Ordination of Transitional Deacons

April 14, 2021

Bishop Edward Malesicordained five men to the order of deacon during a Mass at 10 a.m. April 17 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.

Four of the men are from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland; the fifth is from the Archdiocese of Daegu, South Korea. All are studying at Saint Mary Seminary in Wickliffe.

Two additional seminarians from the Diocese of Youngstown who are studying at Saint Mary Seminary will be ordained to the diaconate by Youngstown Bishop David Bonner on June 5 in in St. Columba Cathedral, Youngstown, for service to the Youngstown Diocese.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, admission to the April 17 ordination liturgy is by invitation and ticket only. However, the Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website and will be archived for on-demand viewing.

Diaconal candidates from the Diocese of Cleveland are:

  • Ian William Kelly, son of Michelle and the late David Kelly of Parma; home parish, St. Charles Borromeo in Parma.
  • Joseph Daniel Menkhaus, son of Joseph and Christy Menkhaus of Cuyahoga Heights; home parish, St. Monica, Garfield Heights.
  • Scott Edward Swinerton, son of David and the late Sharon Swinerton of Olmsted Falls; home parish, St. Mary of the Falls, Olmsted Falls.
  • David Michael Verbsky, son of William and Sharyl Verbsky of Mentor; home parish, St. Mary, Chardon.

The candidate from the Archdiocese of Daegu is John Jaehyun Ryu, son of HyeJa Jang and the late Jeong Gwang Ryu of South Korea; home parish, St. Andrew Kim, Cleveland.

The diaconal candidates from the Diocese of Youngstown are:

  • Connor James Hetzel, son of Brian and Kristen Hetzel of Boardman; home parish, St. Charles Borromeo, Boardman.
  • Francisco Ugochukwu Ogbonna, son of Christopher and Blessing Ogbonna of Nigeria; home parish, Our Lady of Peace, Ashtabula.

All seven men are discerning the priesthood as they contiue their formation and education at Saint Mary Seminary.

As deacons, they will help the bishop and priests in the ministry of the Word, of the altar and of charity. They can administer baptism, assist at the altar during Mass, distribute holy Communion, bring the Eucharist as viaticum to the dying, read sacred Scriptures to the faithful, preach on occasion, preside at the Church’s public prayer, administer sacramentals, assist at and bless marriages and officiate at funeral and burial rites.

Transitional Deacon assignments

(left to right)

John Jaehyun Ryu  – St. Albert the Great, North Royalton

Scott Swinerton – St. Cosmas and Damian, Twinsburg

Ian Kelly – St. Ambrose, Brunswick

David Verbsky – St. Brendan, North Olmsted

Joseph Menkhaus – Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cuyahoga Falls

Both the Archdiocese of Daegu and the Diocese of Youngstown have arrangements with the Cleveland Diocese to educate seminarians at Saint Mary.