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Our Deacons

We have been blessed by the ministry of many deacons. Deacons have a long history in the Catholic Church and are an essential part of our pastoral mission. In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, there are three "orders."  The first step is deacon, then presbyter, then bishop.  There are two types of deacons in the Catholic Church, transitional deacons on their way to becoming presbyters (commonly called priests) and then there are permanent deacons who most often are married men who begin their formation for the diaconate once ther families have been established and the young children have grown older and no longer need as much daily attention from their father. 

Deacons are valuable pastoral team members in their assignments. Most parishioners are more aware of their ministry serving at Mass where they rightfully lead particular parts of the Mass. They lead part of the Introductory Rite, Proclaim the Gospel, Preach the homily, extend the sign of peace, are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion and extend the dismissal at the end of the Mass.  Their ordination does not allow them to preside at Mass as a priest does, but they can preside over weddings (if there is no Mass) including blessing the married couple,  and perform baptisms of infants, lead funeral services that do not include a Mass, conduct burial rites, bless relgious objects, serve as chaplains and spiritual directors of orginazations, teach sacrament preparation, visit the sick (though they may not absolve people from sins in the sacrament of Confession/Penance and may not administer the Anointing of the Sick.  

Read all about deacons by going to our Diocese of Phoenix Office of the Diaconate.

Deacons at St. Clare of Assisi Parish do a variety of ministries depending on their ministerial experience, training, health and family responsibilities, interests and needs of the parish. 

Our current deacons are:

Deacon Donnan "Luke" Lukaszewski

Ordained for the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, October 30, 1993, he joined our parish along with his wife, Gayle. They have five adult children. Their son, Joe Lukaszewski, is our pastoral care coordinator who works with ministry to the sick, marriage preparation, and nullity of marriage. Their grandson, Peter Lukaszewski (Joe's son) is a seminarian for our diocese, studying at the Pontifical College Josephinum.

 

Deacon David Opsahl

Ordained for the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota on November 15, 2008, he joined our parish in 2012 along with his wife, Karen. He officially incardinated in the Diocese of Phoenix, AZ in 2018. They moved to our area from North Dakota to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Deacon Dave and his wife, Karen, have two adult children, a son and a daughter and grandchildren.

 

Deacon Michael Pirylis

Ordained for the Diocese of Patterson, New Jersey, May 8, 1993, he joined our parish us in 2014 along with his wife, Getti. Deacon Mike is retired from a long careers in information technology with RCA and has a business management degree. Deacon Mike and Getti have one son and four grandchildren.



 


 

 


Deacons at Mass can be distinguished from priests by their vestments. Deacons wear their stole over one shoulder and tied to one side, normally below a dalmatic,  while priests wear their stole over both shoulders and normally under their chasuble.

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