By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — Sometimes, like the elderly Sarah did when told she would bear a son within a year in the first reading for the day from Genesis, the human response is to laugh.
“I love the part about Sarah laughing,” Bishop Robert W. Finn told 14 candidates to become permanent deacons at their Rite of Candidacy June 25 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish.
“It makes me think of my own choice to pursue a vocation,” he said. “Here, there may be some (among the deacon candidates) who laughed. There may be some who were laughed at. But when they are open, the beauty of God’s plan unfolds.”
Never fear that a person answering God’s call will be unable to fulfill it, Bishop Finn told the candidates. If it is truly God’s call, God will fill in the rest.
“God is with us,” Bishop Finn said. “We never have fear because God is in charge. He continues to lead us and guide us every step of the way.”
The 14 men now in formation could become the largest class of deacons ordained since Bishop Emeritus Raymond J. Boland reestablished the permanent diaconate in the diocese a decade ago.
• Rick Boyle, Good Shepherd Parish, Smithville.
• Dan Brink, St. Patrick Parish, St. Joseph.
• Marcelino Canchola, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Kansas City.
• Jim Dougherty, St. Louis Parish/Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Kansas City.
• Richard Gross, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Raytown.
• Tyrone Guitierrez, Guardian Angels Parish, Kansas City.
• Keith Hoffman, Holy Spirit Parish, Lee’s Summit.
• Len Matties, Good Shepherd Parish, Smithville.
• John Nash, St. Patrick Parish, St. Joseph.
• Dien Nguyen, Church of the Holy Martyrs, Kansas City.
• Jim Olshefski, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Kansas City.
• John Purk, St. Agnes Parish/Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Roeland Park
• Douglas Warrens, Visitation Parish, Kansas City.
• John Wichmann, Good Shepherd Parish, Smithville.
Just as God did the impossible in giving a son to the elderly Abraham and Sarah, so will he assist all who follow his call and his plan, Bishop Finn told the candidates, their family and friends.
And like Abraham and Sarah, the 14 candidates have the courage to answer that call.
“They stand before us because they dare to trust that God may be calling them to a new vocation, or perhaps a new dimension to their vocation to marriage and family,” Bishop Finn said.
“We humbly but confidently ask that the love and grace of God will be poured out upon them — a gift of hope and promise,” he said.