“I did recognize a deep sense of peace. Just that God was with me.” So said newly ordained Deacon Frank Hannah of Notre Dame Parish in Hermitage after the May 28 rite of ordination at Our Lady of Peace (OLP) in Erie. His wife, Carrie Hannah, was succinct in summing up her response to the evening “Great. It was very joyful,” she said.

The Hannahs were among seven couples being jostled in the fray of activity and photographs after the ceremony. Each deacon was being swept into hugs, receiving hardy pats on the back and being asked for blessings. The couples were pleased to be at the end of a long journey of study, ready to begin a new chapter of their lives.

Those ordained include: Paul Barko of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Harborcreek; Joe Glover of Immaculate Conception Parish, Clarion; Frank Hannah of Notre Dame Parish, Hermitage; David Jacquel of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Harborcreek; Paul McCoy of Our Lady of Peace Parish, Erie; Dan Reilly of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Smethport; and Lawrence Tyers of St. Joseph Parish, Warren.

The Friday-night ordination was held at OLP because renovations at St. Peter Cathedral made the usual venue unavailable. The different setting seemed appropriate given the many other changes that have been necessary during the past year.

In his homily, Bishop Persico said the pandemic — which covered the final year of preparation for the ordination — offered powerful lessons.

The “notion of service, reflected in our concern for others rather than our own comfort and well-being… lies at the heart of this day and the sacred order to which our brothers have been called,” he said. “Indeed, the faith of an authentic disciple enables one to experience fulfillment not in the acclaim that we receive for what we do or in the success we can measure or list on a resume, but in the joy and peace that we are privileged to bring into the lives of others through the grace of God at work within us — even and often when that privilege comes with the price of pain and suffering.”

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The caption for the photo above, from the Diocese of Erie Facebook page: 

The new deacons and their wives pose with Bishop Persico. Row 1, left to right: Deacon Frank and Carrie Hannah; Deacon Paul and Debbie Barko; Bishop Persico; Deacon Paul and Joan McCoy. Row 2, left to right: Deacon David and Peggy Jacquel; Deacon Lawrence and Anne Tyers; Deacon Joseph and Jennifer Glover and Deacon Dan and Frances Reilly.

Congratulations, and welcome! Ad multos annos!