Home Our Diocese Bishop Koenig ordains 15 men as permanent deacons during Mass at St....

Bishop Koenig ordains 15 men as permanent deacons during Mass at St. Joseph’s in Middletown


MIDDLETOWN — Bishop Koenig presided at the ordination of 15 permanent deacons in the Diocese of Wilmington at a Mass at St. Joseph’s Church on Aug. 7.

Bishop Koenig was joined by Bishop Emeritus Malooly, Msgrs. Steven Hurley and David Kelley, Father John Grasing, other priests and deacons and parishioners, family and friends from the diocese for the two-hour service.

“Relying on the help of the Lord God and our savior, Jesus Christ, we choose these men, our brothers, for the order of the diaconate,” Bishop Koenig said during the service.

“On a personal note,” Bishop Koenig said in his homily, “as one who has just been recently ordained and installed as our bishop here in our diocese and will be conferring Holy Orders for my first time, it is very reassuring for me to know that in ordaining 15 men, I will be ordaining more deacons today than Jesus had apostles.”

In remarks at the closing of Mass, Bishop Koenig told the 15 married men that he spoke with their wives before the celebration.

“I assured them the men will be listening to every word they say,” he said in drawing laughter from the gathering.

“I thank you. I know the sacrifices you’ve made. You’ll always be in my prayers.”

A day in photos, click here

The bishop also thanked Bishop Malooly for starting the ministry of these deacons five years ago, Father Grasing, director of the permanent deacon program, Msgr. Kelley, vicar for clergy and pastor at St. Joseph, Father Joseph W. McQuaide IV, diocese chancellor, and deacons and seminarians who helped with the diaconate.

“As you leave church today, you will be assuming on various occasions a much more public role in the life of the church,” the bishop said. “Know that your success will not be gauged on the number of baptisms that you perform or homilies delivered, not by the number of communion calls that you make or religion classes you teach. Rather, your service will be measured by how well you serve.”

The newly ordained deacons are:

Matthew F. Boyer, a resident of Wilmington and member of St. Ann’s Parish, is an attorney with Connolly Gallagher, LLP. He holds degrees from Harvard College and the University of Virginia School Of Law. He and his wife, Mary, have three children and one grandchild.

Robinson Collado lives in North East, Md., and is a parishioner of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Perryville. He and his wife, Gladys have two children. He is employed at Flowers Baking Company of Oxford, Pa.

Howard S. Eck Jr. lives in Wilmington and attends St. Mary Magdalen Parish. He earned degrees from University of Delaware and Widener University and is employed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He and his wife, Renee, have two children and one grandchild.

Benjamin G. M. Feril and his wife, Rita, live in North East, Md. They are parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish in Elkton. He holds degrees from Central Michigan University, Florida A & M University, Naval War College, Marymount University and St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He retired from the United States Navy in 2014 with the rank of captain.

Walter Ferris Jr. of Wilmington is a University of Delaware graduate and a retired Wilmington police sergeant. He currently works as an investigator with the Delaware Department of Justice. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children and belong to St. Elizabeth Church. Their son, Brennan, is a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Wilmington slated for ordination to the priesthood in 2022.

Anthony J. Gallo lives in Wilmington and attends St. Patrick/St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception churches. He and his wife, Ellen, have six children and one grandchild. He holds degrees from both St. Joseph’s University and Drexel University. He recently retired after 40 years of employment with Sunoco. Additionally, he was an adjunct professor at Wilmington and Widener universities for over 30 years and served as a high school football official for more than 20 years.

Francis X. Hesson lives in Centreville, Md., with his wife, Jo-Ann. They have three children and eight grandchildren. They attend St. Christopher’s Church on Kent Island. A Philadelphia native, Hesson served in the United States Coast Guard for over 25 years and currently works for Slack Corp.

Richard J. Kosior and his wife, Kathleen have three children, live in Dover and are members of the Church of the Holy Cross. The Chicago native’s military service began in 1986 in the United States Air Force, the United States Air Force Reserve, and he presently serves in and is employed by the Delaware Army National Guard. He has a degree in Business Management from Wilmington University.

Joseph M. LoPorto was born in Sicily, Italy, and came to the United States with his family at the age of 9. He is a parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin. He and his wife, Teresa, live in Hockessin and have five children. He has a degree from Rutgers College of Engineering and has worked as an electric utility engineering manager and consultant.

Stephen W. Oldiges is an Ohio native with a degree in chemical engineering. He worked for DuPont for many years. He and his wife, Valerie have two children and two grandchildren. The Hockessin resident attends St. John the Beloved Church in Wilmington.

Roberto Ortiz lives in Middletown and attends Immaculate Conception Parish in Elkton, Md., and St. Jude Mission Church in North East, Md. He and his wife, Cynthia, have two children. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz earned a degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and Colorado State University. He served in the United States Navy and currently works for Siemens Healthineers.

Adam Perza is a real estate attorney in Dover. He and his wife, Kasey, have two children and live in Felton. They attend St. Benedict Church in Ridgely, Md., and St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Denton, Md. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Duquesne University and is a former Dover city councilman.

Justin Pollio and his wife, Melissa, have two children, live in Wilmington, and are members of St. Mary Magdalen Parish. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and is employed by DuPont.

Matthew Raymond lives in Rising Sun, Md., and attends the Church of the Good Shepherd in Perryville. He and his wife Mary Ellen have two children. He works as a ballistics technician at Aberdeen Proving Ground and served for nine years in the Army National Guard.

Guillermo Vasquez was born in Puebla, Mexico, and lives in Lincoln with his wife, Iris. They have three children and are parishioners of St. John the Apostle Church in Milford.

The 15 men ordained come from various backgrounds and range in age from 36 to 65. Six live or worship in Maryland, four of those in Cecil County. Eight are members of the Knights of Columbus. All are married, and collectively, they have 35 children.

Bishop Koenig told the new deacons they would be assigned to the parish where they served in formation.

Father Grasing said he wanted to thank members of the formation team: Joe and Toni Ann Cilia; Dave and Cindi DeGhetto; Phil and Diane Belt; Ken and Barbara Pulliam and Vince and Janet Pisano.