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Ten ordained permanent deacons for diocese

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)

On the Feast of St. Philip and St. James, May 3, Bishop Walker Nickless ordained 10 men of the Diocese of Sioux City to the permanent diaconate at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.

“My brothers, look at the church, it’s here to pray for you,” said the bishop in his opening. “You have nothing to worry about. We are all here for you.”

The newly ordained are Charles Joseph Coleman, Lanse Rickard Rohr, Lu Verne Michael Burke, Paul Michael Gengler, Dennis Raymond Brockhaus, Kevin George Poss, Robin Paul Claypool, Thomas John Henrich, Rickey Paul Salocker and Daniel Patrick Goebel.

Bishop Nickless was the main celebrant for the Mass. The principal concelebrants were Msgr. Mark Duchaine, vicar general; Father William Vit, rector of the Cathedral; Msgr. Kevin McCoy, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Fort Dodge; Father Timothy Friedrichsen, pastor of St. Mary Parish, Storm Lake; Father James Bruch, pastor of St. Malachy Parish, Madrid; Father Paul Eisele, pastor of St. James Parish, Le Mars; Father Armand Bertrand, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Sioux City; Father Steven McLoud, pastor of Nativity Parish, Sioux City; Father Paul Kelly, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Denison; Father Kevin Richter, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Le Mars; and Father Terry Roder, pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Granville.

The other concelebrants were priests of the diocese. The deacons of the Mass were Deacon David Lopez and Deacon Tim Murphy. Deacon of the Eucharist was newly ordained Deacon Thomas Henrich. Others vested were the deacons of the diocese. Master of ceremonies was Father Brent Lingle with assistant master of ceremonies being Brandon Harvey. The servers were diocesan deacon candidates. The Knights of Columbus provided an honor guard for the ceremony.

The first and second readings were proclaimed by two deacon wives – Denise Gengler and Betty Rohr.
Prior to the homily, Msgr. Mark Duchaine presented the candidates for Holy Orders. He told the bishop that the 10 men had been found worthy for ordination and the bishop announced that the candidates were chosen for the Order of the Diaconate.

Serving the church

During the homily, Bishop Nickless saw the men as “men willing to let God into their lives to mold them and form them into his service.”

“These 10 men are truly a treasure to the Diocese of Sioux City,” he said. “Their ordination today signifies the goodness of God and his love for the church. The Lord called them, despite their unworthiness, to help all of us grow in holiness through their ministry in our diocese.”

As deacons, the bishop said, the men are called to serve in three ways. First, the deacons serve by proclaiming the word of God by preaching, teaching and breaking open the words of Scripture.

“Secondly, they are to serve at the altar caring for the Eucharist and helping the bishop and priests in celebrations of the Mass,” said Bishop Nickless. “Thirdly, they are to be servants to the needy, to be men marked by charity and care for others.”

He thanked each candidate for their courage to answer “yes” to the call from God.

“Each one of them are unique and have their own particular talents and gifts that the Lord wants to use,” said the bishop. “They are willing to surrender their lives to God in service to the church.”

Bishop Nickless thanked the candidates’ wives and children “for the gift of their husbands and fathers. I thank their parents and other relatives and friends who have prayed for them and encouraged them.”

“I thank you brothers for the sacrifices you have made in these many years of formation – reading, studying, praying, long Saturday sessions, retreats, meetings, homework, preparations and driving long distances,” said the bishop. “I hope you feel today the satisfaction of the job well done.”

He added the men have grown “in wisdom, age and grace. You have accomplished much by God’s grace and by surrendering to him and his will for your life.”

“My brothers, the journey does not stop here. It only begins,” said Bishop Nickless. “May God bless all of you in your efforts and fill you, your family and those you touch with peace and joy.”


After the examination of the candidates and promises of obedience, the candidates prostrated before the altar as the congregation sang the Litany of Saints. 

Each candidate then knelt before Bishop Nickless, who laid his hands upon their heads. The bishop then extended his hands and offered the prayer of consecration.

“By prayer and the laying on of hands they entrusted to these men the ministry of serving at table,” prayed the bishop. “We beseech you, Lord, look with favor on these servants of yours who will minister at your holy altar and whom we now humbly dedicate to the office of deacon.”

Then each man was vested in the deacon’s stole and dalmatic followed by Bishop Nickless placing the Book of Gospels in the candidates’ hands saying, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”

The Liturgy of the Eucharist continued with newly-ordained Deacon Thomas Henrich helping prepare the altar. Three deacon wives, Liz Brockhaus, Jacki Goebel and Stormy Poss, brought forward the offertory gifts.

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