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Class of 2023

Bishop Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS, will ordain 15 men to the permanent diaconate at 11 a.m. on Feb. 4 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston. The current class is part of a consistently strong permanent diaconate program in the diocese.

Deacon John Tempesco, director of the program, said the ordination of these 15 diverse men is the culmination of five and a half years of discernment, study and practical exercises to prepare them to serve the bishop, their priests and the faithful of the diocese across the state.

“As deacons, they will bring Christ into the workplace and their community while bringing the needs of both back into the Church,” he said. “They will teach and preach; baptize children into Christ; prepare couples for marriage and witness their sacrament; and pray for the deceased members of our Catholic family at wakes, funerals and interments. They will work in prisons and as chaplains for first responders; some will work in soup kitchens, others in homeless shelters and still others will serve the poor and needy in many other ways.

“But most of all, we pray that they will be humble servants of God and his Church in whatever he calls them to do,” Deacon Tempesco said.

Meet the men in formation preparing to become deacons in 2023.

Enrique Bautista

Wife: Alin Joyce Avila Garcia, 3 children

Parish: St. John Neumann Church, Columbia

Occupation: Pastoral Associate for Hispanic Community

Scott A. Bowen

Wife: Nicole, 2 children

Parish: St. Andrew Church, Myrtle Beach

Occupation: Director of Evangelization

Kenneth Chandlee

Wife: Evelyn, 2 children

Parish: St. Theresa the Little Flower Church, Summerville

Occupation: Engineer

Gerard F. Couture

Wife: Debbie, 3 children, 5 grandchildren

Parish: Our Lady of the Hills Church, Columbia

Occupation: Manager

Thomas J. Heath, Jr.

Wife: Tracey, 5 children

Parish: Our Lady of Grace Church, Lancaster

Occupation: Finance/CPA

Timothy G. Joseph

Wife: Tara, 4 children

Parish: Precious Blood of Christ Church, Pawleys Island

Occupation: Dentist

Angel-Alejandro Juarez-Reyes

Wife: Coinita, 2 children

Parish: St. Anne Church, Rock Hill

Occupation: St. Anne School Facilities

Darren E. Jump

Wife: Jean-Marie

Parish: Holy Trinity Church, Orangeburg

Occupation: Building Materials Executive

Alejandro J.  Leguizamón

Wife: Joely, 5 children, 3 grandchildren

Parish: St. Mary Help of Christians Church, Aiken

Occupation: Maintenance

Gary J. Ludlam

Wife: Cheryl, 4 children, 1 grandchild (on the way)

Parish: Sacred Heart Church, Charleston

Occupation: Engineer

Jonathon M. Santilli

Wife: Beth, 2 children

Parish: Christ Our King Church, Mount Pleasant

Occupation: Service Operations Manager

David J. Shinn

Wife: Cheri, 2 children, 7 grandchildren

Parish: Transfiguration Church, Blythewood

Occupation: Retired Air Force/UofSC

Matthew J. Story

Wife: Christine, 2 children

Parish: Stella Maris Church, Sullivans Island

Occupation: Attorney

Jason Werny

Wife: Sarah, 4 children

Parish: Our Lady of the Hills Church, Columbia

Occupation: Manager

James V. Williams

Wife: Theresa, 4 children

Parish: Our Lady of the Hills Church, Columbia

Occupation: Structural Engineer