March 9, 2017
Bishop Paul J. Bradley is officially issuing a “call” to men in the Diocese of Kalamazoo inviting them to discern their vocation to the permanent diaconate. Currently there are 13 men in formation for the permanent diaconate who, God willing, will be ordained by Bishop Bradley this coming September. These men began their journey to the diaconate in 2011. Permanent deacons within the Diocese of Kalamazoo are assigned to both pastoral ministry as well as a particular area of ministerial focus.
Deacon Ken Snyder is on the pastoral staff for the Parish Collaborative of St. John Parish, Albion and St. Mary Parish, Marshall and also assigned to hospice ministry. Deacon Louis Zemlick (also ordained in 2012) is on the pastoral staff of St. John Bosco, Mattawan and also conducts a radio ministry by producing a weekly “Epiphany” radio show that he underwrites to air on WKZO on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m.
In his official Letter to the Faithful Bishop Bradley affirms the important role Deacons play in the life of the Church. “The ministry of deacons is clearly documented in Sacred Scripture,” writes Bishop Bradley, “from the institution of the diaconate in the Acts of the Apostles to the letter of St. Paul I am pleased to call for applicants to join the formation for a new class of deacons to be ordained in 2023.”
Candidates are required to be at least 33 years old and are not to be older than 60 at the time they enter the formation process. Permanent Deacon Formation Informational Sessions are scheduled for March and April. Deacon John Bodway, Director of Deacon Formation and St. Jude Parish, Gobles, will review with interested men and their wives the six-year study and formation program. Following is the schedule of informational sessions: Eastern Deanery: Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m. , St. Philip Parish Center, Battle Creek; Southern Deanery: Tuesday, April 18, 7 p.m., Sacred Heart of Mary Parish Hall, Dowagiac; Central Deanery: Saturday, April 1 10 a.m., St. Monica Parish Community Hall, Kalamazoo ; Northern Deanery: Wednesday, April 19, 7 p.m., St. Rose of Lima Church Hall, Hastings; Western Deanery: Monday, April 3, 7 p.m.. St. Bernard, Benton Harbor Parish Center.