New cohort begins five-year permanent diaconate formation program
By Veronica Ambuul
COLORADO SPRINGS. The Office of Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Colorado Springs announced that 19 men have been accepted into the formation program for the permanent diaconate. The new cohort began their formation in August, with a target ordination date of May 2028.
“More than 100 men inquired about the diaconate, and we received over 40 applications,” said Deacon Cliff Donnelly, Director of Diaconate Formation. “Diaconate formation is a five-year program. The first two years focus on the aspirancy phase of formation, when each aspirant discerns his call to long-term diaconal service. The focus during aspirancy is spirituality, sacred scripture and Catholic theology.”
“If an aspirant is selected into the candidacy program, the focus shifts to service practicums in hospitals, prisons, jails, care facilities and service within the parish while continuing to grow in their prayer, spiritual life and a deeper understanding of our faith and sacred scripture,” he said.
Following are the names of the new aspirants along with the names of their wives and home parishes:
• Julio Adon (Sofia) — St. Gabriel the Archangel
• Solomon Baase (Rachel) — Our Lady of the Pines
• Jeff Bodwell (Megan) — U.S. Air Force Academy
• Hector Cardenas (Christine) — Holy Apostles
• John Ellis (Pamela) — Ave Maria in Parker
• Larry Emnett (Pauline) — St. Francis of Assisi, Castle Rock
• Mario Gutierrez (Sonia) — St. Francis of Assisi, Castle Rock
• Mick Harper (Janice) — St. Francis of Assisi, Castle Rock
• Hardy Hill (Jennifer) — St. Mark, Highlands Ranch
• Craig Jasper (Harriette) — Our Lady of the Pines
• Shane Kenne (Catherine) — Our Lady of the Woods, Woodland Park
• Hugo Lara (Irene) — Our Lady of Guadalupe
• Rich Leap (Nancy) — St. Paul
• Paul Lewis (Deborah) — St. Dominic, Security
• Richard Pavlik (Ann) — Our Lady of the Pines
• Dan Prochaska (Caitlin) — Corpus Christi
• Marcos Ramos (Alma) — St. Benedict, Falcon
• Thomas Schott (Angelle) — Our Lady of the Visitation, Kiowa
• Phillip Thomas (Joann) — Our Lady of the Pines
Currently, the diocese has 11 deacon candidates in their final year of formation who are scheduled to be ordained on May 25, 2024, at St. Peter Parish in Monument.
The current deacon candidates are: Nolan Behr, Kevin Dunbaugh, Jeffrey Hanson, Grove Higgins, Clarence (C.J.) Johnson, Robert Marquez, Aaron Menke, Thomas Resman, David Talafuse, Marc Wood and James Zielinski.