ST. FRANCIS — Thirteen deacons who were ordained to the diaconate on June 9, 1984 are marking their silver jubilees in ministry. Following are brief biographies of the deacons based on information they submitted to your Catholic Herald. Other deacons marking the anniversary who did not submit information are: Deacons Clarence Dahlen and Theodore Gurzynski.
Deacon Michael E. Cesarec
Deacon Michael E. Cesarec, 85, serves as the chaplain assistant at St. Joseph Hospital, Milwaukee. He also served at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee, 1984-1990, and again in 1990-1999; and St. Mary of Czestochowa Parish, Milwaukee, 1990-1995. His parish work included baptisms, marriage preparation, bereavement, wakes and gravesite committals.
Deacon Cesarec attended Holy Redeemer Grade School, Milwaukee and Custer High School, Milwaukee before graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Married to wife Lee, they have four children: Patricia, 61, Michael, 59, Robert, 58, and Kathleen, 54. They also have four grandchildren: Eric, 28, Jeremy, 29, Pamela, 26, and Christine, 25.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Sunday, June 7 at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee.
Deacon Dean J. Collins
Deacon Dean J. Collins, 62, serves at Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Milwaukee, where he has been for the past 25 years.
His parish work includes ministry to the homebound and hospitalized, ministry to the bereaved for wakes, funerals and committals, and ministry to law enforcement officers as a Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial board member. He has also assisted in the creation of Wisconsin’s mandatory arrest law for crimes of domestic violence.
Deacon Collins attended St. Pius X Grade School, Wauwatosa, and Marquette University High School, Milwaukee. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in urban affairs. He works as an assistant chief of police in the city of Brookfield. Married to Karen, they have two children: Emily, 30, and Laura, 27.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Sunday, June 7 at Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Milwaukee.
Deacon Joseph H. Hying
Deacon Joseph H. Hying, 79, serves at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Waterford. His parish work included visiting the elderly and the sick.
Deacon Hying attended elementary school at Oak Ridge, located in Richland County, in the Madison Diocese and St. Joseph High School, Kirkwood, Mo. He received a bachelor’s degree from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa.
He taught high school social studies and Latin until 1992, when he retired. Married to Donna, they have 10 children and eight grandchildren.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Tuesday, June 9 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Waterford.
Deacon Baleriano O. Gonzalez
Deacon Baleriano O. Gonzalez, 61, serves at St. Clement Parish, Sheboygan.
His parish work includes baptism preparation and celebration, marriage preparation, assisting as deacon at the weekly Spanish Mass, presiding at funeral vigils, and prison ministry at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution. He also serves as spiritual director to the Hispanic Prayer Group, visits and distributes Communion to shut-ins, and visits parishioners at hospitals and nursing homes, distributing Communion when requested.
He works at Thomas Ids. Inc. as a die caster operator and machine set-up.
Married to Emilia, they have three children: Rafael Gonzalez, 40, Dominga Ramirez, 38, Gabriel Gonzalez, 28, and are grandparents to nine: Alejandro, 17, Rachael May, 16, Emma, 11, Isaiah, 8, Adrianna, 13, Esiquiel, 11, Irisema, 8, Ixchel, 3, and Emilio, 1.
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated Sunday, June 21 at noon at St. Clement Parish, Sheboygan.
Deacon Patrick Frye
Deacon Patrick Frye, 64, serves at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Racine. He has also served at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Kenosha, 1984-1986; and St. Mark Parish, Kenosha, 1986-2004. He is director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, serving as the archbishop’s liaison.
Deacon Frye attended St. Mark Elementary School and St. Joseph High School, both in Kenosha. He attended the University of Wisconsin – Parkside for his bachelor’s degree and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for his master’s degree, both allowing him to become trained as a special education teacher for those with developmental disabilities.
Deacon Frye and his wife have four children: Stephanie, 39, Amy, 36, Daniel, 31, and Jeffery, 26. In addition, they have two newborn grandchildren, Austin and Sophie.
“St. Paul said, ‘Everything is grace,’” Deacon Frye said about his ministry. “I have been graced to walk in the footsteps of the servant Jesus. May each step I take be a sign of the grace Jesus offers to all God’s children.”
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Sunday, June 7 at St. Paul Parish, Racine.
Deacon Joseph H. Kastenholz
Deacon Joseph H. Kastenholz, 91, now retired from the diaconate, served at Our Lady of Good Hope, Milwaukee.
He brought Communion to the homebound at Our Lady of Good Hope, his home parish since 1959, and has been a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 37 years.
Deacon Kastenholz attended Holy Angels School, West Bend, Messmer High School and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He worked as a pressman for “5 color press Milprint” before becoming a real estate appraiser for State Highway. He and his late wife, Virgina, have six children: Mary, Joseph, Agnes, Thomas, Mark and Andrew.
Deacon Anthony Martino
Deacon Anthony Martino, 61, serves as staff deacon in the Archdiocese of the Military, USA, at the North Chicago Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Deacon Martino served at St. John the Evangelist Church, Twin Lakes, and St. Mary Parish, Pell Lake. His parish work includes providing spiritual direction, pastoral visits to the bedside, Communal services, prayers for the sick and providing the sacramentals and leading the rosary.
Deacon Martino is a Disabled American Veterans National Service Officer, served as Department of Illinois Commander from 1987-1989, has 20,000 accredited volunteer hours at the North Chicago VA Medical Center (excluding his diaconal ministry), and is chaplain for the Paddock Lakes Lions.
He attended Genesee Community College in New York and Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Married to Carole Ann, they have three children: Thomas Gene, Jason John Octavia and Michele Lee. They have seven grandchildren: Mathew Gene, Samantha, Aron, Arionna, Aliyah, Asiah and Braydon.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated on June 7 at the VA Medical Center.
Deacon Larry E. Normann
Deacon Larry E. Normann, 59, serves full time at St. Paul Parish, Genesee Depot, as the director of liturgy and biblical stewardship.
His diaconal assignments have included St. Margaret Mary Parish, Milwaukee, 1984-1990, and St. Paul, Genesee Depot, since 1990. His parish work includes marriage counseling and couples’ retreats, adult education, sacramental ministries, preaching, baptism, weddings, and visiting the sick and homebound. He also served two terms on the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission.
Deacon Normann attended grade school at St. Elizabeth School, Milwaukee, before attending St. Lawrence Seminary High School, Mt. Calvary. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., before attending graduate school at The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., where he earned his master’s degree in liturgy and homiletics. Deacon Normann and his wife, Pam, have been married for 33 years and have twin daughters, Stephanie and Kristy.
Deacon Robert M. Schieffer
Deacon Robert M. Schieffer, 72, now retired from the diaconate, served Our Lady Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee, and All Saints Parish, Berlin, in the Madison Diocese.
His general parish work at Our Lady of Good Hope included baptism preparation, marriage preparation, Bible study and small groups. He delivered homilies during his time at All Saints Parish.
He attended grade school at Holy Redeemer School, Milwaukee, and then Milwaukee Technical School. His specialized training consisted of an electrical construction apprenticeship. Deacon Schieffer, a retired electrician, is married to Mary A., with whom he has three children: Beth A., Barbra J. and Bill R. They have six grandchildren.
Deacon Thomas J. Schimmels
Deacon Thomas J. Schimmels, 82, now retired from the diaconate, served at Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Milwaukee.
He has also served at St. Stephen Martyr Parish; Mary, Queen of Martyrs Parish; and Blessed Savior Parish, all in Milwaukee. His parish duties included ministry to the sick and grieving, visiting the shut-ins, liturgical duties, serving on the Deacon Council and archdiocesan service.
“I am blessed and thankful for the outstanding support of my wife, Virginia, and our family – may God bless our ministry,” he said.
Deacon Schimmels attended grade school at St. Ann School, Milwaukee, and then Boys Technical School before earning his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Deacon Schimmels, a retired new product development manager for Eaton Corp. – Cutler Hammer Products, has been married to Virginia M. for 58 years. The couple has four children and nine grandchildren.
Deacon David L. Zimprich
Deacon David L. Zimprich, 63, serves St. William, Waukesha.
He has also served at St. Anthony the Hermit Parish, Menomonee Falls, and St. Bernadette Parish, Milwaukee. At St. William, Deacon Zimprich is the chair of the vocations team and is a member of the human concerns committee.
His work there also includes marriage preparation, presiding at baptisms, weddings, funeral services and other liturgical celebrations. He is the liaison between the four Waukesha parishes and Waukesha Memorial Hospital in coordinating the scheduling of extraordinary ministers of holy Communion.
Deacon Zimprich is a member of several boards as part of his diaconal ministry, including: St. Clare Advisory Board at Cardinal Stritch University; Diaconal Formation Admissions and Scrutiny Board for the Archdiocesan Office for Deacon Formation; Formation and Policy Board for the Archdiocesan Office for Deacon Formation; Milwaukee Area Review Board. His other work includes: editor of Deacon Talk, a quarterly newsletter; serving as the primary liaison between the archbishop, auxiliary bishops and vicar for clergy for the archdiocesan diaconal community and performing other assignments for the archbishop, auxiliary bishops and vicar for clergy.
“I am doing things that I never dreamed of doing. I have been blessed to be with, and minister to, people at all different times of their lives; both joyous and sad-filled,” Deacon Zimprich said. “They have allowed me to baptize their children, as well as some of my own grandchildren. I have been graced to be asked to preach at family and parish liturgical celebrations of every type. I have been privileged to have shared with others their inner most thoughts and concerns. I have been able to meet, and minister to, people in parish offices, hospitals, nursing homes, parking lots and individuals’ homes. Most of all, I have been encouraged and supported in all things and at all times by my wife, Dody. Without her, I don’t believe any of the above would have occurred. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, his Blessed Mother Mary, and Dody have been there at every moment.”
Deacon Zimprich attended grade school at St. Clare de Montefalco, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., and Francis Jordan High School, Milwaukee. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee before attending Northwestern University-Traffic School: Police Staff and Command School. He is the coordinator of deacon services for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Married to Dody, they have two children: Christine (Eric) Carlson, and Russell (Leslie). They have six grandchildren: Thomas, Maddie, Wesley, Matthew, Abigail and Jackson.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Sunday, June 7.