By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald
Six of the 10 newly ordained permanent deacons have been assigned by Bishop Larry Silva to diaconal ministry in their own parishes. Four will go to parishes other than their home base.
At their parish assignments, deacons assist at Mass, preach, preside at weddings, baptisms and funerals, and help with catechetical and a variety of other ministries.
Going to their home parishes are:
- Deacon Ricardo Burgos of St. John the Baptist Parish, Kalihi
- Deacon Andres (Bambi) Emayo of Holy Cross Parish, Kalaheo, Kauai
- Deacon Rafael Mendoza of Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Honolulu
- Deacon Jonathan Ocampo of Immaculate Conception Parish, Ewa
- Deacon Christopher Ribucan of Holy Rosary Parish, Paia, Maui
- Deacon Craig Camello of St. Benedict Parish, Honaunau, Big Island
Going to parishes other than their own are:
- Deacon Gerald (Gary) Streff of St. Jude, Kapolei, assigned to Resurrection of the Lord Parish, Waipio
- Deacon Glenn M. (Mike) Brown of St. Jude Parish, Kapolei, assigned to Holy Family Parish, Honolulu
- Deacon Raymond Lamb of St. John the Baptist, Kalihi, assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Pearl City
- Deacon David Watson St Joseph Parish, Hilo, assigned to diaconal ministry at St. Theresa Parish, Mountain View
Deacon John Coughlin, director of the diocese’s diaconate formation program, called parish assignments an “imprecise” science, the collaboration of the diaconate formation directors, the “core” team that assisted in the deacons’ training, and the clergy personnel board.
“The board looks at the need, pastors’ requests for help and the current distribution of talent” when making a decision, Coughlin told the Hawaii Catholic Herald last week by email.
He gave the example of St. Jude Parish in Kapolei which had two men ordained deacons last month. The west Oahu parish already has three deacons, so one of the newly ordained went to Resurrection of the Lord Parish in Waipio, which had only one deacon, and the other went to Holy Family, near the airport, which had none.
Our Lady of Good Counsel’s two deacons are nearing retirement age, so it also received one from another parish, he said.
The new deacons mostly live relatively close to their assigned parishes.
Deacon Ricardo Burgos, who speaks Spanish and now resides in Kaneohe, has been active at St. John the Baptist Parish in Kalihi which has a strong Hispanic Catholic community, so he will remain there.
Deacon Dave Watson, though he works at St. Joseph in Hilo which has one deacon, lives close to St. Theresa Parish in Mountain View, so he will go there.
Of course, the deacon himself is also allowed a voice in the decision, Coughlin said. The bishop “takes into consideration a deacon’s desire, especially if there are no other mitigating factors,” he said.
The appointments of Deacons Burgos, Emayo, Mendoza, Ocampo and Ribucan were “effective immediately” with the publication of the official notices in the Jan. 26 Hawaii Catholic Herald in which all the appointments were announced.
The appointments of Deacons Streff, Brown and Lamb were effective Feb. 1.
Deacon Camello’s appointment was effective Feb. 2 and Deacon Watson’s will be effective Feb. 13.