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Bishop Zubik to ordain permanent deacons


Last updated 9/27/2022 at 5:26pm

Bishop David A. Zubik will ordain 17 men as permanent deacons for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

Seating will be by ticket only; however, the Mass will be livestreamed: and on the Diocesan YouTube channel, . It will also be broadcast on Christian Associates Television (Comcast Channel 95 City of Pittsburgh) and streams on the Christian Associates website as well

The 17 candidates come from throughout the diocese: 12 from Allegheny County, two from Beaver County, two from Butler County, and one from Lawrence County. All but one of the men is married. They come from a variety of careers and professional backgrounds, including higher education, engineering, medicine, accounting, banking, sales, dentistry, human resources, research, and other facets of business. Four of the men are converts to Catholicism.

As ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, Deacons assist priests at Mass, preach on occasion, and preside as needed at baptisms, weddings, funeral services, and other liturgical functions.

They also help provide pastoral care to people in hospitals and nursing homes, jails and prisons, and various other settings, sharing the faith by word and example. Permanent deacons coordinate what is typically part-time ministry with job and family responsibilities.

"These men have been deeply immersed in the diocesan Deacon Formation Program for more than five years," Bishop Zubik said. "The process has helped them discern their vocation to this ministry, deepen their relationship with the Lord, and model their lives on Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve."

Deacon Stephen J. Byers, director of the Deacon Formation Program and the Office for Deacon Personnel, says, "It has been a profound joy to walk with these men throughout the formation program and to witness their growth with the help and assistance of so many dedicated individuals who have been a part of their journey."

The ministry of deacons dates back to the earliest days of the Church. The New Testament recounts that, when faced with the need for help in caring for the practical well-being of the faithful, the apostles prayed and designated certain men for special service to the community.

The Deacon Class of 2022 includes one from South Pittsburgh: Brian W. Kail, Ph.D., Blessed Trinity Parish, Brentwood/Hays/South Pittsburgh

Dr. Kail works as a laboratory manager for Battelle Memorial Institute, which provides engineering, consulting and project management services for infrastructure projects. He and his wife, Joanna, are the parents of four children. His parish activities include serving as a sacristan, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, lector, altar server, and substitute catechist.

The men have been engaged in the Diocesan Formation Program since 2017. Formation involves an intensive program of course work, personal and spiritual development, and practical experience in pastoral ministry.

There are currently 95 permanent deacons in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The first class was ordained in 1974.


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