Bishop DiNardo ordains Louis Meiners to the permanent diaconate
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
June 19, 2003
Louis Meiners of Dedham was asked to serve God in love and joy during his
ordination to the permanent diaconate for service in the Diocese of Sioux City
at 10:30 a.m. Mass on June 14 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.
In the opening prayer, Bishop Daniel N. DiNardo, the ordaining prelate, said,
"Let us pray for Louis and all those called to the ministry of diaconate.
Father, you taught the ministers of your church not to desire that they be
served but to serve their brothers and sisters. May they be effective in their
work and persevering in their prayer, performing their ministry with gentleness
and concern for others."
Several deacons and priests were on hand for the service as was Bishop
Lawrence D. Soens, retired bishop of the diocese.
Meiners' daughters served as lectors during the liturgy, reading Sirach
39:1b, 5-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. Deacon Tim Murphy of Carroll proclaimed
the Gospel, John 1:35-42.
Following the Liturgy of the Word, Meiners, who had been seated next to his
wife, Judy, in the congregation, was called forward. Deacon Ron Forrest,
co-director of the permanent diaconate, presented the candidate for ordination.
After the official election of Meiners to the order of deacons, Bishop
DiNardo gave the homily. He referred to the Gospel when the disciples were told
by Jesus to get to know him.
"Louis, I know in your interview with me you spoke about all these years
of getting to know Jesus more intimately. That is the basis for
everything," stressed the bishop. "Nothing will be as crucial as
getting to know the Lord Jesus."
Whether it is proclaiming the Gospel at Mass, presiding at a wake service or
teaching religious education class, Bishop DiNardo said the new deacon's main
task was to witness.
"You are to help the bishop and the body of priests as minister of the
word, of the altar and above all, of charity, for deacons are the servants of
all," said Bishop DiNardo.
The bishop pointed out that it will be Meiners' duty, at the bishop's
discretion, to bring God's word to believer and unbeliever alike, to preside
over public prayer, to baptize, to assist at marriages and bless them, to give
viaticum to the dying and to lead the rites of burial.
"When you go about all of your duties, I hope that everyone sees that
you are truly a disciple of Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve.
Please stay close to the works of charity." He added, "Every deacon
should always be mindful of the poor."
Referring to second reading, the bishop noted that Paul wrote of gifts.
"Louis, from the Eucharist, gifts are given. Use them for the
church," said Bishop DiNardo.
Following the examination of the candidate and promise of obedience, Meiners
prostrated before the altar during the litany of saints.
"Lord, send forth upon him the Holy Spirit, that he may be strengthened
by the gift of your sevenfold grace to carry out faithfully the work of the
ministry. May he excel in every virtue: in love that is sincere, in concern for
the sick and poor, in unassuming authority, in self-discipline and in holiness
of life," prayed the bishop in the prayer of consecration.
The new deacon was vested in stole and dalmatic by Father Anthony Pick,
pastor of St. Joseph Church in Dedham and Annunciation Church in Coon Rapids.
Meiners was then presented the Book of Gospels and received the sign of peace
from the bishop as well as fellow deacons. The newly ordained assisted with the
remainder of the Mass.
Following the liturgy, Meiners' wife, Judy, said, "I am just speechless.
The service was very emotional. This is something that he has always wanted to
do. My illness set him back a few years, but I am so proud of him."
Meiners put off studying for the diaconate for a few years as his wife fought
cancer. She is presently doing well.
Jenny Meiners, the new deacon's daughter, said, "He could not do
anything else in this world that would make me more proud than I am right
This was her first time to attend an ordination. She said, "It was
beautiful. The homily was great. It made me appreciate what my father is going
to be doing for the church."
Meiners' son, Frank, pointed out that serving the church has always been a
significant part of who his father was and what he wanted to do.
Daughter Cindy Geiselhart said she too was proud of and happy for her father.
"This is something that he wanted," she said. "I hope that he
Deacon Meiners will minister at the parishes in Dedham and Coon Rapids.