New Permanent Deacon Challenged by Bishop to Lead People to Christ


By Tony DeGol

Bishop Mark is encouraging the newest permanent deacon in the diocese to use his ministry to serve the poor and help people find God.

“It could be a matter of life or death to take care of those who are without food, shelter, clothing, or the necessities of life we all take for granted,” he explained to Mark Komula at his ordination Mass. “It could also be a matter of eternal life when you instruct a couple in preparation for marriage or assisting a group in their search for Jesus, who is the source and the meaning of life.”

The new deacon’s priority, the Bishop continued, must be assisting others who are yearning for the love of Christ in their lives – even if they do not know Him.

“The tabernacle – the holy dwelling place of God – must be made visible to all those who are searching for God – for those who are so lost or so disoriented by the circumstances of life that they are prevented from finding Him,” he added. “In the end, it has to do with helping people to experience the ways they can allow themselves to be found by the person of Jesus.”

With the laying on of hands, Bishop Mark ordained Deacon Komula on June 5 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.

He joins the ranks of more than three dozen other permanent deacons in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown – all of whom are engaged in various parish or diocesan ministries.

Deacon Komula is a member of Saint Peter Parish in Somerset, where the Bishop has appointed him to serve.

His wife Janis, family, friends, and the diaconate community were present at the Cathedral for the joyful celebration.

In his homily, Bishop Mark was frank with Komula about the challenges that await him in showing people the way to God’s merciful love.

“Keep reminding yourself and others that Jesus is out there looking for them and for us all the time,” he urged. “If you need some encouragement, think of the honor and respect that is due to every person because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. For that reason alone, God’s desire is for you to find Him in the people you will serve.”

[Photos: (Top) Janis Komula; Deacon Mark Komula; Bishop Mark; and Deacon Michael Russo, Director of the Permanent Diaconate. (First Inset) Newly ordained Deacon Komula assisting at the altar. (Second Inset) Deacon Komula greeting well-wishers following his ordination Mass.]