Cardinal ordains 20 new permanent deacons

By Chicago Catholic
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Cardinal Cupich ordains 20 permanent deacons

Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant at the ordination of 20 permanent deacons at Holy Name Cathedral on May 14, 2022. The newly ordained deacons will be assigned to parishes in Arlington Heights, Blue Island, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Lake Villa, Morton Grove, Oak Forest, Oak Park, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Palatine, Palos Heights, Rolling Meadows, Streamwood, Wauconda and Waukegan. The Archdiocese of Chicago has the largest Catholic diaconate community in the world with 514 active deacons involved in 210 parishes and agencies. Since 1972, the archdiocese has ordained 1,464 men as permanent deacons. Active, retired and inactive deacons total 706, while another 70 Chicago deacons serve in dioceses around the country – from Florida to California.
(Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon-elect Andrew Kim, his wife Jennifer and their son Max walk together in the opening procession. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The auxiliary bishops process into Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacons-elect Israel Santiago, Samuel Joseph Resch and Moyossola Jean-Arno Boussari answer “present” when their names are called during the Election of the Candidates. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacons-elect are presented to the congregation. (Cindy Flores Mocarski/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich blesses the hands of Deacon-elect Kevin Morgan. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The 20 new deacons lay prostrate in front of the cardinal while he and the congregation prays during the Litany of Supplication. (Cindy Flores Mocarski/Chicago Catholic)
The 20 new deacons lay prostrate in front of the cardinal while he and the congregation prays during the Litany of Supplication. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich lays his hands on newly ordained Deacon Juan Carlos Diaz-Maravilla. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Ismael Sandoval vests newly ordained Deacon Francisco Medina with the stole and dalmatic. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Deacon Roberto Reyes is vested by his wife Patricia and Father Dennis Lyle, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Blue Island. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Deacon Raymond Torralba receives congratulatory hug after being vested with the stole and dalmatic by Father Aloysius Funtila. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich presents the Book of the Gospels to newly ordained Deacon Manuel Ruiz. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon Bob Puhala, director of the Institute for Diaconal Studies, congratulates newly ordained Deacon Roberto Reyes during the sign of peace. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The new deacons receive congratulations from current permanent deacons in the archdiocese. (Cindy Flores Mocarski/Chicago Catholic)
The congregation watches the service. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Friends and family take part in the ordination. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The congregation claps as the new deacons process out after Mass. (Cindy Flores Mocarski/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon John F. Sobol receives a congratulatory hug following Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon Krzysztof Slowikowski receives congratulatory hugs following Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The deacons and their wives pose with Cardinal Cupich. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

Twenty permanent deacons were ordained May 14 at Holy Name Cathedral. Cardinal Cupich celebrated the ordination Mass.

The newly ordained deacons are assigned to parishes in Arlington Heights, Blue Island, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Lake Villa, Morton Grove, Oak Forest, Oak Park, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Palatine, Palos Heights, Rolling Meadows, Streamwood, Wauconda and Waukegan.

Deacons assist the bishop and his priests in ministries of the word, liturgy and charity. This includes proclaiming the Gospel, leading intercessions, preaching, preparing the altar, celebrating baptisms, leading the faithful in prayer, distributing holy Communion, witnessing marriages and conducting wake and funeral services. Deacons also identify the needs of poor and underserved, and shepherd the church’s resources to meet those needs.

Diaconate formation for permanent deacons requires completion of a comprehensive, four-year program through the Institute for Diaconal Studies or the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral for Spanish speakers, both located at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. The programs include human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral dimensions of formation and a year-long parish pastoral ministry internship. The new deacons are:

Deacon Moyossola Jean-Arno Boussari

St. Colette Parish, Rolling Meadows

Deacon Moyossola Jean-Arno Boussari, 46, and his wife, Trisha, have two sons: Jason, 3, and Noah, 1. Boussari is in sales and lives in Hoffman Estates.

His formation taught that a deacon’s ministry is one of humility and service, Boussari said, and the sense of brotherhood he developed with his classmates has been a highlight.

He expects to minister in the area of evangelization.

Deacon Lekë Brisku

Sts. Martha and Isaac Jogues Parish, Morton Grove

Deacon Lekë Brisku, 50, and his wife, Blandina, live in Niles.

Brisku, who is self-employed, said formation — all of it — “has been a miracle.”

Brisku hopes to serve in men’s ministry and he learned, he said, to be more patient and pay more attention to words.

Deacon Juan Carlos Diaz-Maravilla

Our Lady of Mercy Parish

Deacon Juan Carlos Diaz-Maravilla was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and moved to the United States at the age of 21, He studied English and completed his GED and prefers to spend time studying and reading.

Diaz-Maravilla has worked for ABM Facility Services, a cleaning services company, for the past nine years. He is an extraordinary minister of Communion and choir director at Our Lady of Mercy Parish. The spiritual life of the Charismatic Renewal has kept and maintained the love of Christ in its heart, he said, and music fills him with prayer.

Deacon John A. Haderlein

Most Blessed Trinity Parish, Waukegan

Deacon John A. Haderlein, 61, has two adult children, Eric and Nicole. He is an attorney and lives in Libertyville.

Haderlein was in seminary with the Vincentians as a young man. Now, when it comes to receiving Holy Orders, “there is no time like the present,” he said.

His formation was a time of hope, he said.

“In formation, the 13 other men in my cohort and their wives have given me great hope that our church will forever flourish and grow,” he said. “I cherished the opportunity to complete my formation to serve as a deacon at the largest parish in the archdiocese. Most Blessed Trinity has as its express mission a preferential option for the poor.”

Most Blessed Trinity not only recalls his Vincentian background, it reunites him with a high school classmate. Haderlein and Father Timothy J. O’Malley first met in 1974 at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.

Deacon Jim Katula

St. Damian, Oak Forest

Deacon Jim Katula, 53, and his wife, Sandy, have three children: Sarah, 35; Noah, 32; and Tessa, 15. Katula, a teacher, lives in Oak Forest.

He said his formation taught him the importance of learning from other people.

“No matter how much you think you know, someone always knows more and there is always more to learn,” he said.

He plans to work with young people in the parish, hoping to bring them back to the church, he said.

Deacon Andrew Kim

St. Theresa Parish, Palatine

Deacon Andrew Kim, 55, and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Maximilian, 7. Kim is a registered nurse who lives in Palatine.

Formation helped him develop a closer relationship with God, he said.

“During my formation, my relationship with God has deepened,” he said. “It’s been a journey of seeking him more deeply and experiencing God’s love through the calling to serve the church. It has been a joy!”

Deacon Joe McCain

St. John the Evangelist Parish, Streamwood

Deacon Joe McCain, 60, and his wife, Janet, have two adult daughters, Kaitlyn and Lauren. McCain lives in Bartlett and is a sales and marketing director.

The highlight of his diaconate formation, he said, was “walking each step of this path and growing together with my wonderful wife, Janet.”

His years in formation have increased his trust in God, he said.

“The most important thing I have learned from this invaluable experience is that if I listen to our Lord and place my trust in him, he will lead me and give me the tools that I need to do his will, whatever that might be,” McCain said.

Deacon Francisco Medina

Blessed Sacrament Parish

Deacon Francisco Medina was born in Mexico and has been married to Maria Olivia over 30 years. They have four children between the ages of 18 and 28.

Medina, a salesman and driver for Moesle Meats, and his wife serve as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Communion, and are part of the Legion of Mary and the Sunday Holy Hour at Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Deacon Kevin Morgan

St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Parish, Oak Park

Deacon Kevin Morgan, 57, and his wife, Deidre, have two adult children, Kevin and Kyle. Morgan is an independent contractor for FedEx and lives in Oak Park.

His formation taught him to trust in God, he said.

“It does not matter what the obstacles are, God will find a way to get you through it,” Morgan said, adding that the growth of his personal faith life was a highlight of formation.

Deacon Francis J. Pendergast III

St. Alexander Parish, Palos Heights

Deacon Francis J. Pendergast III, 65, and his wife, Lisa, have two adult children, Brian and Erin, and three grandchildren. The retired attorney lives in Palos Heights.

He said formation taught him “prayer, humility and perseverance” and he most enjoyed the camaraderie that developed among members of the cohort.

Deacon Sam Resch

St. James Parish, Arlington Heights

Deacon Sam Resch, 57, and his wife, Kari, have one adult daughter, Kiana. Resch is a funeral director who lives in Palatine.

Resch grew up in Iowa and was a farmer before moving to Chicago’s Northwest suburbs to start a new career as a funeral director. It took him 57 years, he said, to realize that this was God’s plan for him.

“As you grow older and encounter new crosses to bear, his living word helps to raise those crosses,” said Resch, who plans to minister with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. James.

Deacon Roberto Reyes

St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Blue Island

Deacon Roberto Reyes was born in Mexico. His wife, Patricia, is from the same hometown and they attended school together and were friends before starting their relationship. Reyes is dedicated to reading and studying subjects related to the ministry and his work. His son is currently a student at the University of Illinois in Chicago and his daughter is a freshman in college.

A heating and air conditioning technician, Reyes is in the process of establishing his own business in the construction sector and is involved in clean energy consulting.

He is a lector, a member of the parish council and a extraordinary minister of Communion. Both Deacon Reyes and his wife serve on the RCIA team.

Deacon Manuel Ruiz

Our Lady of the Heights Parish, Chicago Heights

Deacon Manuel Ruiz was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Has been married to Eva Ruiz for over 25 years. They have three daughters  who are 17, 19 and 22 years old. Manuel met his wife, Eva, in the United States. He said he found God at the age of 15; since then, he has worked with groups to address the drug problem facing the community.

Ruiz, a welder, became involved in various parish activities prior to the pandemic. He is now a member of the parish council, a member of the Emmaus apostolic group, an extraordinary minister of Communion and an usher.

Deacon John “Jack” Ruskin

Prince of Peace Parish, Lake Villa

Deacon John “Jack” Ruskin, 57, and his wife, Patti Jo, have two adult children, Erin Eileen and Joseph. Ruskin lives in Lindenhurst and is a certified public accountant.

The highlight of his formation experience was the “indelible bond” created among members of the cohort and their wives, he said.

He learned not to doubt God’s wisdom in whom he calls, Ruskin said. “God does not call the prepared, he prepares those he calls,” Ruskin said.

Deacon Israel Santiago

Transfiguration Parish, Wauconda

Deacon Israel Santiago was born in Mexico, the eldest of seven children, and was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. After coming to the United States, he met his wife, Rosa Maria, and married her two years later. They have two daughters and a son, aged 9, 13 and 17.

Santiago, who works for a landscaping company, has offered his talents in various ministerial activities in the parish. Before the pandemic, he served as Hispanic ministry coordinator, which made him more aware of the needs in the parish, he said. Both he and his wife are very committed to community service, thanks to the fellowship they have received from their spiritual director during the diaconate formation process.

Deacon Krzysztof Slowikowski

St. John Brebeuf Parish, Niles

Deacon Krzysztof Slowikowski, 64, and his wife, Mariola, have two adult sons. The Glenview resident is a college instructor.

Diaconate formation taught him patience and humility, he said, and he loved that his wife was always with him. He plans to focus his ministry on building a community of faith in his multi-ethnic parish.


Deacon John F. Sobol

St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Orland Hills 

Deacon John F. Sobol, 57, works in high school special education and lives in Mokena.

Diaconate formation, he said, taught him the meaning of humility, in the sense of appreciating the gifts and talents of those who shared their time and wisdom with the deacon candidates.

The highlight, he said, was the bond that developed between the members of the class.

“The bond that we built during formation grew through our love for one another knowing we would lay our lives down for each other,” Sobol said. “The bond that saw us persevere and encounter Jesus’ humbleness of service in a classroom or during COVID, remotely, that would shape us to serve the Archdiocese of Chicago and our faith community.”

Deacon Raymond C. Torralba

St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish

Deacon Raymond C. Torralba, 58, and his wife, Pearle Liza, have three adult children: Gabrielle, Raphaelle and Michelle. Torralba lives in Chicago and is a college professor.

“The formation experience was like being transported back two millennia, as a disciple learning from Jesus in the company of my brother candidates, my fellow disciples,” Torralba said. “That is the highlight of this entire process for me. … This experience, what it has made me, is truly a blessing and gift from God. I will continue to share it to everyone around me, abandoning myself into his hands that he may do with me as he wills.”

Deacon Victor Uruchima

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish 

Deacon Victor Uruchima was born in a small town in Ecuador, where he attended Catholic school until he was 16 and his grandmother wanted him to become a priest. He has been married to Maullury for over 27 years and they have four children, aged 26, 25, 23 and 17.

A restaurant worker and Uber driver, Uruchima has been an active member of first St. Bartholomew and now Our Lady of the Rosary Parish for the past six years. He is particularly involved in the Renew My Church evangelization process, serves as a lector and is also part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Deacon Brian Whiteford

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Orland Park

Deacon Brian Whiteford, 61, and his wife, Carolyn, have three adult children: Laura, Erin and Carly. Whiteford is a CPA who lives in Orland Park.

He said formation taught him the importance of prayer and reflection, and the importance of humility.

“Many people today view humility as a weakness rather than a strength,” he said. “As I have come to learn, humility is not thinking less of yourself; rather it is thinking less about yourself.”


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  • deacons

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