Dennis Macey
Dennis Macey
MEDFORD — A Medford firefighter will be ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Portland Saturday, Oct. 21.

At a rite set for 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, Archbishop Alexander Sample will ordain Dennis Macey, 63.

Macey traveled to Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey last week for a pre-ordination retreat. Asked about his hopes and dreams for diaconate, he said his duty is twofold.

First, he said, he is to serve the people of God in the archdiocese. As for his second point, he cited the origin of diaconate as explained in the Acts of the Apostles: The apostles were being taken away from preaching because of needs among the people and so seven men were chosen for service. For Macey, that means helping Father Ken Sampson, pastor of Sacred Heart, in whatever way possible. “What can I do for my pastor to ease the burden on his shoulders?” Macey said. “I am open to what the Holy Spirit asks me to do.”

A former carpenter, Macey moved to Medford in 1979 with wife Mary Ann and joined the Medford Fire Department 30 years ago.

The couple has two grown children, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Macey sensed the call to ministry in 2009 while recovering from emergency abdominal surgery.

His wife brought him a parish bulletin and he noticed a session for men interested in permanent diaconate. Something drew him.

After hesitating, he asked his wife if she would attend with him. Knowing him almost better than he knew himself, she asked why he had waited so long.

“The whole process has been one door opening after another,” Macey said.

Wives of permanent deacons must assent repeatedly before a man can be ordained. Macey says the diaconate is something the couple really does together.

Macey already is highly active at his parish. He takes Communion to homebound parishioners, teaches people who want to become Catholic, serves on the pastoral council, sits on a spiritual life committee and is on a panel exploring the possibility of a new parish in the Medford area.

To top it off, he just joined the Knights of Columbus.

Macey obtained a masters in theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. The seminary offers classes online.

He has asked Catholics to pray for him and seeks their forgiveness if he ever falls short. He said that though he is being ordained at his parish because the archbishop was willing to save Medford Catholics a trip, he is aware that he is ordained for all Catholics of western Oregon.

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