Diocese’s Permanent Diaconate Program Progressing

WHEELING—The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has 33 aspirants for the permanent diaconate.
“We have two aspirants from the Beckley Vicariate, seven from Charleston, five from Clarksburg, seven from Martinsburg, four from Parkersburg, and eight from Wheeling,” said Deacon John Yaquinta, chairman of the 2020-2024 Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Permanent Deacon Steering Committee. The names of aspirants have not been released because they are still going through the process.
When the bishop expressed his intention to begin a permanent diaconate class in the fall of 2020, a steering committee was mobilized which included permanent deacons and their wives, the head of the diocesan worship office, priests of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, and others.
The committee was organized by suggestions from the Presbyteral Council and the process was overseen and facilitated by the vicar for clergy. In the last two weeks, the bishop has named Deacon John Yaquinta as the chairman of the steering committee. Deacon Yaquinta and Father Schuelkens will continue to work side-by-side with the steering committee members to complete the interview process and begin the program in late August 2020. The applications were reviewed, voted on, and some even discussed. The final list of names passed the first hurdle, Deacon Yaquinta said. Now they are collecting all the necessary forms and letters while waiting their turn for the psychological tests taking place in Wheeling.
In July, after all their information has been collected and distributed, each vicariate will hold interviews with their candidates getting additional information, resolving any questions or concerns. And providing prayer and support.
Deacon Yaquinta encouraged his fellow deacons and all to “pray for these fine men! They come from all careers and backgrounds and being with them the same love of Jesus we all share.”
Classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 28 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston.
Steering committee members include: Deacon Doug Breiding, Deacon Lou and Barb Beldina, Deacon Harry Evans, Tina High, Bernadette Kime, Deacon Helgi Nelson, Deacon Dennis and Val Nesser, Deacon Marcus Pressl, Deacon Tom and Elaine Soper, Deacon Steve Wharton, Deacon Yaquinta, chairman, and Father Schuelkens, Vicar for Clergy.

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