The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock
Deacon Tom Costello, the diocese’s minister to deacons, delivers the Gospel during the Mass. (Malea Hargett photo) Bishop Anthony B. Taylor delivers the homily during the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders Sept. 8 at St. John Center in Little Rock. (Malea Hargett photo) Byron Newton and Ken Hunter, both of Rogers, stand during the candidacy rite. (Malea Hargett photo) John Birmingham and his wife Anne, of St. Jude Church in Jacksonville, hold hands during the candidacy rite. (Malea Hargett photo) Father Erik Pohlmeier, diaconate formation director, speaks to the deacon candidates and their wives at the conclusion of Mass. (Malea Hargett photo)

Men move forward toward their diaconate ordination

Accepted as candidates, 62 begin four-year program

Published: September 21, 2018      
Bob Ocken
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor and Father Erik Pohlmeier gather with deacon candidates and their wives Sept. 8 outside Morris Hall at St. John Center in Little Rock.

Sixty-two men are continuing in the next stage toward becoming permanent deacons. They were accepted as candidates for holy orders during a Mass Sept. 8 at St. John Center in Little Rock.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor asked the men if they were ready to complete their studies to become deacons in the Church after their ordination in 2022. Sitting next to them were their wives, who also can attend the formation.

In August 2017 the diocese opened its new diaconate formation class with 70 aspirants. Over the past year the men and their wives focused their studies on human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation. Now as candidates they will begin their theology studies. Forty-four English-speaking men meet every other month at St. John Center in Little Rock with a program offered through St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Each week they have online assignments and discussions to complete. Professors from the college/seminary serve as instructors in Little Rock.

Eighteen Spanish-speaking men and their wives meet at Subiaco Abbey monthly with local priests and laity serving as instructors.

The candidates are:


Central Arkansas

• Benton, Our Lady of Fatima: Dan Cartaya and Ron Lee

• Conway, St. Joseph: Ramon Argueta, Mark Mize and Calvin Pearcy

• Jacksonville, St. Jude: John Birmingham

• Little Italy, St. Francis of Assisi: Chris Dorer

• Little Rock: Juan Mares, St. Theresa; Marc Rios, Cathedral of St. Andrew; Thomas Cannon, Greg Donaldson, Joe Lukacs, Jerome Ngundue, Randy Spellins, John Suskie and Angelo Volpi, Christ the King; and Jim Goodhart, Tom Kirchner and Ted Saer, Our Lady of the Holy Souls

• Morrilton, Sacred Heart: Peter Post

• North Little Rock, Immaculate Conception: Ed Sweeden


Southwest Arkansas

• Camden, St. Louis: Nick Moseley

• De Queen, St. Barbara: Roberto Perez

• Mena, St. Agnes: Jim McWilliams

• Texarkana, St. Edward: Bob Berry, Greg Casteel and Leon Pesek


Southeast Arkansas

• Hamburg, Holy Spirit: Benito Juarez

• Pine Bluff, St. Joseph: Garry Boccarossa

• Stuttgart, Holy Rosary: Greg Fisher


Northwest Arkansas

• Fayetteville, St. Joseph: Jason Pohlmeier

• Fort Smith: Jaime Flores and Brad Brown, St. Boniface; Candelario Galvan and Bill Curry, Immaculate Conception

• Mountain Home, St. Peter the Fisherman: Robert Wochner

• Rogers, St. Vincent de Paul: Sergio Aguilar, Fabio Cruz, Tiburcio Duran, Raul Garcia, Arturo Hernandez, Rob Brothers, Dan Grelle, Larry Grelle, George Hunter, Byron Newton and Tom Parks

• Russellville, St. John: Larry Fox

• Siloam Springs, St. Mary: Moises Colon and Jose Zamora

• Springdale, St. Raphael: Eduardo Andrade, Oswaldo Batres, Oscar Lopez, Ernesto Pena, Luis Antonio Sanchez and Rob Phillips

• Yellville, St. Andrew: George Gussy


Northeast Arkansas

• Engelberg, St. John: David Helms

• Jonesboro, Blessed Sacrament: Bobby Bennett, Marty Huss and Scott Rennels

• Pocahontas, St. Paul: Henry Gross

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