Five deacons will be ordained June 2 at the Cathedral
Mass will start at 10:30
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
Five men will be ordained deacons by Bp. Robert Banks at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 2, at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Green Bay.
The five are:
Kenneth Clark of St. Phillip the Apostle Parish, Green Bay;
Mark Farrell of St. Nicholas Parish, Freedom;
Frederick Fischer of Sacred Heart Parish, Oshkosh;
Michael Grzeca of Resurrection Parish, Green Bay;
Randall Haak of St. Mary Parish, Kaukauna;
Clark, a retired endodontist (root canal specialist), is now a full-time volunteer. He drives a wheelchair access van for the Red Cross and provides assistance at Paul's Pantry. His parish ministry includes RCIA coordination, nursing home visits and serving as a Eucharistic minister.
"My call to the diaconate came from my desire to help the needy," said Clark. "I feel that I am called to share God's love and compassion."
Clark, who has a Master's degree in theology, looks forward to an expanded role in the parish.
"It brings a lot of responsibility," he said. "I look at the diaconate as ordaining the example of what we all should be. As deacons, we can represent the service nature of Christ."
Clark and his wife, Helen, have three children.
Farrell, a former dairy farmer, is a janitor at St. Joseph Parish, Appleton. He has served St. Nicholas Parish in marriage preparation, as an usher, and a parish finance committee member. He hopes to expand his ministry as a deacon.
"I would like to work with the younger adults in the parish, ages 18 to 35," he said.
Farrell began thinking about the diaconate after Dcn. Don Newhouse of St. Nicholas invited him to an information meeting.
"I though a lot about it, but took it slowly," Farrell said. "I've had a lot of support from my family. Most of my family will be there (ordination), so I am anticipating that I will be a little nervous, but I'm looking forward to it."
Farrell and his wife, Carol, have six children.
Fischer, a realtor, has been active in parish service for 30 years. His ministry at Sacred Heart includes RCIA coordination, ministry to the sick, Eucharistic ministry and serving as a lector.
"I would like to do weddings, funerals and baptisms," he said. "I expect to continue visiting the sick. I currently visit two nursing homes each week. I may visit more to make sure all the nursing homes in the area are covered."
"The priests have so much to do and do such a good job," he continued. "They need all our support and prayers. I will work hard to serve the parish."
Fischer and his wife, Midge, have eight children.
Grzeca, an attorney, has been active in parish work for more than 20 years. He has served Resurrection as a lector, religious education teacher, worship committee member, parish council president and Eucharistic minister.
"I've always enjoyed serving the parish," he said. "The diaconate seems to offer more structured service."
Grzeca has an interest in canon law, but welcomes all forms of ministry.
"I will go wherever I am needed," he said. "I will follow wherever the Spirit takes me."
Grzeca, the oldest of 15 children, said his thoughts will be with his late parents on June 2.
"I wish they could be here for this," he said. "My mother had a strong influence on me. This is a tribute to her."
Grzeca and his wife, Linda, have two children.
Haak, an attorney, has provided pro bono legal services at St. Mary Parish. He has also served as a lector, usher, choir member and board of education member.
The timing was right to pursue the diaconate.
"I came to a point in my life where I was professionally successful," he said. "I felt that I was doing a good job serving my clients, but I wanted to be in a position to better serve people in other ways."
Haak plans to continue his existing ministries and expand into other areas.
"I would like to start a men's support group in the parish," he said. "I also want to minister to the middle school students to help enliven the Mass for them."
Haak credits the late Dcn. Glenn Beaudry for his pursuit of the diaconate.
"He planted the idea in my head years ago," said Haak. "I was inspired by the way he evangelized."
Haak and his wife, Colleen, have four children.