Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
01.:) Archbishop John Vlazny is surrounded by the new ordained deacons Jose Baltazar Gonzalez, Felix Roberto Garcia, Ernest James Hix, Paul Stanley Cramer, Romeo Jimenez, Paul Nghia Pham, Leo Marce Rasca and Ricardo Cervantes, from left to right.
Archbishop John Vlazny is surrounded by the new ordained deacons Jose Baltazar Gonzalez, Felix Roberto Garcia, Ernest James Hix, Paul Stanley Cramer, Romeo Jimenez, Paul Nghia Pham, Leo Marce Rasca and Ricardo Cervantes, from left to right.
 
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
01.:) Archbishop John Vlazny is surrounded by the new ordained deacons Jose Baltazar Gonzalez, Felix Roberto Garcia, Ernest James Hix, Paul Stanley Cramer, Romeo Jimenez, Paul Nghia Pham, Leo Marce Rasca and Ricardo Cervantes, from left to right.
Archbishop John Vlazny is surrounded by the new ordained deacons Jose Baltazar Gonzalez, Felix Roberto Garcia, Ernest James Hix, Paul Stanley Cramer, Romeo Jimenez, Paul Nghia Pham, Leo Marce Rasca and Ricardo Cervantes, from left to right.
 
Deacons ordained for archdiocese 
After years of prayer and study, eight married men were prepared to be ordained permanent deacons Oct. 29 in Portland’s St. Mary Cathedral.
Archbishop John Vlazny said the Archdiocese of Portland is “blessed with the presence of so many men who are stepping forward to offer themselves as servants of the gospel.”
“All leadership in the church begins with service,” the archbishop told the congregation, which packed the cathedral.
Permanent deacons, who will not become priests, are ordained with a special mission of serving the sick and the needy, and helping at the altar during Mass. The deacons can officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals and give homilies. The permanent diaconate was revived after the Second Vatican Council. 
Those ordained were: Ricardo Cervantes, Paul Cramer, Felix Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, E. James Hix Jr., Romeo Jimenez, Paul Pham and Leo Rasca.
The corps of new deacons in western Oregon represents the local church’s ethnic diversity. Two were born in Mexico, one in Guatemala, one in El Salvador and one in Vietnam. The U.S.-born deacons in the class hail from Washington, California and Oregon. All have children.  
“Now, more than ever before, they become family men of the church,” the archbishop said, “servants of the gospel and charity, leaders across this great archdiocese on the journey of faith in which we all began on the day of our baptism.”
Archbishop Vlazny, who was himself ordained a transitional deacon 50 years ago to the day, said deacons are to be models of evangelization, since inviting others to the gospel is the mission of the church. They evangelize, he explained, by performing service with the kind of love Jesus showed when he laid down his life.  
Cervantes was born in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico, in 1962.  He is married to Anahi Cervantes, and they have six children. He serves as Hispanic ministry coordinator at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish in Ashland.
Cramer, a child welfare worker, was born in 1960 in Longview, Wash. He and his wife Paula have two children and are members of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Rainier. He has served on the parish pastoral council for more than 20 years, assists with funeral preparations, and has been providing adult education presentations.
Garcia was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1973. He and his wife Denise Hirata have four children. They attend Shepherd of the Valley Parish in Central Point, where he is coordinator of Hispanic ministry.
Gonzalez was born in 1971 in La Libertad, El Salvador. He and his wife Maria de los Angeles have four children and attend St. Anne Parish in Gresham. He has served at Holy Cross and Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland.  
Hix was born in The Dalles in 1959. He is married to Lynne Hix and they have two children. They are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie. He works with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults team in his parish.
Jimenez was born in 1966 in San Rafael la Independencia, Guatemala. He and his wife Micaela de Jimenez have three children and are parishioners at St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland. He is the minister to the Mayan community in the parish.  
Pham was born in 1959 in Dalat, Vietnam. He and wife Theresa Hang Nguyen have three children and are members of Our Lady of Lavang Parish in Portland and St. Anthony Parish in Tigard. He has been the director of religious education at Our Lady of Lavang, where he developed a catechist formation program. He is currently director of Vietnamese ministry at St. Anthony.
Rasca was born in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1945. He and his wife Nancy have six children and attend St. Joseph Parish in Salem. From 1990-’95 he assisted the Life in the Spirit Seminars in Portland, and was director of retreats for Life Directions in Salem 2003-’10. He is currently an adjunct instructor in the Chicano/Latino Studies program at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.
After years of prayer and study, eight married men were prepared to be ordained permanent deacons Oct. 29 in Portland’s St. Mary Cathedral. Archbishop John Vlazny said the Archdiocese of Portland is “blessed with the presence of so many men who are stepping forward to offer themselves as servants of the gospel.”
 
“All leadership in the church begins with service,” the archbishop told the congregation, which packed the cathedral.
Permanent deacons, who will not become priests, are ordained with a special mission of serving the sick and the needy, and helping at the altar during Mass. The deacons can officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals and give homilies. The permanent diaconate was revived after the Second Vatican Council. 
Those ordained were: Ricardo Cervantes, Paul Cramer, Felix Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, E. James Hix Jr., Romeo Jimenez, Paul Pham and Leo Rasca.
The corps of new deacons in western Oregon represents the local church’s ethnic diversity. Two were born in Mexico, one in Guatemala, one in El Salvador and one in Vietnam. The U.S.-born deacons in the class hail from Washington, California and Oregon. All have children.  
“Now, more than ever before, they become family men of the church,” the archbishop said, “servants of the gospel and charity, leaders across this great archdiocese on the journey of faith in which we all began on the day of our baptism.”
Archbishop Vlazny, who was himself ordained a transitional deacon 50 years ago to the day, said deacons are to be models of evangelization, since inviting others to the gospel is the mission of the church. They evangelize, he explained, by performing service with the kind of love Jesus showed when he laid down his life.  
Cervantes was born in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico, in 1962.  He is married to Anahi Cervantes, and they have six children. He serves as Hispanic ministry coordinator at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish in Ashland.
Cramer, a child welfare worker, was born in 1960 in Longview, Wash. He and his wife Paula have two children and are members of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Rainier. He has served on the parish pastoral council for more than 20 years, assists with funeral preparations, and has been providing adult education presentations.
Garcia was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1973. He and his wife Denise Hirata have four children. They attend Shepherd of the Valley Parish in Central Point, where he is coordinator of Hispanic ministry.
Gonzalez was born in 1971 in La Libertad, El Salvador. He and his wife Maria de los Angeles have four children and attend St. Anne Parish in Gresham. He has served at Holy Cross and Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland.  
Hix was born in The Dalles in 1959. He is married to Lynne Hix and they have two children. They are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie. He works with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults team in his parish.
Jimenez was born in 1966 in San Rafael la Independencia, Guatemala. He and his wife Micaela de Jimenez have three children and are parishioners at St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland. He is the minister to the Mayan community in the parish.  
Pham was born in 1959 in Dalat, Vietnam. He and wife Theresa Hang Nguyen have three children and are members of Our Lady of Lavang Parish in Portland and St. Anthony Parish in Tigard. He has been the director of religious education at Our Lady of Lavang, where he developed a catechist formation program. He is currently director of Vietnamese ministry at St. Anthony.
Rasca was born in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1945. He and his wife Nancy have six children and attend St. Joseph Parish in Salem. From 1990-’95 he assisted the Life in the Spirit Seminars in Portland, and was director of retreats for Life Directions in Salem 2003-’10. He is currently an adjunct instructor in the Chicano/Latino Studies program at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.