Friday, August 19, 2022

Meet Deacons Hewitt, Koch, Kozlowski

Deacon Thomas A. Hewitt
Wife: Susan A. Hewitt
Home Parish: St. Theresa, New Cumberland
Parish Assignment: St. Theresa, New Cumberland
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
I have been blessed to live in the same parish since I was five years old. During all that time, I have been actively involved in many ministries. As my wife and I raised five children, we had so many great experiences of the community that is the Church. Still, I felt as though there was something more that could be done to serve this community. When my wife heard about a new class of permanent deacons, we both felt this was the direction I was intended to go.

Deacon Thomas A. Hewitt

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to using my personal experience of the workplace and family life, combined with my intellectual and spiritual formation, to serve those to whom I minister. I would have to say I look forward to accompaniment. Just being with those who need to feel the love of Christ so that they know there is someone who cares and is there to help.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I am currently the Director of Facilities for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency in Harrisburg.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
Immensely. As a lifelong Catholic, I considered myself fairly strong in the knowledge of our faith. The intellectual formation introduced me to the depth and beauty of the faith which I had failed to grasp, while the spiritual formation taught me what it really means to open one’s heart to the will of God and listen. My wife and I both benefited greatly and have a much fuller spiritual life together because of formation.

Deacon James Koch
Wife: Paula Koch
Home Parish: St. Patrick, York
Parish Assignment: St. Patrick, York
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
Prior to the article in The Catholic Witness over five years ago, my knowledge of the role of the permanent deacon was scarce. I read it and discerned if this was God’s calling for me, and asked the Lord for guidance. After confirmation from my wife – that she thought I would be a good fit for the program – I submitted my application. The deacon’s unique role of working behind the scenes in the parish to care for God’s people, as well as the promise of total loyalty to the bishop, reminded me how special the deacon is in the Church’s eyes.

Deacon James Koch

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
While the deacon is visible in a parish when he is on the altar, I am really looking forward to getting out into the community and being able to reach people where they are, physically and spiritually. From communion calls to hospital visits to the welcoming of a newly registered family, I look forward to venturing outside the four walls of the church.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I currently run Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in York. My wife started the soup kitchen back in 1983 with the support of Msgr. Thomas Brenner, so it has been in the family since its founding. I took over the daily operations about nine years ago.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
My daily prayer life has increased significantly. Gathering in community with my brother candidates became so special to me. I have come to appreciate and understand the importance of the faithful gathering together to say the Office and other prayers. My morning and evening routine has become so important to me; it helps me center my day before it begins and to give thanks as it is ending. I strive to never forget and to acknowledge all God gives me every day.

Deacon Walter J. Kozlowski                  
Wife: JoAnn E. Kozlowski
Home Parish: Divine Redeemer, Mount Carmel
Parish Assignment: Divine Redeemer, Mount Carmel
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
I would have to say gratitude to God was my primary motivation. I have been very blessed. I had great parents whose example of devotion helped instill their deep faith in me. I have been blessed with terrific siblings and their families, as well as our extended family. Most of all, God brought my wife JoAnn into my life. We even met in church. I’ve had great friends, work colleagues and students. By serving others, I hope to try to repay God with at least a tiny fraction of what He has given me.

Deacon Walter J. Kozlowski

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
While I eagerly anticipate serving God in the ministries of the liturgy and the word, I am really looking forward to serving in the third munera of the permanent diaconate – charity. One area of charity that has appealed to me from the start is serving those in long-term care facilities, who often suffer as much from loneliness as from health issues. However, as a teacher I have seen the devastating effects of addiction on my students and former students. That is another area in which I pray to be of some help.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
That requires a two-part answer. For 22 years, I worked as a newspaper reporter and assistant editor. I still write a weekly humor column and occasional spiritual column. In 1999, I returned to college a few decades after graduation to become a teacher. I am beginning my 21st year at the school, teaching ninth-grade and eighth-grade English. I have been blessed to have had a wide variety of young people as students for the past two decades. They give me a fresh perspective on life.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
It’s impossible to measure how much formation has helped me to grow spiritually. My brother candidates and I have been blessed with terrific leaders – Fathers Paul Schenck and Neil Sullivan, Sister Geralyn Schmidt and Msgr. William King. We have benefited from the selfless gifts of time and experience by deacons, their wives and many others. I have grown spiritually just by associating with a terrific group of brothers in faith, who inspire me with their spirituality and service. The formation program has brought me even closer to my wife. Figuratively, we’ve always shared a heart. Now we share a soul.

- Advertisement -spot_img

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submissions to the biweekly Notebook/Parish Obituaries listing is every other Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the Publication Schedule for edition dates and deadlines.

Other News