Archbishop ordains three men to the permanent diaconate
Archbishop ordains three men to the permanent diaconate
In the Year of the Priest, last weekend was a time for deacons.

Archbishop John Vlazny ordained three permanent deacons, Martin Larner, Jr., John Rilatt, and Richard Williams, during a Mass Oct. 31 at St. Mary Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.

In their new roles, the men will preach in the name of the Church, baptize children, lead prayer services, witness marriages and accompany mourners with prayer and compassion at funeral and wake services.

Larner is a retired police officer, and Rilatt serves as a campus minister at Central Catholic High School and volunteer at Holy Redeemer Church in Portland. Williams is a Vietnam War veteran who moved to the Southern Oregon coast in 2004.

They will begin their ministry in Portland, Roseburg and Port Orford.

As part of his training for ordination as a deacon, Larner completed the pastoral ministry Certificate program through the University of Portland. He has also served in ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Roseburg and at St. Francis Parish in Sutherlin.
Rilatt completed the Pastoral Ministry Certificate program through the University of Portland in 2008.

As part of his training for the diaconate Rilatt has assisted at liturgical services at Holy Redeemer Parish, and he assisted in the training of readers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. As part of the Ministry Certificate Program he initiated a ministry to the homebound, and completed a practicum in ministry at Immaculate Heart Parish in Portland.

He has volunteered as a compassionate care companion for the Martha and Mary Ministry, and has been a part of the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. He has served on the parish finance committee for 17 years.

As part of his training for the diaconate, Williams earned a master’s degree in pastoral ministry through the University of Portland. He and his wife moved to Port Orford in 2004. His ministry has been at St. John the Baptist Mission in Port Orford and at Holy Trinity Parish in Bandon. Deacons are one of the three orders of ordained ministers in the church: bishops, priests and deacons. They are ordained to be a sacramental sign in a ministry of service and charity.

During his homily, Archbishop Vlazny reminded the men that their poverty must be manifest by their simplicity of life; chastity as married men should be suited to someone who must daily touch the Eucharist and be the physical presence of Jesus the servant among their people; and their obedience found in their faithfulness to the demands of the ministry.

The archbishop welcomed the men, and thanked their families, formators, teachers and fellow parishioners for the support that led the men on their paths.

Deacons are ministers of the Word, and they can proclaim the Gospel at Mass.

Permanent deacons must be older than 35. They can be married, but if a deacon’s wife dies, he may not marry again without special permission.