August 23 – Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today we offer congratulations to parishioner Tony Leazzo who was one of 17 men from our Diocese ordained a Permanent Deacon yesterday by Bishop Richard Pates at the Cathedral in Joliet. Congratulations as well to Tony’s wife Jennifer and sons Tony and Michael. The years of study and formation for the permanent diaconate requires much support from spouses and family. Now if I can just get sons Tony, Jr. or Michael to become a priest, just think – their dad could deacon their first Mass!
It is important to remember that Permanent Deacons receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and ARE Ordained ministers of the Church. With Deacon Tony, we now have six permanent deacons serving Our Lady of Mercy parish. Deacons Tim Kueper, Tony Martini, Mike Plese, Phil Rehmer and Art Tiongson. What do permanent deacons do? First, they are proclaimers of the Word and Service. By proclaiming the Gospel at Mass and occasionally preaching, they evangelize. By being of service to the parish and community, they serve the needs of others. In addition to certain liturgical roles at Mass, they may baptize, witness marriages, conduct funeral rites, lead prayer services and conduct exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Each deacon has also taken on other specific ministries in the parish in addition to the roles mentioned above. Deacon Tim is somewhat retired, but still continues the roles mentioned above. Deacon Tony Martini is involved in baptism preparation ministry. Deacon Mike is involved with EDGE and LIGHT. Deacon Phil is involved with Hesed House. Deacon Art is involved with the Charismatic prayer ministry and home blessings. Deacon Tony Leazzo will be involved with the St. Peregrine prayer ministry and since he is a doctor, I’ve asked him to begin a support group for parishioners who work professionally in the medical fields.
Our permanent deacons are a blessing to all of us. I thank them for their ministry and their wives and families for sharing their husbands and fathers with us!
I want to thank everyone for your patience and understanding as we have revised our Mass and confession schedule several times since the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to inform you of one more change affecting the weekday Mass schedule. Beginning this September, Mass on Wednesdays will be celebrated at 12:00 Noon, not at 8:00AM. I am the only priest at OLM on Wednesdays. This change in our Wednesday Mass time enables me to celebrate the 8:15AM Mass at All Saints Catholic Academy on a regular basis. We have several families with children at ASCA. In addition, OLM has a new relationship with ASCA that I will explain in my article next week.
Have a blessed week!