December 18, 2014
Bishop David Kagan ordained four men to the permanent diaconate on Nov. 21 at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
Jim Baker, Lance Gartner, Tom Magnuson and Dan Tuhy were ordained and have each been assigned to their home parishes. Deacon Baker will assist Fr. Roger Synek at the Church of St. Anthony in New Town and Mandaree. Deacon Gartner will serve Fr. Jeffrey Zwack at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Glen Ullin and Church of St. Ann in Hebron. Deacon Magnuson will assist Fr. Fred Harvey at St. Therese, Church of the Little Flower in Minot. Deacon Tuhy will serve Fr. Darnis Selvanayakam at the Church of St. Joseph in Killdeer and Twin Buttes and Church of St. Paul in Halliday.
In his homily during the ordination ceremony, Bishop Kagan addressed the men by pointing toward the gospel reading in which St. Luke recounts the Lord’s cleansing of the temple for its intended purpose. It is such a powerful time in our Lord’s life that it is included in each of the four gospels, he noted. The disciples recount this moment with these words, “Zeal for His house consumes me.”
“Let that be etched in your memories. Zeal for His house consumes me,” repeated Kagan to the men. “The house of the Lord is His holy Catholic Church. His people are the living temple that will stand as the beacon of faith, hope and charity in this world steeped, certainly in darkness and sin, but longing for truth which is true light—Christ. Have that same zeal for His holy Church, his people. The Lord has set an example that just as He himself has done, you also should do. And, by sacred ordination, I tell you as your bishop, you must do that.”
In the Diocese of Bismarck, men have been ordained to the permanent diaconate since 1981. Applicants to the program are typically between the ages of 30 and 55 and come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds.
Permanent deacons traditionally assist at Eucharistic liturgies, perform baptisms, witness marriages, preside at funeral rites, teach the faith and perform other works of charity as a part of their ministry.
The Bismarck Diocese currently has 79 deacons, most of whom are engaged in formally assigned active ministry. Those deacons who are retired from assigned ministry often still generously perform ministry from time to time as requested. In addition, there are presently 16 men in the diaconate formation program at different levels.