Some retired, some working; all pledge service to Gospel
DETROIT — Archbishop Allen Vigneron told the 2012 ordination class of permanent deacons that they were being consecrated particularly to the work of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
“The ordinary minister of the Gospel (at Mass) is the deacon,” the archbishop said in his homily at the Oct. 6 ordination.
And he bade the nine men being ordained to remember, “It’s not your word, it’s not the bishop’s word, it’s not the pope’s word — it is the Word of Christ.”
And referring to the deacon’s ministry of the chalice at Mass, the archbishop said that, “as we receive the Most Precious Blood, we understand how profoundly Jesus loves us.”
But also, outside of Mass, he said it is the role of the deacon — through works of charity and works of communion — to “make present the living Word of Jesus Christ.”
Before a capacity congregation of family members, friends and well-wishers in the cathedral, with a large contingent of the diaconate of the Archdiocese of Detroit also present, Archbishop Vigneron ordained:
Deacon David A. Carignan, 54, a retired firefighter from Livonia and member of St. Genevieve-St. Maurice Parish. Married, he and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children and four grandchildren.
Deacon Carignan, who will serve at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn, said he began his formation process embracing the message of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” (“God is Love”), and the examples of St. Stephen, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Lawrence.
Deacon Dennis M. Crimmins, 62, a retired Social Security Administration district manager from Lexington and a member of Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron, where he will serve. He and his wife, Jolanta, have two children and four grandchildren.
Deacon Crimmins said his summer ministries in Port Huron-area hospice, criminal justice, hospital and substance abuse rehabilitations “had served to confirm my calling to serve all people in need.”
Deacon Michael G. Houghton, 49, an engineering manager for General Motors who lives in Rochester Hills and is a member of St. Anastasia Parish, Troy. He and his wife, Anita, have three children.
Deacon Houghton said he had intended to wait until retirement to pursue ordination, but “over the past several years the call to the diaconate became too strong for me to wait any longer.” He will serve at St. John Vianney Parish, Shelby Township.
Deacon Francis G. King, 62, a retired manager for Ford Motor Co. who lives in Bloomfield Hills and is a member of St. Regis Parish, Bloomfield Hills. He and his wife, Lucy, have two children.
Deacon King, who will serve at St. Regis Parish, said he intends to “serve the people of God with humility and love.”
Deacon John A. Manera, 55, a field chief technology officer in the auto industry who lives in Waterford and is a member of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish. He and his wife, Laura, have two children.
Deacon Manera said the diaconate program had “formed me in ways that I could not even begin to imagine four years ago.” He will serve at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Lake Orion.
Deacon Timothy J. Maxwell, 50, a special education teacher in the East China Public Schools who lives in Fort Gratiot and is a member of St. Mary Parish, Port Huron, where he will serve. He and his wife, Martha, have four children.
“I have always felt the call to be of service to others, but did not always recognize or admit that it was a ‘call’ to ministry,” he said.
Deacon Thomas J. Mohan, 52, an estate and business planning attorney who lives in Beverly Hills and is a member of St. Regis Parish, Bloomfield Hills. He and his wife, Julie, have three children.
Deacon Mohan, who will serve at the Church of the Transfiguration Parish, Southfield, said his diaconal studies had led both him and his wife “to the discipline of seeking and discerning God’s will that has become a very natural part of the fabric of our everyday lives.”
Deacon Dominick Pastore, 55, an electrical engineer who lives in St. Clair Shores and is a member of St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores. He is married to Teresa.
“Whether the need is physical, spiritual and/or emotional, I pray my ministry will be one marked with a Eucharistic Presence in a real and purposeful way,” he said. Deacon Pastore will serve at St. Angela Parish, Roseville.
Deacon Martin Selmek, 56, a software and electrical engineer who lives in Temperance and is a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish there, where he will also serve his first diaconal assignment. He is unmarried.
“There is so much misunderstanding in the world today as to what it really means to be Catholic,” Deacon Selmek said. “My mission will be to help Catholics and non-Catholics alike understand the truth given us by Christ and then handed down to us by the apostles.”