Friday, August 12, 2022

Meet Deacons Owsinski, Pichardo, Pichler

Deacon Tom Owsinski
Wife: Jackie Owsinski
Home Parish: St. James, Lititz
Parish Assignment: St. James, Lititz
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
To be quite honest, I am not sure what drew me to the diaconate. I was certainly inspired by the charism of the deacons of the Diocese of Harrisburg that I had encountered at various times and circumstances throughout the last several years prior to my ordination, but ultimately, I believe that it was the unexplainable prompting of the Holy Spirit that drew me to discern the diaconate.

Deacon Tom Owsinski

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to the new and unknown opportunities that ordained ministry will bring. When I entered formation, I had no idea what was in store, and the experience has far surpassed what I could have ever imagined. I anticipate the same in ministry. I do not really know what my future in ministry might hold, but I know it will be different and more than I can imagine. God has something special in store for each of us, we simply need to trust in Him.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
Prior to ordination I was a music teacher in the Conestoga Valley School District in Lancaster. I was the band director for the high school, middle school and elementary schools at various points in my career. I retired in 2019 to take a position at my parish, St. James in Lititz.
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
I cannot even begin to explain how this program has impacted my spiritual development, my marriage and my life. I am truly blessed to have been called to this program along with an incredible group of men and their spouses, and to have the opportunity to be formed by such a devoted and holy group of formators. I have grown deeper in my understanding of the Church, in my relationship with my wife, in knowing my own self, and in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Deacon Carlos Pichardo
Wife: Aida Pichardo
Home Parish: St. Joseph, Hanover
Parish Assignment: St. Joseph, Hanover
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
I think what drew me to serve the Dioceses was God Himself. I have been in the Diocese for only 11 years. I grew up in Mexico City, and I never thought of becoming a Deacon for the Diocese of Harrisburg. I have always thought there are no coincidences in life, but only God’s will. He prepared the way for me to be here at this time and drew me into teaching RICA for the Hispanic community. From there, I found the need to serve others and discovered I have many gifts that I need to share with others.

Deacon Carlos Pichardo

What aspect of the ministry are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to being a bridge between communities, especially now that the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing social awareness of the need to be equal with everybody. I hope my ministry helps to fulfill what St. Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians; we are all one body with many parts or ministries that conform to the whole church with Christ as the head of this body.
What is/was your profession prior to ordination?
I’m an electrical engineer, and I have been working as a system engineer for the past five years. 
How has the formation program helped you grow spiritually?
The diaconal formation has helped me to grow in an understanding of my faith and to serve God by being a servant of others as he showed us when he washed the apostle’s feet. It also helps me to grow my spirituality by developing a discipline method of constant prayer.

Deacon Stephen Pichler
Wife: Sharon Pichler
Home Parish: Immaculate Conception BVM, York
Parish Assignment: Immaculate Conception BVM, York
What drew you to serve the Diocese as a Deacon?
Deacon Stephen Bankos, who was from the first class of permanent deacons ordained for the Diocese of Harrisburg, was assigned to my parish. During his time at St. Mary’s, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to have major surgery. I was young, my wife and I were expecting a baby, and I was fearful of the unknown. When Deacon Steve visited me in the hospital, his manner and words of comfort gave me the courage and peace to accept God’s will for my life. His ministry to those in need left me with a desire to “do what he does.” I still pray to Deacon Steve daily for guidance and strength in my ministry. It is God working through Deacon Steve that has brought me to diaconal ministry today.

Deacon Stephen Pichler

What aspects of ministry are you most looking forward to?
The job description of a deacon is to be of service, so I am looking forward to serving God and His people in whatever way I am most needed. That being said, I very much enjoy visiting the sick and homebound. I am also looking forward to administering the sacraments. Every interaction I have with God’s people is an opportunity to bring them closer to His love and mercy. That is what I’m most excited about.
What was your profession prior to ordination?
Although now retired, I spent 29 years working as a shipping analyst for a major company in York. The time I spent in the working world gave me a wealth of knowledge as to the challenges people face in their lives today. It also helped me to realize the goodness in people and that we are all searching for truth and meaning in our lives. This working experience will help me to bring people closer to the Truth of Jesus Christ.
How has this formation program helped you grow spiritually?
We have a top-notch formation program in our Diocese! I am especially grateful to our formation team for their hard work in preparing us for ministry. Formation has helped me to realize in a profound way that God is in control. I can only be His instrument if I surrender myself to His plan and strive to do His will. I continue to work and pray on this aspect of my relationship with God daily. As St. Paul reminds us, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Trusting in God through Jesus Christ and His Church will help me bring His message of love and mercy to all that cross my path.

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