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placeholder Meet our

Number of permanent deacons grows,
but many reaching

Deacon ministries
have come a long
way in their first
half century

Back in 1978

CYO cross country meet draws
800 runners

Make plans for early Advent events

Sister Mary Noel Lehmann, SHF

End-of-life planning
rarely tops a
to-do list

How to pay for
senior care with
limited resources

Do you have a
written retirement
income plan?

Senior home care
from a peer

Exercise essential
for good health as
people age

Parish programs
aim to narrow the
generation gap

placeholder November 4, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
Meet our deacons-to-be

Richard "Dick" Bayless

Rock Springs, Wyoming
Age: 68
Years married: 35
Wife: Deana
Children: 2; grandchildren: 5
Parish: St. Joseph Old Mission San Jose, Fremont
Employment: Retired engineering manager
Charity and Justice ministry: Grief, prison and community outreach

"Deana and I have always felt that all Catholics are called to participate in parish ministries in addition to participation at Mass and the Sacraments. This way we can build up the Body of Christ on earth. We have been liturgical ministers throughout our marriage, and have found this a very rewarding way to be drawn into the Mass and Eucharist. When our children were home we taught CCD, were scout leaders and joined in parish or community outreach. Our deacon candidate formation has been a wonderful experience of growing in faith love, and providing more tools to help our parish and diocese. I want to serve the people of the Oakland diocese, my parish and our community. The vocation of permanent deacon represents an opportunity to use the gifts I have been given to share my faith in a parish setting, and reach out to those in need."

Gustavo A. Escrucería

Tumaco, Colombia
Age: 57
Years married: 30
Wife: María Victoria
Children: 2
Parish: St. Bonaventure, Concord
Employment: Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Maryknoll Hispanic Outreach Coordinator
Charity and Justice ministry: Go out to help the poor in their needs

"To make a change in every person that I encounter, so they can find God in their life. Spread the Love of God to everyone and invite them to share it with others so we can have a better world. My responsibility is to do God's Mission, to love everybody as He loves us."

Robert Federle

Cincinnati, Ohio
Age: 58
Years married: 26
Wife: Maria
Children: 5
Parish: St. Michael, Livermore
Employment: Procurement analyst, Superior Court of Contra Costa County
Charity and Justice ministry: Chaplain, VA Medical Center, Livermore

"In many ways, it is easy to see God's presence in the joys of our lives. I hope to help people realize that God is especially present in their suffering."

Joseph "Joe" Gourley

Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Age: 65
Years married: 42
Wife: Regina (Gina)
Children: 3
Home Parish: Catholic Community of Pleasanton
Employment: Accounting and financial management part-time, Trumpet Behavioral Health (retired)
Charity and Justice ministry: Advocacy for persons with a developmental disability

"In diaconal ministry we are called to serve as heralds of God's word, as ministers of charity and justice, and as servants of liturgy and sacraments. With God's grace I hope to humbly serve His people effectively in each of these areas in whatever parish or other setting I am assigned.

I especially hope to serve the least of our brothers and sisters with a particular focus on advocacy for persons with a developmental or intellectual disability. The exact form of this service is not yet fully defined, however, I hope to engage in this charity and social justice ministry together with my wife, Gina, on a local level and on a broader county and diocese-wide basis.

We have been blessed with gifts and challenges, and have responded in service to God and his people in various ways. We pray that with God's grace we will continue to grow in faith and serve Him fruitfully."

Bill Henderson

Los Angeles
Age: 63
Years married: 23
Wife: Cindy
Number of children: 5; grandchildren: 5
Parish: St. Michael, Livermore
Employment: City of Livermore
Charity and Justice ministry: Jail

"I hope to serve God's children wherever I may be and to be a positive representative of the Diocese of Oakland and the Roman Catholic Church."

Stephen Lewellyn

San Francisco
Age: 51
Years married: 28
Wife: Annette
Children: 3
Parish: Holy Spirit, Fremont
Employment: Airgas
Charity and Justice ministry: Bereavement, youth detention services and nursing facilities.

"As a deacon, I want to serve by example, showing God's love in whatever I do. I hope to do this by being a great listener when it comes to bereavement, helping out at a nursing home, reaching out to those who have been distanced from the church and by working with organizations in the community to help those in need. While sharing my experiences and lessons, I hope to benefit others with their own journey with God."

Luis "Bernard" Liwanag

Baguio City, Philippines
Age: 50
Years married: 7.5
Wife: Jean Liwanag
Parish: St. Anne, Union City
Employment: Architectural designer
Charity and Justice ministry: Hospital, St. Vincent de Paul, SPRED

"My hope is to grow each day in faith. As Blessed Mother Teresa said: We are called upon not to be successful but to be faithful. I find joy and wealth in the ministries I'm pursuing. My wife introduced me to St. Vincent de Paul and it has become the very first service ministry that I became involved with when I came to this country and it makes me feel at home. Hospital ministry has endeared my heart when visiting the patients and praying with them. I'm a new volunteer to SPRED (Special Religious Education). I chose this ministry because I believe I'll be working for angels. They are the type of people who put a smile on my face and they will teach me how to be more patient, and how to love unconditionally. I pray to be a good deacon … to always be a reflection of Christ to others."

Jimmy Macalinao

Age: 44
Parish: St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda
Employment: Campus minister/teacher at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School
Charity and Justice ministry: hospital, prison and mission animation

"I hope to bring the Gospel message of Jesus Christ of service, compassion and healing to those who are poor and oppressed in our society. I also pray that I will be able to walk side by side and listen to those in need and give them hope and inspiration despite their challenges in life."

Thomas S. Martin

San Francisco
Age: 58
Years married: 31
Wife: Suzanne
Parish: St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda
Employment: Paralegal
Charity and Justice ministry: Hospital ministry/visitor of the sick

"I hope to continue working with kids within, and also emerging from, the foster care system. I hope to go where I'm needed and serve to the best of my abilities."

John Mignano

Brooklyn, New York
Age: 63
Years married: 20
Wife: Susan
Children: 4; grandchildren: 4
Parish: Transfiguration, Castro Valley
Employment: Finance and accounting
Charity and Justice ministry: Jail, hospital and homeless

"The call to the diaconate is a calling of love and service. A deacon is called by God and ordained for service in the image of Jesus Christ the servant who came to serve, not to be served; to wash the feet of the poor and outcast. Proclaimer of the Gospel, the Word of God is the foundation and energy for the deacon's service in charity and social justice, and at the table of the Lord. Of particular interest to me is bringing the Gospel message of love and hope to a world in much need and especially to the incarcerated, the sick, the dying and the homeless while encouraging and supporting others to go forth and live out their call to service."

Timothy Myers

Age: 49
Years married: 23
Wife: Brenda
Children: 2
Parish: St. Felicitas, San Leandro
Employment: DW Nicholson
Charity and Justice ministry: Hospital

"I would like to go into every ministry meeting and observe the running of the parish with my eyes and my heart wide open. To the committees, I would offer my assistance and support. I would like to train the ministers, that they may be more effective ministers at the table and proclaiming God's word. One ministry is very near and dear to my heart: visiting the parishioners in the hospital. We need to look after the less fortunate and the sometimes forgotten, wherever they may be."

Ralph Nagel

Age: 63
Years married: 39
Wife: Judith
Children: 4; grandchildren: 3
Parish: St. Mary Magdalen, Berkeley
Employment: Software engineer
Charity and Justice ministry: To be determined

"In July in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis said, "The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need ... those who have nothing apart from their poverty!" With aggressively accompanying trepidation, I have sought ordination because I hope and believe (and fear) that the grace of Holy Orders will put me in situations where my conscience will be pushed to the limits of my courage, and my compassion will be plumbed to its depths as I try to work in small ways to improve "the measure of the greatness of our society."

Loc Nguyen

Vinhlong Province, Vietnam
Age: 62
Years married: 37
Wife: Vinh Dinh
Children: 3; grandchildren: 4
Parish: Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Point
Employment: Programmer analyst, Contra Costa County, retired

"When I am ordained to be a deacon, I am a disciple of Jesus the servant, who comes to serve and not to be served. What I will do depends very much on the needs of the parish where I am assigned to. My mission, however, should be incorporated in all three components of my work in diaconal ministry: proclamation of the Word, minister of charity and justice and liturgical and sacramental service. The advice of St. Francis, who was also a deacon, 'proclaim the Gospel always; use words if necessary' is a great guidance for my life as a deacon."

Timothy Thomas Roberto
Birthplace: Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Age: 41
Years married: 15
Wife: Liliana
Children: 1
Parish: St. Edward, Newark
Employment: National sales manager for an industrial supply company
Charity and Justice ministry: Tutor at The Leo Center, Oakland

"I would like to serve in Juvenile Hall and our local nursing care facilities.
"As a deacon, I hope to always remember my call — to serve the needs of others first, especially the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless and those living without hope. I will strive to remind the faithful of their own call from Baptism to serve others. I believe wholeheartedly that we find solace in the Lord and it is through Christ that we find true joy and hope; I desire to impart this very message to the people of the Oakland diocese. Recently, Pope Francis put forth a challenge upon 10 newly ordained priests, calling them to serve with 'constant joy and genuine love.' Ultimately, as deacon, I hope to carry out my ministry in the same manner."

Lochlein Sekona
Birthplace: Tonga Island
Age: 47
Years married: 20
Wife: Simaima
Children: 4
Parish: St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito
Employment: Public Works, city of Richmond
Charity and Justice ministry: Catholic Charities Family-to-Family Program

"I would like to pursue in working with the elderly and the sick. I was drawn to this ministry during my liturgical internship at St. Joseph Church, Pinole. Another interest that I would like to explore with my wife is working with the youth and young adults of the Tongan community. In order to do this effectively, we would participate by working closely with the leadership of the Tongan Council.

"Our hope is to be faithful to our calling; this faithfulness must include a continuous discernment on our part, to deepen our spirituality and to be truly committed to the diaconate calling to follow Jesus as a servant leader. One of the thing that draws and attracts me is the symbol of the towel, where a deacon is to humble himself to wash the feet of those who are in need. I would leave it to the Holy Spirit to guide and to lead myself and my wife to achieve the work that it has prepared us to do. We pray to be humbled enough to discern our ministerial calling, and with obedience to God and His Church, serve it faithfully with love and truth."

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