Another joyous celebration was held at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on June 15, 2013, as Bishop Richard J. Malone ordained nine men as permanent deacons.
Joining more than 120 other permanent deacons in the Diocese of Buffalo are Deacon Paul Augustyn of Elma; Deacon Thomas Friedman, Jr., of East Amherst; Deacon Mark Kehl of Bliss; Deacon Francis Lagona of Tonawanda; Deacon Marc Leaderstorf of Alden; Deacon V. Gregory Moran of Hamburg; Deacon David Rotterman of Lancaster; Deacon Miguel Santos of Lancaster and Deacon John Wlos of Eden.
All nine men completed five years of formation which included theological studies at Christ the King Seminary.
Deacon 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.
Deacon 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. Deacon Friedman is employed by The Crosby Company, Buffalo.
An employee of the Pioneer Central School District, Deacon 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, Deacon 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.
Deacon 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, Deacon 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, Deacon 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. Deacon Moran is employed by Rando Machine Corporation, Macedon, N.Y.
An Our Lady of Pompeii, Lancaster, parishioner, Deacon Rotterman worked at Benedict House during his formation, 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. Deacon Rotterman, who works for WNED-TV, Buffalo, and his wife Dawn have two daughters.
Deacon Santos, husband of Denise Gonez-Santos, is employed by National Grid and, and has two sons. While studying for the diaconate, Deacon 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.
Deacon 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. Deacon 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.