Meet Our Newest Deacons

Archbishop Paul Coakley ordained 12 men to the permanent diaconate this month. Learn more about our newest deacons here.

Name: Charles Romero
Date of Birth: 10-15-1963

 

What is your home parish? St. Peter’s

Who will vest you at your ordination? Father Mike Wheelahan and Deacon Simon Guerra

What first led you to consider the diaconate? When the idea was first presented to me, I took it lightly, but a seed was planted and I just had a sense of being called to serve.

Who is your favorite saint? St. Michael the Archangel

Tell us about your family.

How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon? I had the love, help and dedication of my wife Renee and support from my daughter Desiree, as well as my mother and sister and countless aunts and uncles who helped support me in discernment as well as participating in the program. Sometimes family is the worst critic.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon? Mainly high school education with over 25 years in the managerial field, in
which I developed communication skills and interactions with everyday people from all walks of life.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Working with the laity of the church, being part of the permanent diaconate family, and bringing the gifts I was blessed with to share what has been taught in the course and apply those skills to the situations of daily life.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far?
That there is support out there for questions and answers that may come our way, to only state
facts and promote proper image, not to scandalize the church, town or community in any way.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

It gives me a sense of following Jesus, spreading the word and Gospel of Christ. Living for Christ as Christ lived for us, becoming one with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

What do you like to do with your free time? I enjoy spending time with my family, wife and kids, and a
round of golf as a stress reliever.

 

Name: Robert L. Quinnett, Jr.
Date of Birth: February 17,1954

What is your home parish? My home parish is Blessed Sacrament, Lawton, with pastor's
approval to serve the Fort Sill Military Catholic Community.

Who will vest you at your ordination? Deacon Dennis R. Frazier and Father Joseph F. Hannon,
S.D.B. will vest me at ordination.

What first led you to consider the diaconate? As I neared retirement from the Army, the Fort
Sill Post Chaplain, (Colonel) Rick Rogers (Episcopalian) repeatedly asked me over
several months, "So Bob, when you retire, are you going to be a deacon?" I never thought
about it before he asked me and he just kept asking.

Who is your favorite saint? My favorite saint is Saint Paul.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
The decision to become a deacon is not mine; I've merely been open to
serving in that capacity. When I first mentioned it to my wife, she spontaneously said, "l love
it!" She and my children have been remarkably supportive, continuously affirm my service to
God's people and wholeheartedly support my pending ordination. I couldn't have a better team
of support and prayer!

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I had several different majors in college and finally finished with a
Bachelor in Business Administration from OU in Norman. I served around the world in the Army
as a junior enlisted soldier, a noncommissioned officer, and officer, retiring as a Field Artillery
lieutenant colonel after 26 years of service. I held a variety of positions in the military. While in
the Army I continued my education toward a Master of Science in Business, but no degree.

After retirement I began ministering to soldiers and the Fort Sill Military Catholic Community in
various ministries under a contract for pastoral support. I took on a couple of short-term jobs as
a military contractor when asked to help on specific projects. During my deacon formation I
finished a degree in Pastoral Ministry and started a Masters in Theology. Three years ago I was
hired by a local Catholic school to teach Religion part time for grades 1 through 5. For the past
two years I've worked full time as the school Campus Minister and High School Learning Manager while continuing pastoral support to the Fort Sill Military Catholic Community. My educational and professional backgrounds have made continuing education and dedicated service to others a way of life and, as such, will shape my approach to diaconal ministry.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Joyfully serving God's people
wherever and however the Holy Spirit calls me. Although I desire to continue serving basic
trainees at Fort Sill and the Fort Sill Military Catholic Community, my assignment as a deacon
may be elsewhere. My rightful parish, Blessed Sacrament, has many needs as well.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far?

Humility, but learning isn't finished.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? To be a disciple of Jesus Christ means
to follow with Jesus along His road.

What do you like to do with your free time? The free time I have I like to spend with my family.

 

Name: John J. Page
Date of Birth: November 25, 1957

What is your home parish? My home parish is Immaculate Conception Church, Oklahoma City

Who will vest you at your ordination? Reverend George Pupius and Deacon James L. Keene

What first led you to consider the diaconate? In 1989, my Pastor suggested I pray about the
diaconate. Since then, through prayer and discernment, I found within my heart a deep desire to
serve Christ and His Church.

Who is your favorite saint? St. Joseph

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
Sera, my wife, and I met in South Korea. We have been married for 35 years.
Our son Jimmy lives in Washington D.C., and our daughter Sandra, resides in South Carolina.
Sandra is married to Colt Schiefelbein, and they have two children, Evan and Dylan. Sera was key in the decision to become a deacon. Sera encouraged and prayed with and for me throughout the years of discernment and formation. I am grateful for her love and support throughout the journey. Our children also supported the decision though their continual prayers.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years. My career field was
aviation maintenance. I was a sergeant (derived from Latin “to serve”). I was taught that
sergeants are called to selfless service and to care for the people so the mission can be done. I
learned from the example of many sergeants who followed their call. Deacons are called to the
service of Christ and the people of God. My desired approach to ministry as a deacon is to
follow Christ the Servant's example of self-giving love and self-emptying service.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? I look forward to the opportunity
to help someone in my ministry as a deacon.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far?

In formation, I learned the importance of nourishing one’s faith and relationship with Christ
through prayer and reading Holy Scripture.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? To be united with Christ: To stay close
to Him through a life of prayer, the Sacraments and service, especially to the poor.

What do you like to do with your free time? I like to spend time with my family, fish, and read. I
also enjoy watching football and professional baseball.

 

Name: Cliff Fitzmorris
Date of Birth: July 16, 1965

What is your home parish? Saint John Nepomuk in Yukon

Who will vest you at your ordination? Father William Novak and Deacon John Teague

What first led you to consider the diaconate? The deacons in my parish who were a good model of service.

Who is your favorite saint? Not a saint yet, but Blessed Mother Teresa.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
My wife, Mariavis, is the Director of Religious Education at our parish. My
daughter, Lucy, is 20 and a junior at OU. My son Jack is 16 and a junior at Mount St. Mary.
They've all been supportive and Mariavis has really been with me though the formation. I have a
large extended family and that helps too. I have to give special thanks to my aunt, Nancy Housh,
who always has an encouraging word when I need one.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I teach electrical engineering at OU. My teaching experience will help in
catechesis. Probably the best thing teaching has taught me is that when I teach a class of fifty
students, it's not one class, it's reaching each of those fifty people. Service can be like that, it's
not the numbers, it's paying attention to each person I serve. I will also finish my Pastoral
Ministry degree this semester, and it would take way too much space to list the ways that will
be helpful in my ministry.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Serving the people of my parish and the diocese.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? I
was happy to learn how many people there are throughout the diocese working in prison ministry, at food pantries, in the hospitals, serving the people. I learned that there is so much good work out there to be done. Also, I learned how to chant. I learned that my voice is not good, but it's good enough.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? We are called to love and serve our
neighbors, especially those who aren't feeling particularly loved or who are especially vulnerable.

What do you like to do with your free time? I play online computer games with my cousins. It
keeps me humble because they're younger and faster.

Name: D.W. Hearn
Date of Birth: 8-13-1945

What is your home parish? Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City.

Who will vest you at your ordination? Fr. Philip Creider and Deacon Paul Lewis.

What first led you to consider the diaconate? I began to think about the diaconate after
discussions with then Monsignor Weisenburger, Deacon Paul Lewis and friend Gayle Ferguson.

Who is your favorite saint? St. Joseph

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
Paula, my wife of 46 years, has been supportive, patient and understanding
about the decision to become a deacon. We have two adult children who have also supported
this decision.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I am a licensed mechanical engineer with a graduate degree in business. I
have worked in manufacturing industries throughout my career and have worked with a wide
variety of people. I hope these experiences will help me to respect the dignity of each person to
whom I minister.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Continued service to the Church and to my Parish.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? I
must work daily to discern what the will of God is for me through prayer and participation in the
sacraments.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? As a disciple of Jesus Christ in my
ministries I am compelled to always strive to develop my capacity to love as Jesus loved.

What do you like to do with your free time? In free time I enjoy exercise, ballroom dancing and
reading historical fiction.

 

Name: Clyde Grover
Date of Birth: May 31, 1958

What is your home parish? St. Andrew the Apostle (Moore, OK)

Who will vest you at your ordination? Deacon Angus Watford, Father Jack Feehily

What first led you to consider the diaconate? Suggestions by friends and family.

Who is your favorite saint? St. Benedict, his spirituality was one of balance in all things.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
I have been married to my wife, Ann, for 32 years. We have 5 children,
Chris, Danny, Jennifer, MaryAnn, and Matthew. My family has been very supportive from the
beginning of my discernment of the Diaconate.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I spent 20 years in the Air Force before retiring in 1997. Since then I have
been at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, as a teacher, counselor, and Campus Minister.
I have Bachelor degrees in Business and Pastoral Ministry, as well as a Master's degree in
Counseling. I believe my variety of educational and professional experiences will help me to
relate to and understand the varied backgrounds and struggles of people and will enhance my
ability to approach them where they are in sharing God's love and care for them.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Being a more visible sign and
witness of Christ the Servant in the duties I am assigned.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far?

That it is not about what we do as Deacons, but how we are conformed to Christ the Servant
and how we witness to that in the world.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? To do my best to live daily in relationship with Christ and to share his love and message of salvation with others.

What do you like to do with your free time? Spend time with my family, especially while enjoying nature.

Name: Manuel Garcia
Date of Birth:03/03/53

What is your home parish? Assumption Catholic Church in Duncan, OK

Who will vest you at your ordination? Father Peter Jandaczek and Deacon James M. Conway

What first led you to consider the diaconate? I feel this inner peace inside me that motivates me
to want to share it with others and I want to serve the Lord by proclaiming the Gospel to others.
I also feel the need to help my community.

Who is your favorite saint? Saint Anthony of Padua

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
Love for them has played an important role in my decision because I have
always tried to be a good husband and father, morally and spiritually, and I want them to love
and respect God and all humanity because we are all God's children and brothers in Christ.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
My education is very poor, I was only able to attend school to sixth grade
because where I was born there was only schooling available up to sixth grade. After sixth grade
kids had to work. I am a welder, which is something I have learned with time. I was unfortunate to not have had a good education, much less to have professional work, however God has given me many opportunities to learn. I have participated in Cursillos for many years and obtained a spiritual education of my religion and faith and therefore this will help me serve my community with love, humility and compassion.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? To love God with all my strength and serve him with all my heart. To love and respect others and serve them in all I possibly can.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? How to spiritually be a better Christian. To do everything from within my heart. I have learned
many ways of better serving my parish and helping my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have learned
the history of my church and a lot more. More importantly it has formed a great amazing peace
within me. I give thanks to God for our formation instructors, Max, Norm, Danny, Paul
and all who taught us during these four years. May God bless them and give them strength to
continue working and sharing this beautiful gift that God has given them and for us to continue
understanding God's Kingdom here on Earth.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? It is an honor for me to be able to serve him in his house. It is a big responsibility to all the community, but overall it is a great honor to me that He allows me to serve at the altar where He is present in the Eucharist that is given to each and every one of us because of the love He has for us.

What do you like to do with your free time? I like to meditate, study, spend time with my family,
and I like watching sports on TV.

 

Name: Jim Fourcade
Date of Birth: September 13, 1954

What is your home parish? Christ the King

Who will vest you at your ordination? Father Rick Stansberry and Deacon Rick Boothe

What first led you to consider the diaconate? My discussions with my brother-in-law who is also a deacon. He and I would spend a lot of time discussing religion, our faith, the church, ministry with each other on various family trips. That led me to further study and discernment. The final step to apply for the diaconate program came after prayer asking God to give me a sign. That sign came that weekend when three separate people at our parish asked if I was a deacon or have I ever thought about being a deacon.

Who is your favorite saint? Saint Damien of Molokai—he gave himself to the ministry of those left behind due to leprosy on the island of Molokai. He literally lived with the community and later caught the disease and died.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
My wife, son and I have always tried to be supportive of each other in whatever we decided to do in our lives. These days trying to find balance between church, work, family and all the other activities is a challenge for any family and it is not any different for our family. After discussing with my wife, Maggie and my son Chris that I was considering the calling as a permanent deacon, they were not surprised and have always been supportive and encouraging.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I have a degree in Zoology and Accounting. Earned my CPA. My background has been primarily in healthcare. Having the background in healthcare and my wife has always worked in healthcare; our ministry will be directed toward the elderly whether in their home, nursing home, assisted living or independent living.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? The ability to share the gospel, the Body of Christ, the Eucharist with our Catholic family who are unable to attend Mass. I plan on a ministry that spreads the word of God, and serves the pastoral needs of our Catholic family.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? No one knows it all and that is okay. It is exactly what Mother Teresa said, “God does not choose the qualified; he qualifies the chosen.” The other point that I came away with is through prayer and love of our neighbor, we are walking with Christ, but more importantly that He calls us to use our gifts for the betterment of our neighbor.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Humbling; meaning after four years of formation, I will actually be using what I learned for those that I minister to.

What do you like to do with your free time? Spending time with my family, playing golf or hanging out with my son, spending time with my wife, working in my yard enjoying the outdoors or volunteering.

Name: Thomas R. Carter
Date of Birth: July 12, 1954

 
What is your home parish? Christ the King, OKC

Who will vest you at your ordination? Father Richard Colbert CPPS, and Deacon Jim Smith  

What first led you to consider the diaconate? A call from the Holy Spirit  

Who is your favorite saint? St. Thomas a Kempis who wrote a favorite book, The Imitation of Christ.  

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
My children are grown and on their own. But my wife Karen always wanted me to consider being a deacon and has supported me during the whole process.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I am a high school religion teacher who has been in ministry over half of my life. Being a deacon will increase my possibilities and my responsibilities.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? I will be able to share my time and talents with even more people.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? To be open to people. Every person has a story; listen to it.  

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? This is now my life's work: To live as a witness in truth and holiness.

What do you like to do with your free time? I like to read magazines, newspapers, periodicals. When the time is really free, I like to travel.

 

Name: Charles Lee Allen
Date of Birth: 11/22/1955

 

What is your home parish? St. James the Greater Parish in south Oklahoma City  

Who will vest you at your ordination? Reverend Bill Pruett and Deacon Marti Gulikers

What first led you to consider the diaconate? From the beginning of my Catholic journey (I was Protestant until the age of forty), I was drawn to the role of the Deacon, both in the Liturgy and in the rich history of their service to the Christian community. The more I learned about my faith, the more I wanted to share it with others, and felt that the Permanent Diaconate, who are both Church and Community,
would be an excellent way to serve.

Who is your favorite saint? St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of police officers. As a Protestant police officer, I wore a St. Michael's medal for twenty years before I became Catholic, and took his name as mine at Confirmation.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
My family has been very supportive of this journey, especially my wife Debbie, who has literally been by my side throughout the formation process (wives attend the formation
classes with their husbands). We have two adult children, Daniel and Shauna, and they each
have two children. Their willingness to share the sacrifices required for the Formation
process has made the journey easier.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I am retired from a 35 year career in municipal law enforcement, starting as a uniformed officer in a scout car and progressing through the ranks to finish my career as a division
commander. Through those years I saw the worst of humanity, and I saw the very best of humanity. I choose to believe in the best that man can be, and I truly believe the light of Christ will overpower any darkness that Satan or man can create. The further we carry that light into the world, the better a place it will be. I hold a B.S. degree from Southern Nazarene University, and will graduate in the spring with a
B.A. in Pastoral Ministries.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? Baptizing babies! Permanent Deacons serve in many roles, and the most important is to carry the Gospel of Christ into the community, to which, through their professional and family lives, they remain strongly connected. But, can there be anything better than bringing little ones into the family of God through the Sacrament of Baptism?

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? That no one makes it on their own. Faith in God and belief in the teachings of the Church are absolutely necessary, but perhaps as important is a wife who will be your strongest supporter and sharpest critic, the support from the men who begin formation with you as strangers and finish with you as cherished brothers in Christ, and the people of your parish, who rally behind you with words of encouragement and prayers during the long journey to ordination.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? To live as Jesus said we must: to follow Him even if it means forsaking everyone and everything else, to be willing to take up our cross for Him, and to care for those the world ignores. Deacons are servants, as defined in their original calling by the Apostles, but it was not by chance that the first martyr for the faith was the deacon Stephen. A Deacon is called to
be 'hands on' in caring for and ministering to the Christian Community, and sometimes that means rolling up your sleeves and following Christ into the crowd.

What do you like to do with your free time? As a family, we enjoy taking the grandkids boating and taking motorcycle vacations with friends. We're looking forward to our second trip to Rome next spring with some of the deacons from our class. I'm an amateur but serious cyclist and age-grouper triathlete, and spend some of my free time training for the next long-course triathlon.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? It will be my privilege to walk with our lord Jesus as I humbly serve the people of God and deepen the faith that I have been given through the Grace of God.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? The love of the Heavenly Father that resides in our hearts must be unleashed into the world.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? A disciple of Jesus Christ serves others with great love and compassion regardless of their origin. He/she will be called to preach the Gospel by living it on a daily basis.

What do you like to do with your free time? I love science and the Church. Therefore, I am an avid reader of scientific and Church literature. Also, I love studying cultures and new languages.

 

Name: Angelo Adolfo Lombardo
Date of Birth: April 7, 1962

What is your home parish? Saint Joseph in Norman

To what parish will you be assigned as a deacon? Saint Joseph in Norman or wherever Archbishop Coakley wishes

Who will vest you at your ordination? I asked Father Alphonse Gollapalli, a Priest from India who served the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as Associate Pastor at Saint Joseph's in Norman and who is currently serving as Pastor of Our Lady of Good Hope Parish in Hope, Arkansas (in the Diocese of Little Rock). I
also asked Deacon Larry Sousa, one of the Permanent Deacons in my home parish, who has
encouraged me on this journey through his example and friendship.

What first led you to consider the diaconate? I had the great blessing of living a Cursillo in Christianity during Labor Day weekend in 1991. The experience motivated me to get involved in the life of my parish. I began offering my musical talent during the Mass and eventually found myself deeply involved in the parish's effort to begin ministering to the Hispanic people of Norman. While offering my time in service to this community, I began to ponder the call to ordained ministry. At first I kept it in my heart and eventually shared it with my wife. She encouraged me then to wait because we had at the time four small children. A few years later, without sharing how I was feeling, my Pastor at the time (Father Ernest Flusche - may he rest in peace) bluntly asked one day after Mass if I had ever considered the Diaconate and that he thought I would make a great Deacon. Years later two other Priests asked me the same question (Father Alphonse, who will be vesting me, and Father Ed Menasco). I really felt like God was working through these holy people to keep the flame of the call burning in my heart. It was during Father Flusche' s Funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our lady of Perpetual Help that I finally got the courage to
formally inquire about the program and eventually go through the application process.

Who is your favorite saint? This is a tough question to answer because I have so many. Let me just say this: I requested that two Saints be invoked during the Litany of Supplication at the Ordination Mass - Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?
There are three women in my life that have encouraged me through their prayers and
example of Christian Charity. The first one is Mary, the Mother of God. She has been my companion in my faith journey since I was six years old. The second woman is my mother Sonia, whose life of holiness, prayer and sacrifice made the Christian call real to me. The third woman is my wife Annie, the love of my life. I honestly have not met a nicer person. She is the ultimate disciple of Christ. Her faith, concern for others, love and desire to serve everyone she encounters along the way have and continue to change me. Our marriage has in many ways prepared me to answer the call to diaconal ministry in the Church. She may not be ordained on October 18, 2013, but she is the person that God used to inspire me to take this important step. I also have four wonderful children who have fully embraced their Catholic faith as adults.
Their concern for others and willingness to serve the less fortunate are inspirational to me.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?
I came to Oklahoma in 1979 in pursuit of a degree in Engineering and completed my bachelor’s and master’s of Science degrees in Civil Engineering in 1983 and 1984 respectively. I have
spent my career working in the public sector (first with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and now with the City of Norman). My profession has offered me the opportunity to be of service to the public, something that I believe will be especially helpful in my ministry as a deacon. I plan to do this a few more years and hope that the experience continues to underline the servant attitude I am called to live as a deacon.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon? I look forward to the opportunity of enriching the liturgy during the weekend Masses. Although my parish is blessed with many vocations (we have a Pastor, Associate Pastor and five Permanent Deacons - not counting me), I will be the only one whose first language is Spanish. I hope to be able to work as a bridge between the English and Spanish speaking people of my parish and the archdiocese. I am also interested in helping my Pastor establish small faith communities among the Spanish speaking members of the parish.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far? Father Stephen Bird said it during one of the formation weekends that focused on the Ministry of the deacon. He reminded us that the ministry of the deacon must always be hospitable and reverent. I also learned that without a rich life of prayer the ministry of a deacon can simply become work. So, if anyone finds me doing things irreverently, or not welcoming people, or not praying enough, please report me to Deacon Max Schwarz for appropriate action and reorientation.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? To be Christ for others. There is a song that sums it up for me. The name of the song is Saint Theresa's Prayer by John Michael Talbot. These are the words to the song:

Christ has no body now but yours
no hands, no feet on earth but yours

Yours are the eyes through which He looks
with compassion on this world

yours are the feet with which He walks to do good
Yours are the hands,

with which He blesses all the world

Yours are the hands,
yours are the feet
yours are the eyes
You are His body

Christ has no body now but yours
no hands, no feet on earth but yours

Yours are the eyes through which He looks
with compassion on this world

Christ has no body now on earth but yours

What do you like to do with your free time? Free time is not something I have had a lot of during the last four years of formation. But when I do, I like to spend time with my family. Doing so often involves travel because I have family in Venezuela, Panama, Italy, Puerto Rico, Florida, Alabama, California, Wisconsin and Texas. I do like to travel, especially to places that have religious significance. I also love to play the guitar. I am a trained classical guitarist and have been playing since I
was in fourth grade - 41 years! l am particularly drawn to the compositions of Antonio Lauro,
a classical guitarist from my home country of Venezuela. I have not yet met a classical
guitarist who does not have two or three of his pieces in the repertoire.

 

Name: Armando L. Cruz-Rodz, Ph.D.
Date of Birth: April 14, 1962

What is your home parish?

Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church

Who will vest you at your ordination?

Fr. Stephen Bird and Deacon Richard Fahy

What first led you to consider the diaconate?

A call for service and the wonderful example presented by the deacons in my parish led me to
explore the diaconate on a deeper level.

Who is your favorite saint?

Saint Paul and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Tell us about your family. How have your family members played a role in your decision to
become a deacon?

My parents grew up in the country side of Puerto Rico. My father was a salesman and my
mother a Chemistry professor. I am the oldest son of two siblings. I am fortunate to have a 28
year old son who is the apple of my eye. My paternal grandmother, Mama Celia, placed a
spark of faith in my heart as she taught me to pray to the Lord and preached the Gospel to me
by her daily living. That spark has grown into a roaring fire of faith through the daily
ministering of my wonderful family.

What is your educational and professional background? How will it shape your approach to your
ministry as a deacon?

I have been a scientist most of my adult life. I have earned a doctoral degree in genetic
engineering and clinical microbiology from the University of Oklahoma - Health Science Center.
Through my science background, I have truly witnessed the greatness of God. Science has
cemented, rather than weakened, my faith in the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus. I hope to
portray the same message to all I touch.

What do you look forward to most about becoming a deacon?

It will be my privilege to walk with our lord Jesus as I humbly serve the people of God and
deepen the faith that I have been given through the Grace of God.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your formation for the diaconate so far?

The love of the Heavenly Father that resides in our hearts must be unleashed into the world.

What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

A disciple of Jesus Christ serves others with great love and compassion regardless of their origin.

He/she will be called to preach the Gospel by living it on a daily basis.

What do you like to do with your free time?

I love science and the Church. Therefore, I am an avid reader of scientific and Church literature.
Also, I love studying cultures and new languages.