Deacon John has decided to take a sabbatical from active ministry effective July 1, 2022. He will return to an adjusted ministerial schedule the first week of October 2022.
I’m 72 years young, having worked as a Journeyman Plumber and now a proud retired member of 47 years in Plumbers Local Union #130. In 2002, after completing four years of Diaconate Formation, I was ordained a deacon by Francis Cardinal George having served at both St. Thecla and St. Cornelius Parishes these 18 years.
My late wife Candace and I were married at St. Thecla Church, May 27th 1973. We gave birth to four children. Three sons: Timothy C.F.D., Michael C.F.D., John C.P.D. and our daughter Kathleen employed by the State of Illinois working for the State Representative.
My wife Candace and my younger sister Nancy attended and graduated together from St. Tarcissus School. They were life-long friends and my sister became the match-maker who re-introduced me to Candaceback in 1971. The rest fills a life-time of family, friends and great memories that spanned 45 years.
In May of 2016 my wife began her second and final fight with cancer and God called the love of my life home to Heaven, October 24th 2016. Needless to say, my life goes on, but the loss of that love never
leaves one completely, as so many of you have experienced.
Candace attended the Diaconate Formation Program with me and supported my call to serve as a permanent deacon here in the Archdiocese of Chicago. We were a great team together working in several positions as staff members at St. Thecla Church and School.
As a deacon I’ve served the Archdiocese of Chicago outside the parish in a variety of ministries. I was a Field Advocate for the Matrimonial Tribunal of the Archdiocese for 12 years of my ministry. I volunteered as Prison Chaplain at the Cook County Jail for the first five years of my diaconate. My wife and I both volunteered and assisted in the opening of The Kolbe House, a ministerial program for men leaving prison and transitioning to home, family and job opportunities.
This ministry concluded in 2008.
In parish life, Candace and I assisted in several Sacramental preparation classes for R.C.I.A and R.C.I.C. Programs as well as Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation classes.
At St. Cornelius we volunteered as Food Pantry helpers.
I enjoy 9 holes of golf but walking nine takes a lot more effort these days. And YES, a few cold beers taste that much better back at the club house.
In closing, I’ll pray for our parish family and I ask for your prayers as well. I look forward to the many parish events be they spiritual, educational or social that fulfill the mission of Christ and the Church.
God Bless +