Of your charity, please pray for these five men who will be ordained to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Lansing on Saturday, May 15, by Bishop Earl Boyea.
“This is a very special moment,” Deacon Randy Desrochers, Director of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of Lansing at the ordination rehearsal, May 12.
“Most of these men have studied and prepared for six to eight years so, for me, this is like a dad watching his kids get married. I mean, these are my sons and they are marrying the Church in a very real way. This is definitely one of the perk parts of my job.” From Left to Right, the five ordinands who request your prayers are:
• Mark Danaho: Mark and his wife, Lina, have been blessed with two children and 10 grandchildren. Mark continues on as operations manager for the firm Rummel Wealth Management, and account manager for Rummel Insurance. Mark and Lina are parishioners at St. Pius X Parish in Flint, and actively participate in liturgical services and parish ministries in more than one parish. Lina is from Italy, which is where the two were married.
• Todd Dahlberg: Todd and his bride, Jodi, live in Somerset and attend St. Rita Parish in Clarklake. They have five children and four grandchildren (with one more grandbaby on the way). In addition to his parish responsibilities, Todd volunteers at Jackson’s Center For Women/Dad’s All In ministry, and also at the Jackson Interfaith Shelter. He works for IBM as an operations director and enjoys playing hockey and pickleball.
• David Allen Hammer: David has been married to his wife, Jennifer, for 30 years, and have been parishioners at St. Elizabeth Parish in Tecumseh for 26 years. They have two children and one grandchild. David, a graduate of Ferris State University, has worked as an engineer for 31 years and is a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. David and Jennifer are actively involved in many ministries at St. Elizabeth and he currently leads the baptism preparation program.
• Chester M. Pesmark: Chester and his wife, Tobie, have been married for 30 years, and have five children and seven grandchildren. He was in the U.S. Air Force for four years as a communications technician, and is retired from Detroit Diesel after 37 years as a facility and project engineer. In January 2015, he began his journey to the diaconate. Chester is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Patrick Parish in Brighton.
• Richard Freedberg: Rick and Sally have been married for 42 years and are the parents of three outstanding children and “Grandma and Dr. Grandpa” to four extraordinary grandchildren. Rick entered the Church 41 years ago and attributes his spiritual reawakening to his 2007 Cursillo weekend experience. He is a retired nurse and community college and university professor. Pre-pandemic, he was active in prison ministry and hopes to return.
Deacons can baptize; proclaim the Gospel; preach the homily; assist the bishop or priest in the celebration of the Eucharist; assist at and bless marriages; and preside at funerals. They also dedicate themselves to charitable endeavors, which was often their role in the early Church.
Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Catholic Church has restored the diaconate as a permanent rank within the hierarchy of Holy Orders as opposed to “transitory” deacons who will, in due course, be ordained to the priesthood. Permanent deacons can be either married or unmarried men. Saint Stephen, pray for them!
* You can prayerfully participate in Saturday’s ordination via livestream from Saint Thomas Aquinas in East Lansing on both YouTube and Facebook. Holy Mass begins at 10.30am. Go to: