I first posted on them a couple weeks ago.
Now, full details are in the Georgia Bulletin, including the story of the deacon in a wheelchair, Francis Head:
With its incense and ancient prayers, the ordination Mass was celebrated Saturday, Feb. 2, as friends and family crowded Christ the King Cathedral.
The new deacons of the Atlanta Archdiocese are Dan Buckley, Joseph Crowley, Eugene Dickerson, Mark F. Friedlein, Carlos Garcia, James C. Harkins, Jerome M. Hayward, Francis D. Head Jr., Paul Krarup, Ricardo D. Medina, Joseph Hoa Van Pham and Thomas J. Sandusky.
These twelve married men add to the growing number of permanent deacons who minister in the archdiocese. There are 153 deacons in the Atlanta Archdiocese who serve many roles in parishes, preaching, teaching, presiding at weddings, baptizing the young and leading mourners in funerals, and assisting during Mass. Deacons also serve in a range of special ministries.
Deacon Head was paralyzed after a motorcycle crash when he was 20. Now he views his disability and wheelchair as a gift.
“When I started formation, I did not want to be the ‘wheelchair deacon,’ but I have learned through much prayer that I am uniquely gifted by God to minister to many people who feel they have no one who understands them,” he said. “There is dignity through Christ whether you roll through life or walk through it.”
He is a member of the Disabilities Ministry’s advisory board for the archdiocese. His parish of St. Gabriel Church, Fayetteville, has found “simple solutions to any problem” when he is assisting at Mass. His son, Will, held the Book of the Gospels at his first Mass while he read. As a teacher at St. John the Evangelist School, Hapeville, he has led school assemblies.
“Now, I not only get to be a deacon at my parish, but also fulfill that role at the school. I am doubly blessed,” he said.
His wife, Stacey, said the years of commitment and training were worth it.
“I was amazed that this part of the journey was coming to fruition. All of that hard work was worth the effort. It was an extremely joyful moment for our whole family,” she said.
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!
Photos: Michael Alexander/Georgia Bulletin