November 1, 2019

2019 Vocations Awareness Supplement

New deacon candidates come from varied backgrounds

See photos and brief biographies about each deacon candidate by clicking the image above.

See photos and brief biographies about each deacon candidate by clicking the image above.

By Sean Gallagher

Twenty-two men from across central and southern Indiana were accepted by Archbishop Charles C. Thompson on Sept. 21 as candidates for the diaconate during a Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

They have completed one year of formation. Over the next three years, they will continue participating in the four dimensions of deacon formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

During that time, they will meet as a group for classes or on retreat one weekend a month for 11 months each year. Additionally, they will participate in various ministries of charity in parishes to which they will be assigned as well as other places outside of parishes (e.g., jails, hospitals, etc.).

Deacon Kerry Blandford, archdiocesan director of deacon formation, leads the candidates in their formation. Retired Father Jeffery Godecker serves as the director of spiritual formation for the deacon program.

This fourth class of deacon candidates range in age from 32 to 66. They have been married as few as 10 years and as many as 43.

Most continue to work at careers in the secular world, although five are retired. Their occupations vary from mechanical engineer to firefighter to claims consultant.

Nine of the 11 archdiocesan deaneries are represented in the new class of deacon candidates, which is the fourth such class in the history of the archdiocese. †


Christopher Arvin
Age: 65
Wife: Andrea
Children: 3
Parish: St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (Little Flower), Indianapolis
Occupation: Retired educator

Paul Baugh
Age: 55
Wife: Theresa
Children: 3
Parish: St. Bartholomew, Columbus
Occupation: Attorney

Jerome Bessler
Age: 51
Wife: Astra
Children: 2
Parish: St. Roch, Indianapolis
Occupation: Firefighter, paramedic, respiratory therapist

Kevin Daily
Age: 55
Wife: Anna
Children: 3
Parish: St. Lawrence, Lawrenceburg
Occupation: Corrections officer

Dennis Dininger
Age: 53
Wife: Liz
Children: 2
Parish: St. Gabriel the Archangel, Indianapolis
Occupation: Director of Commercial Operations

Timothy Elder
Age: 60
Wife: Shari
Children: 2
Parish: St. Joseph, Corydon
Occupation: Army contracting

Mark Henry
Age: 62
Wife: Brenda
Children: 2
Parish: St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis
Occupation: Retired mechanical engineer

Elvin Hernandez
Age: 47
Wife: Maria T. Colom
Children: 2
Parish: St. Anthony, Indianapolis
Occupation: Safety engineer consultant

Thomas Hosty
Age: 56
Wife: Julie
Children: 5
Parish: St. Barnabas, Indianapolis
Occupation: Director of Enforcement

Karl Knable
Age: 64
Wife: Lynda
Children: 2
Parish: St. Jude, Indianapolis
Occupation: Chief Actuary

Jorge Leanos
Age: 47
Wife: Amalia Cisneros
Children: 3
Parish: Holy Trinity, Edinburgh
Occupation: Mechanical engineer

James Martin
Age: 66
Wife: Debbie
Children: 2
Parish: St. Mark the Evangelist, Indianapolis
Occupation: Retired U.S. Air Force

Neil May
Age: 60
Wife: Kristin
Children: 2
Parish: St. Susanna, Plainfield
Occupation: Educator

Michael Nygra
Age: 53
Wife: Susan
Children: 4
Parish: St. Michael the Archangel, Indianapolis
Occupation: Claims consultant

James O’Connell
Age: 66
Wife: Louise
Children: 2
Parish: Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, Paoli
Occupation: Retired guidance counselor

Chris Rainbolt
Age: 59
Wife: Barb
Children: 3
Parish: St. Michael, Bradford
Occupation: Retired firefighter

Michael Rouselle
Age: 46
Wife: Michelle
Children: 1
Parish: St. Mary, Lanesville
Occupation: Pastoral Associate

Mark Schmidl
Age: 52
Wife: Leah
Children: 5
Parish: All Saints, Dearborn County
Occupation: Senior Facilities Director

David Urbanowski
Age: 63
Wife: Chris
Children: 1
Parish: St. Martin of Tours, Martinsville
Occupation: Retired pilot

James Velez
Age: 36
Wife: Angelica
Children: 6
Parish: St. Joseph, Shelbyville
Occupation: Die change tech

James Wood
Age: 55
Wife: Andrea
Children: 1
Parish: St. Simon the Apostle, Indianapolis
Occupation: Archdiocesan Coordinator of Catechesis

Jared Wuerzberger
Age: 32
Wife: Brenna
Children: 1
Parish: St. Joseph University, Terre Haute
Occupation: Professor


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