Nine Western New York men will be ordained permanent deacons in the Catholic Church on Saturday, June 15. At the 10 a.m. Mass with Bishop Richard J. Malone, Paul L. Augustyn (of Elma), Thomas F. Friedman Jr. (of East Amherst), Mark D. Kehl (of Bliss), Francis J. Lagona (of Tonawanda), Marc R. Leaderstorf (of Alden), V. Gregory Moran (of Hamburg), David C. Rotterman (of Lancaster), Miguel Santos (of Lancaster), and John J. Wlos (of Eden) will become members of clergy, joining more than 120 other deacons in the Diocese of Buffalo.
The Mass will be held at St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., Buffalo. All are welcome.
In the Catholic Church, deacons either move on to the priesthood or take on the ministry permanently. Following their ordination, these new permanent deacons will be assigned to a parish or other ministry. Permanent deacons’ main ministry is one of charity. Some are also involved in parish administration. Additionally, these men generally hold secular jobs.
All nine men completed five years of formation which included theological studies at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora
Augustyn, who is a member of Annunciation Parish, Elma, is employed Moog Inc., East Aurora. He and his wife Judy have six children. He has worked with Hospice Buffalo, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Buffalo, and for the diocese with people with disabilities. He also has served in the United States Marine Corp.
Friedman, who has three daughters with his wife Catherine, is a member of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Harris Hill. As part of his pastoral field ministry, he tutored students at the Nativity-Miguel Middle School, Buffalo, brought communion to the homebound, and worked in a local nursing home. Friedman is employed by The Crosby Company, Buffalo.
An employee of the Pioneer Central School District, Kehl has served as a spiritual life visitor at the Wyoming County Community Hospital, Warsaw, during his field formation. He and his wife, Theresa, have five children and are members of St. Mary Parish in Arcade.
During his formation, Lagona, an employee of the Buffalo Board of Education, worked at the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen, Buffalo, Brothers of Mercy Nursing Home, Clarence, and with his parish’s men’s spirituality group. He and his wife Shari have a son and daughter and are members of St. Christopher Parish in Tonawanda.
Leaderstorf, who works for Kaleida Health at Women and Children’s Hospital, Buffalo, will also be ordained a permanent deacon. He and his wife Delphine are members of St. John the Baptist Parish, Alden, and are the parents of two daughters. In preparing for his ordination, Leaderstorf served at the Villa Maria Infirmary and the Response to Love Center, both in Buffalo, and with the Marriage Enrichment Program.
During his formation process, Moran spent many hours serving at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Buffalo, Orchard Heights, an assisted living and memory care facility in Orchard Park, and the Erie County Medical Center Trauma Unit, Buffalo. He and his wife Cynthia have four children and are members of St. Bernadette Parish, Orchard Park. Moran is employed by Rando Machine Corporation, Macedon, N.Y.
An Our Lady of Pompeii, Lancaster, parishioner, Rotterman will also be ordained a permanent deacon. During his diaconate formation he worked at Benedict House, a Buffalo home for adults living with AIDS, at St. Elizabeth’s of Lancaster Adult Home, and with GriefShare, a bereavement ministry program at his parish. Rotterman, who works for WNED-TV, Buffalo, and his wife Dawn have two daughters.
Miguel Santos, husband of Denise Gonez-Santos, is employed by National Grid and, and has two sons. While studying for the diaconate, Santos, a parishioner at Holy Cross Parish, Buffalo, was involved with the Kairos Prison Ministry program, Catholic Charities Resettlement Program and the Sudanese community at his parish.
The final candidate for ordination, Wlos, is retired and is a parishioner at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Hamburg. He and his wife Susan have a son and daughter. As part of his field ministry, he served as a Eucharistic minister at Lakewood Nursing Facility, Hamburg, worked at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry, Lackawanna, and was a scripture study facilitator on St. Paul’s letters at his parish. Wlos also served as a member of the United States Army Reserve.
According to the 2012 Official Catholic Directory, there are 17,816 permanent deacons in the United States and that number has been increasing over the years. These men, who have completed a training program of spiritual, theological, and pastoral formation which lasted several years, have received the permission of their wives to take this important step.
Permanent deacons can officiate at weddings, baptisms, funerals and wakes. They may also preach.