Wheaton Iowa associates ordained as deacons
by Adam Amdor
Archbishop Michal Jackels of the Archdiocese of Dubuque ordained two associates of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Iowa as permanent deacons in a Mass of Ordination held Saturday, July 15 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hiawatha. Chris Evans, a technical services analyst specialist at Covenant Medical Center and Michal Schemmel, a chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein were two of eleven individuals ordained in front of an audience of approximately 1,200 people.
A deacon is an ordained minister of the Catholic Church, and is able to assist in Mass, Baptisms, witness marriages, celebrate funerals, Benediction and various other prayer services involved in the Liturgy. They visit the sick and homebound, those in hospice and jail, and serve in the many ministries in the community such as at homeless shelters and food pantries. The deacon is also the first person contacted to lead a Sunday celebration of Mass if the priest is absent.
After an extended application and interview process, both Evans and Schemmel attended four and a half years of classes sponsored by the Archdiocese. Evans is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterloo, and Schemmel is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Sumner.