The Archdiocese of Chicago will add seven permanent deacons to its ranks Sunday at a service officiated by Cardinal Francis George. Another deacon was ordained last weekend.
The eight new deacons, seven from suburban parishes and one from Chicago, completed a four-year training program at Mundelein Seminary and will become Roman Catholic clergy upon their ordination. Their preparation included a yearlong pastoral ministry internship.
The Chicago archdiocese said Tuesday that its more than 600 deacons are the most in the Catholic Church. Deacons can perform baptisms, funerals, marriages and assist priests at Mass.
Unlike priests, deacons can marry and have children, and the archdiocese said more than 98 percent of them are married with families. Most new deacons are assigned to their home parishes and also have careers outside their ministry.
Seven of the deacons will be ordained at Holy Name Cathedral, on Chicago's Near North Side, at 2:15 p.m. Sunday. George is also expected to ordain 15 new priests this month, including 12 on Saturday.
Here is a list of the new deacons and the parishes where they will serve:
• Miguel B. Alandy, St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in north suburban Mundelein.
• Dennis M. Cristofaro, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in southwest suburban Orland Hills.
• Peter Hajdu, St. Emily Parish in northwest suburban Mount Prospect.
• John E. Herbert, St. Martha Parish in north suburban Morton Grove.
• Joseph Tony B. Valdez, also St. Martha Parish.
• William J. Hynes, St. Sabina Parish, in the Gresham neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.
• Christopher M. Murphy, St. Nicholas Parish in north suburban Evanston.
• Gregory K. Webster, St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in north suburban Old Mill Creek. Webster was ordained last weekend.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun