Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Archbishop Thompson Ordains Seven Permanent Deacons

The Message photo by PeeWee Vasquez

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis returned to Evansville on Aug. 5 to ordain seven men to the Diocese of Evansville’s permanent diaconate during a Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral. The new deacons include Dr. Reynaldo Carandang of Vincennes, Thomas Cervone of Evansville, Albert Frabutt of Hymera in Sullivan County, Charles Johnson of Jasper, Robert “Rocky” Mattingly of Evansville, Jay VanHoosier of Newburgh and Paul Vonderwell of Vincennes.


More than 20 priests of the diocese concelebrated the Mass, and Deacons David Seibert (Diocesan Director of the Permanent Diaconate) and Thomas Evans (Assistant Director) Assisted. More than 30 other permanent deacons also attended.


“I take this opportunity to welcome the families and friends of our seven candidates—Jay, Paul, Albert, Charles, Rey, Tom and Rocky,” Archbishop Thompson said during his homily. “We especially want to acknowledge the roles of their wives—Rose, Corinna, Marka, Melinda, Rose, Marie and Rita—in shaping and supporting these men of faith.  Of course, we are particularly grateful to Deacon David Seibert … as well as pastors, staffs and parishioners where these men have lived and served. 


“Not unlike our experience here today, as recorded in our second reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Twelve called forth “seven reputable men” for service to those in need, allowing the Apostles to maintain their primary focus on the Word of God,” Archbishop Thompson said.  “These seven men would come to be known as the first deacons of the Church.”


He especially mentioned St. Stephen. “It should be noted that Stephen, the first of the seven named in the Acts of the Apostles, was also one of earliest martyrs of the Church.  He would not be the last deacon to suffer martyrdom.


We should take notice of the language used by Moses in our first reading from the Book of Numbers,” he continued.  “He speaks of those assisting Aaron the priest as discharging obligations and duties. In a culture that readily focuses on entitlement of rights and privileges, stemming from a radical notion of individualism, the language of obligation and duty might sound rather foreign. Yet, that is the role of ordained ministry in the Church for bishops, priests and deacons. We are called to serve rather than be served.  It is not so much about me and my ministry as it is about the mission of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church.


“As baptized members of a Church on mission, each of us is called to missionary discipleship,” Archbishop Thompson said in concluding his homily.  “Those being ordained today are being called to be missionary disciples in a specific way—through Word, Sacrament and the Service of Charity. “


As noted last month in The Message, the new deacons received their parish pastoral assignments prior to the Ordination Mass, and those assignments became effective immediately upon their ordinations. They include:

  • Deacon Carandang – St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes, and St. Philip Neri, Bicknell
  • Deacon Cervone – Holy Redeemer, Evansville
  • Deacon Frabutt – St. Mary, Sullivan, and St. Joan of Arc, Jasonville
  • Deacon Johnson – Divine Mercy, St. Anthony
  • Deacon Mattingly – St. Boniface, Evansville
  • Deacon VanHoosier – St. John the Baptist, Newburgh
  • Deacon Vonderwell – St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes, and St. Philip Neri, Bicknell


Editor’s Note: Beginning in September, The Message will publish profiles of our new permanent deacons.