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Six men ready for ordination on June 12 as Permanent Deacons for the Diocese of Bridgeport
| June 12, 2004
Posted in Local News


BRIDGEPORT – On Saturday, June 12, Bishop William E. Lori will ordain six men to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Bridgeport. The 10 a.m. Mass, at Saint Augustine Cathedral, will increase to 99 the number of permanent deacons in service in Fairfield County. All are welcome to attend.

Accredited members of the media are welcome to attend. To register, please call 372-4301, ext. 452.

A permanent deacon is an ordained member of the clergy, receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

"Permanent deacons carry out specific functions within the Church, such as assisting and preaching at Mass, performing baptisms, and preparing couples for marriage," says Deacon Anthony J. Detje, director of diaconate formation for the diocese. Active Parish Ministry "Deacons are active in ministries in the parishes wherever they are needed. They may officiate at weddings, wake services, and grave internments," Deacon Detje explains. "They may lead popular devotions in a parish, such as Stations of the Cross. They may visit hospitals and homebound parishioners, or be involved in youth ministry. We presently have five deacons who are directors of religious education in their parishes, and four deacons who are administrative assistants to pastors."

The formation program for the permanent diaconate takes four and a half years. There are currently seven men in formation for the class of 2006. The newest class of permanent deacons, 12 men, started their studies in February of this year. The new permanent deacons bring a wealth of experience to the Church. Each will learn his parish assignment following ordination.

Deacon Joseph DeBiase

Deacon Joseph P. DeBiase, 50, was born in Scranton, PA. He grew up in Fairfield, attending Holy Family School and Andrew Warde High School. He and his wife, Marguerite, are members of Holy Family Parish. The couple has three sons. Deacon DeBiase works as a mozzarella maker for Stew Leonard's in Danbury.

Father Guido Montanaro, pastor of Holy Family, will be the celebrant at a Mass of Thanksgiving for Deacon DeBiase on Sunday, June 13, at 12 noon.

Deacon William Koniers

Deacon William A. Koniers, 53, was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and received his bachelor of science degree from Philadelphia University. He and his wife, Jeanne, have two children. They are members of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull. Deacon Koniers is division president of AM Health Group, Inc. in Stratford.

Msgr. Lawrence L. McMahon, former pastor of Saint Mark Parish in Stratford, will be the celebrant at a Mass of Thanksgiving for Deacon Koniers at Saint Catherine of Siena on June 13 at 10:30 a.m. Deacon Paul Kurmay of Saint Mark's will be the homilist.

Deacon John Linsenmeyer

Deacon John Linsenmeyer, 63, was born in Columbus, OH. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, with post-graduate studies at the University of Virginia and the U.S. Army War College. For the past 25 years, Deacon Linsenmeyer has been a litigation partner in the firm of Morgan, Lewis, & Brockius. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and six grandchildren. They are members of Saint Agnes Parish in Greenwich. John was installed as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in 2003.

The Mass of Thanksgiving for Deacon Linsenmeyer will be celebrated at Saint Agnes Parish on June 13 at 11 a.m. The principal celebrant will be Bishop Paul M. Boyle of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica. Father Stephen DeLuca, pastor of Saint Agnes, will be homilist. The Mass will be concelebrated by Father Leo J. Gorman, C.P. former weekend assistant at Saint Agnes.

Deacon Robert Morris

Deacon Robert E. Morris, 58, was born in Queens, NY, and grew up in Elmsford. He holds his bachelor of science degree from Fordham University, and his M.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago. As a U.S. Army lieutenant, he served in Vietnam for a year. He and his wife, Regina, members of Saint Elizabeth Seton Parish in Ridgefield, are the parents of six children, one of whom is deceased. Deacon Morris is a general credit manager for Timken U.S. Corp. in Torrington.

A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated for Deacon Morris at Saint Elizabeth Seton on June 13 at 11:30 a.m. Father Joseph Prince, pastor, will be the celebrant.

Deacon Augustin Pierre-Louis

Deacon Augustin Pierre- Louis, 63, was born in Port-au- Prince, Haiti. He received his law degree in Haiti, and completed further studies at the City College of New York in Manhattan. He and his wife, Jeanine are the parents of four children, and are members of Saint Joseph Parish in South Norwalk. Deacon Pierre-Louis is an electrical superintendent at URS Corp. in New York.

A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated for Deacon Pierre-Louis at Saint Joseph's on June 13 at 10 a.m. Father David Howell, pastor, will be the celebrant.

Deacon Robert Salvestrini

Deacon Robert A. Salvestrini, 65, grew up in Ridgefield, attending Ridgefield High and graduating from the University of Connecticut, where he also received his Master's in electrical engineering. He and his wife, Kathleen, have four children. The couple are members of Saint Mary Parish in Ridgefield. Now retired, Deacon Salvestrini worked as an engineer with IBM for 28 years.

Msgr. Laurence Bronkiewicz, pastor of Saint Mary, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Deacon Salvestrini at the parish on June 13, at 12:15 p.m.

For more information on becoming a permanent deacon, contact your pastor, or call Deacon Anthony Detje: 372-4301, ext. 249.