Friday, August 19, 2022

Meet Deacons Kuchinski, Lawson, Livelsberger

Deacon Frank A. Kuchinski
Wife: Madeline (Lynne) Kuchinski
Home Parish: St. Leo the Great, Rohrerstown
Parish Assignment: St. Leo the Great, Rohrerstown
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
My parents always taught me that God put us on earth to serve Him, and we serve Him through service to our fellow brothers and sisters while here on earth. While volunteering at schools and in youth ministry, employed as Parish Manager at St. Leo’s, and watching my son, Father John, during his formation years in the seminary, I was drawn to greater service as my love for the people of the Diocese of Harrisburg grew. When Bishop Gainer announced a new Permanent Diaconate Formation Program in 2015, I felt called to apply and explore the Permanent Diaconate.

Deacon Frank A. Kuchinski

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
I simply want to serve in any way that I am able. In this time of “uncertainty,” I desire to bring the message of what is “certain” to everyone that needs and wants to hear it. The Father sent the Son, and the Holy Spirit is with us. The battle has already been won. We need to keep our eyes on the Cross and know of His certain love for each and every one of us, no matter what we face. That’s the message of hope that I desire to bring to the people I meet every day.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I am an Engineer and Materials Scientist by education, and have served in large and small companies throughout my 35-year career. I have held research, middle management and operations positions, and have taught in elementary, high school and college levels. I have served as full-time Parish Manager at St. Leo the Great Parish for the last 13 years, and concurrently work with my wife, Madeline, in our government contract R&D business.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
The formation program has deepened my love of our faith, and desire to learn more about it. I have discovered that our Catholic faith is so rich in history, tradition and theology, and that the more I learn, the more I discover I don’t know. It is clearly evident that deacons are called to servant leadership, and the key to all of this for me is growth in humility. None of this is possible without the graces that come through daily prayer, regular participation in the Sacraments and an always expanding personal relationship with our Trinitarian God.

Deacon James Lawson
 Wife: Helen Lawson
 Home Parish: Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Ephrata
 Parish Assignment: Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Ephrata
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
I have been a catechist since 1978, serving in a variety of roles, youth ministry, religious education teacher, RCIA team leader and Adult Faith Formation Coordinator. I have been privileged to be an extra-ordinary minister of Communion, which has led to my serving at Wellspan Ephrata Hospital as a Pastoral Care volunteer.
Some years ago, the gentleness of God’s inspiration gave me the thought of serving Him as a deacon. As time went on, this gentle call became more evident and never left me. I found a deepening of this call eleven years ago. I entered Spiritual Direction in hopes of understanding how to better serve God in my lay apostolate. My spiritual director, Father Pat McGarrity, helped flesh out how God formed me by growing the love of his great gift, the Church.

Deacon James Lawson

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
Pastoral Care of the sick and dying and outreach to fallen away Catholics. The primary mission of the Church is salvation, and God has given me a heart for calling those in danger back to his great love.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I was involved in Optical sales management for 30 years, selling eyewear to optometrists and opticians across the U.S.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
The community of my brothers and their wives in the program has demonstrated the incredible work God is doing in our lives and they have inspired me to be a better Catholic. The formators have been such a blessing to me by the careful direction in making sure that I was properly formed and prepared to become a deacon. The program was a balance of prayer, retreats, education, human development with pastoral training, and countless speakers which have had such a significant impact on my life. The formation has been the greatest and most rewarding challenge I have ever faced.

Deacon Christopher D. Livelsberger
Wife: Yolanda Livelsberger
Home Parish: Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hanover
Parish Assignment: Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hanover
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
Throughout my life I have always been involved within the Church performing various ministries from teaching CCD, RCIA, serving as Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, taking Communion to the homebound of our parish and helping out with various events in our parish. When the announcement was made by Bishop Gainer that a new class for the Permanent Diaconate would be created, the tugging on my heart was intense. After speaking with my wife, my children, discerning and praying, I feel God has been preparing me, molding me to humbly accept and use His gifts that He has given me to further promote the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Deacon Christopher D. Livelsberger

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
There are several facets I am looking forward to, namely teaching and ministering to God’s people. Whether this is visiting the sick or teaching people about our beautiful Catholic faith, I look forward to serving in whichever ministry I am asked to perform.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I currently am employed as a Human Resources Manager for Conewago Enterprises in Hanover. I enjoy my job and love the people I work for and with on a daily basis. We truly are a close-knit family and I believe that God has placed me in the perfect position. I interact with various personnel daily and enjoy the many personalities that make up my work family. Their constant support and prayers for me throughout my schooling has been amazing.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
The formation program is rooted deeply in many areas to include spiritual formation, academic formation, and intellectual formation. I have always been someone that relies deeply on prayer, and a spiritual person upon entering the Diaconate Formation Program. Spiritual formation within this program has challenged me to build and grow deeper in areas that I could not have imagined. Spiritual formation during these times of formation have truly drawn me closer to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer and spirituality are at the heart of everything we do in the program, but also everything we do every second of our lives. Another facet of spirituality that has helped me to grow substantially stronger, is the brotherhood that has been created with the group of men that I am so honored to call my brothers. We pray for and hold each other up daily. There truly is strength in numbers.

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