Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Bishop Cupich to ordain 18 deacons Aug. 10 at McCarthey Center
by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the July 19, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)
to the ordination of 18 men to the diaconate
Eighteen men have completed the Spokane Diocese’s four-year course of deacon formation. On Friday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m., Bishop Blase Cupich will ordain them to the diaconate at McCarthey Center on the Gonzaga University campus in Spokane.
The future deacons:
José Aparicio, 58, will minister at Sacred Heart Parish, Brewster.
He and his wife, Graciela, have four children. He has worked for several farming operations in Brewster, and has served his parish as a choir member, coordinating sacramental preparation programs, a member of Cursillo, lector, maintenance, and a member of the Finance Council.
“I can see a lot of needs in this community,” he said, “especially among Hispanics. The priest needs lots of help to deal with it.” He also hopes to “grow spiritually with my community.”
Bonifacio Arebalo, 44, also will minister at Sacred Heart Parish in Brewster.
He is married to Maribel; they have two children, and he has worked at Gebbers Farms in Brewster for several years.
He has been serving the parish as a sacristan, lector, Eucharistic minister, in Cursillo, and in maintenance of the church building.
“I want to learn to serve my God and my community 100 percent,” he said, “to serve and represent him, the Almighty Savior, through my daily life and my actions and prayer.”
Craig Blomgren, 57, and his wife, Cindy, have two children.
He is retired from a career as an electrician. He will be serving at Assumption Parish in Spokane.
Blomgren became a Catholic 11 years ago. Before that he served as a deacon for a Protestant church.
At Assumption, he has been a Eucharistic Minister to the homebound and served as a minister of the altar, lector, and acolyte. Blomgren has also conducted sacramental preparation, youth ministry, and the St. Joseph Guild.
“The need is great,” he said. “I enjoy doing it.
“I truly do feel called by God to do what I can for others,” he said. “I have been very blessed in my life and I feel it would be selfish of me not to offer myself to God and his people.”
H. Roy Buck, 65, is married to Margaret (Marge). They have two children.
Buck has been working as an accountant for URM stores for nearly 30 years.
After ordination he will minister at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Spokane, where he has been involved as a sacristan, lector, Eucharistic Minister, in RCIA classes, and on the parish’s Finance Council.
“I have lived a life of service through youth sports, Scouting, Meals-on-Wheels, and various other Church and charitable activities,” said Buck. “I have a deep desire within me, with the support of my wife, to offer myself completely through the grace given to me through the Sacrament of Holy Orders to be a witness of Christ’s presence of service.”
Brian Ernst, 54, is married to Julie. They have five children.
Ernst, an attorney, will be a deacon for Sacred Heart Parish in Spokane.
He has been involved in church as a lector, cantor, altar server, and Eucharistic minister, as well as marriage preparation, as well as helping with the annual food drive and Tree of Sharing projects.
Asked about diaconal service, he said “service” was most appealing – “sharing the blessings of God with neighbor.”
James Evermann, 67, will minister as a deacon at Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman.
He and his wife, Maureen, have four children. He is a professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, Pullman.
He has been involved with ministry through Hospice, as a hospital chaplain, and a Eucharistic Minister to the homebound.
“I was profoundly influenced by our parish priests, who not only served as spiritual advisors, but participated in our day-to-day family life,” said Evermann. “They were there during our joyous moments and our struggles. They taught me the meaning of serving and listening.
“I was gifted with many mentors, and I wish to serve Christ and to witness Christ in others. No better way to see Christ in others than to serve them to the best of my ability.”
Dan Glatt, 47, and his wife, Debby, have three children.
He has been working as a pastoral minister – especially in youth ministry – at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, where he will continue to minister after ordination.
He has also been actively involved with the Boy Scouts troop at St. John Vianney Parish in Spokane Valley.
He sees service as “the key to our calling” as deacons. “The prayers and encouragement from a variety of people who have told me they see the qualities of a deacon in me” leads him to hope that he “can serve … to the fullest of my gifts and talents, with God’s help. I have served the Church for the past 26 years and look forward to opportunities” of service in the future.
Thomas Heavey, 53, is married to Mary Colleen. They have three children and are members of St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane, where he will exercise his diaconal ministry.
Heavey is a computer programmer/manager for Avista Utilities.
He has been involved in RCIA and liturgy at St. Thomas More, and has worked with Catholic Charities at the House of Charity as well.
“I love sharing my faith and building community through service to the people of God,” Heavey said. “God has blessed me with continuing and growing opportunities to work in the parish and community – teaching, sharing prayer, and work for the Body of Christ…. I pray that God will continue to bless me with growth in faith, service, understanding, and humility to live out his call.”
James Kestell, 56, is a member of St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, where he will be assigned as a deacon upon ordination.
He and his wife, Kathleen, have two children.
He works for the City of Spokane Water Department, and serves his parish as a Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Social Concerns Ministry.
“God’s idea of good stewardship is not about maintaining the status quo, but about producing more,” he said. “I read in Mag-nificat (magazine) that ‘we are constantly being filled with gifts in order to give them away.’ I hope that by giving my gifts away the Holy Spirit will produce an abundant harvest for the Kingdom, good fruit for the Heavenly Banquet.”
Victor Lopez, 57, is married to Evangeline. They have one child.
He is retired from a career in banking customer service. His home parish is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, where he has been involved with parish breakfasts and as an altar server, but he will minister as a deacon at St. Anne Parish, Medical Lake.
“I know that at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: ‘Come, follow me!’ … It took so many years before I accepted his invitation. Christ was calling me to serve him as a deacon. And through the diaconate, I will be able to concretely respond to God, who has first loved me.”
Perry Pearman, 59, and his wife, Sheila, are members of St. Mary’s Presentation Parish in Deer Park, where he will minister as a deacon.
They have one child.
He works as a senior project engineer for Ponderay Newsprint Company.
Pearman has been involved at both St. Mary and at St. Jude Parish, Usk, as a lector and Eucharistic Minister.
“At a certain point in my life,” he said, “and through growth in prayer, I experienced a tremendous feeling of gratitude to our creator. How do you thank the one who created you into existence? The only appropriate way is to give yourself back to him, tell him you love him often, be open to what he is asking of you, and finally to say ‘yes’ when he calls.”
Allen Peterson, 66, is the owner of Swede’s Fly Shop, a retail fly fishing store in Spokane.
He and his wife, Linda, are members of St. Anthony Parish in Spokane.
After ordination, however, he will minister at St. Charles Parish.
He has ministered as a lector, in altar service, as a Knight of Columbus, a Eucharistic Minister, and in RCIA work, as well as prison ministry at Airway Heights.
“I find joy and completeness in ministry work, and also an awareness of a loving God changing my life the more I care and respond to the needs of others,” Peterson said.
Maclobio Robles, 39, is married to Maria. They have two children.
Robles and his family are members of St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, where he will minister as a deacon after ordination.
He is the owner of Mac’s Landscaping in Walla Walla.
Robles has been involved in the Cursillo movement, in sacramental preparation, as a Eucharistic Minister, and a member of the Parish Pastoral Council.
“I want to fulfill God’s will and serve,” said Robles – to serve “as a bridge and comfort for those who need it most.”
Nick Senger, 47, is a teacher as well as the technology coordinator and vice principal of All Saints School in Spokane.
He and his wife, Brenda, have four children, and are members of St. Peter Parish, Spokane, where he will be assigned as a deacon.
Besides teaching in a Catholic school, Senger has been involved in his parish as a lector and as a member of the RCIA team.
“Currently I am most drawn to the ministry of the Word through catechesis and evangelization,” said Senger, while also feeling drawn to “being a voice for the poor and vulnerable.
“With so much suffering, confusion, and despair in the world, I believe God is calling me to use my gifts and talents to help those in need and inspire others to do the same. I just want to serve,” he said.
Jim Schwarzer, 61, and his wife, Ann, have two children. The Schwarzers are members of St. Anthony Parish in Spokane, where he will minister as a deacon.
He now works in sales for River Ridge Hardware.
Schwarzer has been involved as a Eucharistic Minister and lector in his parish, and looks forward to working with seniors.
“I want to be a deacon to serve God’s people,” he said. “For a long time I have felt a quiet, gentle pulling to do more than show up for Mass on Sunday… in my heart I was not satisfied. In the pursuit of the diaconate I have finally found what I am comfortable with. This is the right choice.”
José David Torres, 47, is married to Margarita. They have six children and are member of St. Joseph Parish in Spokane.
Torres will minister at St. Joseph as a deacon.
Torres works at Catholic Charities’ House of Charity, which serves the street people of downtown Spokane. He has also ministered through baptism preparation. He hopes eventually to minister in the area of marriage preparation and visiting the sick.
Diaconate, he said, “is a ministerial gift from our Holy Mother the Church. I … ask God to enlighten me to become the seed that gives fruit.
“I feel Christ has called me to the diaconate to serve him through my brothers and sisters.”
William Wehmeyer, 66, and his wife, Julie Ann, have two children.
The Weymeyers are members of St. Genevieve Parish, Twisp, where he will serve after ordination.
Weymeyer retired in 2006 after working most recently in project management and tech support at Spacelabs Medical. He also worked for 10 years as a chief of police.
He has served his parish community as a lector, Eucharistic Minister to the homebound, sacramental preparation, RCIA, Scripture study, parish retreats, and member of the liturgy committee.
“It wasn’t until I retired and began to truly ask and listen that I recognized the direction” in which God was sending him. “As I continue to mature in my faith journey, the choice to prepare for the diaconate has become a prayer that I am worthy to serve God and the many people of his family.”
John Westover, 64, and his wife, Peggy, are members of St. Anthony Parish, Newport. He will minister there as a deacon.
The Westovers have three children.
Westover is broker and co-owner of Gold Star Realty Company.
His parish ministry has included teaching religious education and RCIA classes. He also has been a lector, a Eucharistic Minister, and visits the sick and elderly.
“God’s call to the diaconate came as a complete surprise to me,” said Westover. “After much thought and prayer I finally said yes, because I want to do God’s will…. I look forward to being able to serve others by sharing my life and faith with them. I want to serve God and his people.”