From Philadelphia comes this remembrance of a deacon who died just after Christmas:
Paul Michael Parchinski was a chemical engineer who over a 34-year career worked his way up the echelons of the petroleum industry, retiring from Citgo in 2001 as senior environmental adviser. It was then that he decided to take a job with an employer even mightier than the oil giants.
Mr. Parchinski became Deacon Parchinski, serving his home parish, Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church in Woodbury.
Instead of hazmat emergencies and executive meetings, he was called to assist priests; perform weddings, baptisms, and funerals; tend to the sick; and console the bereft.
Little more than a week ago, he made his usual rounds of the elderly and the ill. The next day he himself was a patient at Underwood-Memorial Hospital. Mr. Parchinski, 70, of West Deptford, died there of cardiac arrest on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Although long a religious man and a Eucharistic minister, Mr. Parchinski was caught off-guard when a priest approached him a dozen years ago.
“He said, almost prophetically, ‘You’re going to be a deacon,’ ” recalled Patricia, his wife of 21 years.
Already in poor health – heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and a quadruple bypass in his not-distant past – Mr. Parchinski at first thought the priest’s premonition was “off the wall,” his wife recalled.
Still, “he felt led – led by God to the diaconate.”
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …