Deacon jubilarians relish call to preach, serve God’s people

Detroit — Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron stressed the vital roles deacons play in proclaiming the words of Jesus Christ, and in turn, showing the power of Jesus’ love by living out his commandments.

“We are here to praise God for the community of deacons,” Archbishop Vigneron said during his homily for the jubilee Mass for permanent deacons Oct. 11 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. “In the Gospel today, we see Jesus tell us what we need to hear in order to reach the Kingdom of God. He says, ‘If you want to reach heaven, you must put me before everything.’ That’s what being a deacon is all about, being a herald of the power of Jesus, and putting his will before yours.”

Thirty-one deacons celebrated jubilee anniversaries, using the time to reflect on why they became deacons, and what they enjoy about their ministries.

“The jubilee is an opportunity to recall all the blessings in the ministry,” said Deacon Michael McKale of Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary. “A lot of the times, you don’t have the opportunity to stop and think about all we’ve done. I have two missions, a Bible study and a men’s apostolate group. I love seeing people grow spiritually over time.”

Many deacons felt they were called to serve God’s people, even when the calling comes later in life, or through tragedy.

“I really enjoy working with people and baptizing babies — seeing young families start,” said Deacon George Posavetz of St. Mark Parish in Warren, celebrating 25 years. “My son was 17 years old when he was killed, so I prayed to God about what I could do for others. Since I became a deacon, my faith has grown tremendously, and I really enjoy what I do.”

Harkening back to the archbishop’s homily, deacons celebrating milestones say they enjoy showing their congregations a living testament to the Word of God.

“I enjoy doing God’s work, I enjoy preaching the living word of the living Christ,” said Deacon Michael Somervell of Holy Spirit Parish in Highland Township, celebrating 10 years. “Jesus’ words are equal to Jesus, they are the same. That’s the general attitude to preaching I take. From my time as a deacon and sharing the word of the living God, I have learned I can improve on my faults and surrender myself to the Word of God.”

Deacon jubilarians 2015
40 years
Deacon John Barbera
Deacon Joseph Daratony
35 years
Deacon Donald Junak
Deacon Raymond Kunik
Deacon Edward Meyer
Deacon Norbert Motowski
Deacon Robert Rowland
Deacon Peter Schlesser
Deacon Mark Springer
Deacon Robert Tremmel
30 years
Deacon Lawrence Healy
Deacon Michael McKale
Deacon Thomas Murphy
Deacon Bob Ovies
25 years
Deacon Richard Hulan
Deacon Richard Misiak
Deacon Joseph Nelson
Deacon Timothy Pilan
Deacon George Posavetz
15 years
Deacon James Berch
Deacon Richard Bloomfield
Deacon Robert Bovitz
Deacon Stephen Marks
Deacon Hubert Sanders
Deacon Gerald Smigell
10 years
Deacon Michael Somervell
Deacon Alex Jones Jr.
Deacon Michael Chesley
Deacon Jene Baughman
5 years
Deacon Kenneth Bark
Deacon Lenard Butler