James M. Gebhart, a resident of Newark, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Koenig on Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m., at his home parish, St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin.
Gebhart, who will turn 26 in July, attended St. Catherine of Siena and St. Elizabeth’s elementary schools, and is a 2015 graduate of Delaware Military Academy. In 2019 he graduated from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., with a bachelor’s in Catholic theology. He was the class of 2019 Seton Hall valedictorian. He is currently pursuing graduate studies at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. He spent the summer of 2019 assigned to ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, and his pastoral year, 2021-22, at St. Ann Parish in Wilmington.
“I am overjoyed to be ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Wilmington,” Gebhart said. “There have been countless people in my life who have supported me throughout my years of formation, and I am eager to give back to them by my service as a deacon. In this final time of preparation, I feel grateful to the Lord for calling me to serve him and his church in this capacity.”
The diaconate is a ministry rooted deeply in scriptural accounts of the early church. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonia, which means, “to serve.” There are two types of deacons in the Catholic church, those who are ordained to the order and remain in it (permanent deacons) and those who are ordained to the order on their way to priestly ordination (transitional deacons). Mr. Gebhart is on track to be ordained to the priesthood in 2024.
More information about the Diocese of Wilmington’s efforts to increase vocations-awareness and to work with people who may have priestly or religious vocations is available by contacting the Rev. Norman Carroll, director of priestly and religious vocations at 302-573-3113 or email@example.com. More information is available at www.cdow.org/vocations.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 29 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Information is available at www.cdow.org.