Updated 8/7/17


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