Anne-Marie Welsh


Father Mark Nowak, director of the Permanent Diaconate Program, presents the
candidates for ordination to Bishop Lawrence Persico at Our Lady of Peace Parish,
Erie , on Friday, May 28.     Photo/Anne-Marie Welsh

ERIE — “I did recognize a deep sense of peace. Just that God was with me.” So said newly ordained Deacon Frank Hannah of Notre Dame Parish in Hermitage after the May 28 rite of ordination at Our Lady of Peace (OLP) in Erie. His wife, Carrie Hannah, was succinct in summing up her response to the evening.
            “Great. It was very joyful,” she said.

Carrie and Deacon Frank Hannah
Photo/AM Welsh

The Hannahs were among seven couples being jostled in the fray of activity and photographs after the ceremony. Each deacon was being swept into hugs, receiving hardy pats on the back and being asked for blessings. The couples were pleased to be at the end of a long journey of study, ready to begin a new chapter of their lives.
            Those ordained include: Paul Barko of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Harborcreek; Joe Glover of Immaculate Conception Parish, Clarion; Frank Hannah of Notre Dame Parish, Hermitage; David Jacquel of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Harborcreek; Paul McCoy of Our Lady of Peace Parish, Erie; Dan Reilly of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Smethport; and Lawrence Tyers of St. Joseph Parish, Warren.
            The Friday-night ordination was held at OLP because renovations at St. Peter Cathedral made the usual venue unavailable. The different setting seemed appropriate given the many other changes that have been necessary during the past year.
            In his homily, Bishop Persico said the pandemic — which covered the final year of preparation for the ordination — offered powerful lessons.
            The “notion of service, reflected in our concern for others rather than our own comfort and well-being… lies at the heart of this day and the sacred order to which our brothers have been called,” he said. “Indeed, the faith of an authentic disciple enables one to experience fulfilment not in the acclaim that we receive for what we do or in the success we can measure or list on a resume, but in the joy and peace that we are privileged to bring into the lives of others through the grace of God at work within us — even and often when that privilege comes with the price of pain and suffering.”
            Bishop Persico also thanked the wives of the men who were to be ordained telling them

The new deacons and their wives with Bishop Lawrence Persico,
row 1, left to right: Deacon Frank and Carrie Hannah; Deacon
Paul and Debbie Barko; Bishop Persico; Deacon Paul and Joan
McCoy. Row 2, left to right: Deacon David and Peggy Jacquel;
Deacon Lawrence and Anne Tyers; Deacon Joseph and Jennifer
Glover and Deacon Dan and Frances Reilly. Photo/AMWelsh

that their love and support as the couples discerned their place in the Lord’s plan, as well as their fidelity in prayer “has been a blessing not only to your husbands but to the Church of Erie and to the lives of all those who will be touched by their ministry of service.” 
            After the ceremony, Anne Tyers said she could tell that her husband, Lawrence, was emotional during the rite. But both were absolutely celebrating the moment.
            “It was just amazing seeing him be able to do this,” she said. “It’s something he’s dreamed of for a very, very long time.”
            Bishop Persico appointed each deacon to serve in a parish within the diocese; the list of assignments can be found in the June 9 edition of the The Diocese of EriE-News.