Eight men to become Permanent Deacons for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

Eight men from various parts of Delaware will become Permanent Deacons when they are ordained by Bishop Malooly on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. the Church of the Holy Child, 2500 Naamans Road in Wilmington.

“Our diocese is blessed that these men have answered God’s call to serve us as deacons,” said Bishop Malooly. “With God’s help and the support of their families; each of these men will contribute greatly to building up the Kingdom of God by their calling to this very important ministry.”

After Bishop Malooly ordains them, they will be assigned to serve in parishes and other ministries in the diocese. The new deacons will also assist at Mass by proclaiming the Gospel and preaching. They may also celebrate baptisms, witness marriages and preside over funerals outside of Mass.

“These men have completed an extensive, five-year spiritual, theological and pastoral formation program,” said Dr. Harold D. Jopp, Jr., a Permanent Deacon, and director of the diocesan Office for Deacons. “We celebrate with their families and friends as they begin their service to the Catholic community of the Diocese of Wilmington.”

According to Dr. Jopp, most Permanent Deacons’ active ministry is on a part-time basis. They continue to work in careers in varied fields while devoting evenings and weekends to their ministry efforts. “However, while at their full-time jobs, Permanent Deacons also minister by striving to be an example of Christian charity in a work setting,” he added.

 

The men to be ordained are: 

Lawrence C. Brecht, a resident of Hockessin and member of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, holds a degree in Business Logistics from Penn State, and an MBA from the University of Delaware. He is employed by AstraZeneca. He and his wife, Lauren, have four children.

Mr. Brecht is excited and humbled as his ordination approaches. “I am thrilled by the prospect of being able to visibly serve the Church I love so deeply,” he said. “At the same time, I am humbled by the uncertainties of balancing so many priorities, and am confident that the Holy Spirit will provide what is necessary.”

David G. Feaster II is from Bear and is a member of Holy Family Parish in Newark. This United States Marine Corp Veteran and his wife, Julie, have four children. He is employed at Republic Services as a Diesel Mechanic. As a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, Mr. Feaster is a member of the St. Michael Council, Cardinal Gibbons Assembly. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

“I am excited to start this new chapter of my life and my ministry,” Mr. Feaster said of his approaching ordination. “I look forward to serving the people of God in my new capacity as Deacon, and will do my best to serve them well.”

Darrell LaShomb is also a member of Holy Family Parish in Newark. He and his wife, Beth live in Newark and have three children and three grandchildren. A northern New York State native, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY College at Brockport and is a long-time DuPont Company employee. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Code Purple, and is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to the Sick.

Mr. LaShomb looks forward with gratitude to his ordination. “I am grateful for all the prayers and support I have received, which has reinforced for me that we are a community in the Body of Christ. I am looking forward to serving God and my brothers and sisters as a Deacon.”

John G. Molitor, Sr. lives in Milford, Delaware and is a member of St. Edmond Parish in Rehoboth Beach. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children and one grandchild. The Williamsport, PA native served in the United States Air Force, United States Air Force Reserve, and the Delaware National Guard for 24 years. He retired from the Pennsylvania State Police in 2006 after a 17 year career as a State Trooper. Mr. Molitor holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Ottawa University and a Master’s from Florida Metropolitan University (now Everest University) and is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus.

“The years of preparation for ordination have given me a lens of servant-leadership through which to view my life, faith, and family,” Mr. Molitor said. “I want to learn as much as I can so I can do my best for the parish to which I am assigned.”

Christopher M. Moran’s family has worshiped at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in New Castle since 1860. He is attended Salesianum and the University of Delaware, and works in administration with Parcels, Inc. The Wilmington resident serves his parish as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Pastoral Council and his community as a member of the Brandywine Village Civic Association Centenary Committee.

Speaking about his calling to the diaconate, Mr. Moran says, “It’s been quite a journey to this point and I’ve had a fantastic opportunity to grow both in my faith and as a man. It’s a wonderful testament to the Holy Spirit’s presence in the world that so many people have come up to me to offer me encouragement and their prayers, especially as I near ordination.”

Joseph P. Roach and his wife, Barbara, live in Newark and, like Mr. Feaster and Mr. LaShomb, he is a member of Holy Family Parish. They have three children and three grandchildren. A teacher for over 30 years, he holds a degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and teaches at The New School in Newark and Delaware Technical and Community College in Wilmington. His service to the Church includes choir member, cantor, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to the Sick, lector, acolyte and sacristan. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

“I feel grateful and humble for all the help, encouragement and support offered by the people of my home parish, Holy Family,” Mr. Roach said. “I am also grateful to the Bishop and the Diocese for the opportunity to serve. I thank my brother candidates for their friendship and support over the past four years.”

Sean M. Sudler, his wife Amber, and their four children, live in Newark and are members of St. Matthew’s Church. He is a graduate of Brandywine High School and holds a degree in accounting from Wilmington University. The Bank of New York Mellon manager is a contributor and/or volunteer with Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and is a contributor of Child, Inc.

“I am looking forward to serving the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington,” Mr. Sudler said. “I extend my love and appreciation to my wife and family, the diaconate formation team, and the parishioners of St. Matthew’s for their guidance and support.”

José Sanchez, and his wife Olga, live in New Castle and are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear. He holds a degree in biology from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and is employed at Siemens Diagnostics. Mr. Sanchez is a Pre-Cana facilitator, a religious education catechist and an advocate for the diocesan tribunal.

“I feel a bit of sadness because it is the end of the formation process,” Mr. Sanchez said. “But at the same time, it is a good feeling to know that my time of service as an ordained deacon is about to begin. It has been a long journey of discernment, prayers and academic preparation.”

 

There are two types of deacons in the Catholic Church, those who are ordained to the order and remain in it (Permanent Deacons), and those who receive the order while advancing to priesthood (Transitional Deacons). After this ordination, there will be 110 Permanent Deacons in the Diocese of Wilmington. A group of 20 men will begin the Permanent Diaconate academic formation process this autumn with ordination probable sometime in 2021.

The Diaconate is a ministry rooted deeply in Scriptural accounts of the early church. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonia, which means, “to serve.” As Christianity grew, it was necessary to appoint men as deacons to work alongside the apostles. In Acts 6: 1-6, the apostles “laid their hands” on deacons “wise and full of the Holy Spirit” to assist them in caring for the needs of the people of the early Church.

More information about the Diaconate program in the Diocese of Wilmington is available by calling the Office for Deacons at (302) 573-2390.