Seven Permanent Deacons to Be Ordained June 19 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral


Cardinal Dolan will ordain seven men as permanent deacons for the archdiocese at a Mass of Ordination in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Saturday, June 19, at 9 a.m.

Deacon Martin Asiamah, 46, is a parishioner of St. Luke’s in the Bronx, where he has served as a lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, a member of the Holy Name Men’s Society and a member of the RCIA team. He is a member of the Ghanaian Catholic community in the archdiocese and has served the community at three Bronx parishes. Currently president of the community, he coordinates the activities of the Ghanaian Catholic apostolate in New York, and collaborates with Ghanaian apostolates in other dioceses. He is the first member of the Ghanaian community to be ordained a deacon of the archdiocese. He has served as a commissioner of the archdiocesan Office of Black Ministry for 14 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in design and graduate degree in architecture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He has worked for Tiffany and Company and now works for the New York Life Insurance Company. He and his wife, Rita, who have been married for 23 years, have four sons. He is grateful for the support and encouragement of his family, community and parish.

Deacon Fernando Cortés, 58, is a parishioner of St. Bernard’s in White Plains, where he has served as lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and a catechist. He is a Cursillista, and he and his wife, Sidia, serve as Pre-Cana facilitators for the archdiocesan Marriage Preparation program. He is a native of Chile, who has lived in New York for 37 years and has owned his own pest control business for 23 years. He and his wife have been married for 35 years and have two children, Andres and Cassandra.

Deacon Stephen DiGangi, 68, is a parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption in Katonah, where he has served as an acolyte, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, lector, parish trustee and catechist. He recently retired from the Katonah Lewisboro schools. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married for 30 years, and have five adult children and six grandchildren. He is a graduate of Iona College, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He is thankful for the prayers and encouragement of his wife, family, pastor and parishioners during his diaconate formation.

Deacon John Hum, 66, is a parishioner of St. Eugene's in Yonkers, where he has lived for more than 35 years. After graduating from Regis High School, he studied at Columbia University to obtain his bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in engineering, and at New York University’s Stern School of Business for his MBA in finance. He is retired from the financial services industry (Morgan Stanley and UBS), where he specialized in finance, risk management and technology. With his linguistic background in Cantonese, he worked for nearly four decades in Transfiguration parish in the Chinatown section of Manhattan as a catechist for religious education and RCIA, lector, commentator, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, youth minister, retreat leader, Bible studies organizer, and member of parish council and finance council. He has ministered to the pastoral needs of the residents of Hebrew Home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and served at HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle. He has completed his studies for the master’s degree in theology from St. Joseph's Seminary and College, Dunwoodie. In retirement, he is caring for his elderly parents in their home in Yonkers.

Deacon Walter Lopez, 62, a retired NYPD detective, is a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Shrub Oak, where he has served as lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and an acolyte. He is a member of the Holy Name Society and Seton Men’s Group. He and his wife, Rose, have two adult children, Amelia and Walter. He holds deep love and gratitude for his wife for the loving support she has given him during his diaconate formation and throughout 39 years of marriage. He is thankful for his Seton parish family, including Father Robert Quarato, the pastor, and Father John Figueroa, Father Madu Ranjith, Father Adolfo Novio, Deacon Michael Wilson, Deacon Richard Juliano and many faithful parishioners who encouraged his calling and prayerfully supported him.

Deacon Juan Martinez, 47, is a parishioner of St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity in Mamaroneck, where he has served as lector and teaches in their religious education program. He and his wife, Katya, and their children, Sofia and Gabriel, are active in several parish ministries. Juan is a social worker employed at Montefiore Medical Center as a director overseeing programs providing treatment to patients and families affected by substance use disorders. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from SUNY New Paltz, a master’s in social work from Fordham University and a master’s in theology from St. Joseph Seminary and College, Dunwoodie.

Deacon Joseph F. Schiavone, 65, has been married to his wife, Fran, for 34 years and together they have raised three boys, Joseph, Gabe and Steven. He is a parishioner at Holy Family on Staten Island where he has served as coordinator for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and ushers. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Society and serves as lector and acolyte at daily liturgies and on Sundays. He serves as master of ceremonies for all special Masses. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture and his master’s in urban design at Pratt Institute and worked for the City of New York for 32 years as an architectural designer. He and his wife were foster parents for teenage boys for five years. He was a Boy Scout Leader for over 20 years and helped many scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He teaches scuba diving. He recently became a full member of Rolling Thunder Inc., an organization committed to helping American veterans of all wars by publicizing POW-MIA issues.


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