The name deacon (“diakonos” in Greek) means “servant” or “minister”. In the early church, we read how deacons functioned as such, caring for the needs of the community. But through the centuries that followed, this role as an officially recognized ministry gradually faded away. During the Second Vatican Council however, the diaconate as a permanent order of ministries was restored.
Although they have entered ordained ministry, deacons do not set themselves apart from the rest of the world, but rather live in its midst. They are the neighbor living next door, raising a family, holding down a job, relaxing with friends. They are part of the parish faith community, and it is from the midst of that community that they heard the call to ministry.
As ministers of and to the community, deacons have two primary responsibilities. First, they serve at liturgy to proclaim the Word of God, especially the Gospel. Second, they serve beyond the liturgy, in particular, to work for peace and justice. Throughout our parishes, deacons can be seen serving. They work with seniors, families, singles, men and women and children; anyone in need. They offer compassion to the grieving. They help heal the wounds of divorce. They pray with the ill and the dying. You can find deacons on the city streets helping addicts and the homeless, or out in the country ministering to the rural poor. They go behind bars to help prisoners find hope, and they are advocates for the victims of discrimination. Wherever there is a cry for the presence of Jesus, there are deacons reaching out to help people in his name.
At St. Fabian’s, our deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach, teach, counsel, give religious instruction, and assist at retreats and other renewal programs. During liturgy, the deacon is the people’s representative at God’s table. His liturgical roles encompass baptizing, witnessing marriages, bringing Eucharist to the dying and presiding at funerals and burials.
Deacon Joe Stalcup along his wife Linda…
I am very pleased to be here at St. Fabian. I am married to the talented and beautiful Linda. We have one son, Brian who is married and has one 10-year-old son whose name is Luke. We had another son, Joseph who passed away 8 years ago from Kidney disease. I also have Kidney Disease which runs in my family. Linda and I met at a college dance. Linda is from the Southeast side of Chicago and I was born and baptized at Five Holy Martyrs in Brighton Park. My family moved to Clearing when I was 7 years old and I graduated from St. Symphorosa School. I graduated from Lindblom High School and earned a degree in Management from U.I.C. in Chicago. I worked for Procter and Gamble for 28 years as a sales represen- tative and later as a sales manager. Since I retired I have focused my time on my wife, family and Diacon- ate ministry.
I was ordained in 1994 by Cardinal Bernardin at Holy Name Cathedral. My first diaconate assignment was at St. George Parish in Tinley Park where I ministered for 5 years. In 1999 a new parish was announced and after some prayerful discernment I offered to help establish St. Stephen Parish. I ministered there for 19 years until the present. I had the privilege of establishing many ministries. I focused my time on presenting and promoting the Spirituality of Stewardship which Fr. Greg has asked me to present here at St. Fabian. Stewardship Spirituality focuses on the recognition that all the talents and gifts we have come from God and God calls us to share those Talents and gifts with those around us. Please watch for bulletin and website articles, homilies, ministry fairs and more about the Spirituality of Stewardship to help all of us to be even better disciples of Christ.
I look forward to meeting you and journeying with you on our journey of faith.
Deacon Kevin & Anita O’Donnell have returned to St. Fabian Parish as of August 1, 2022.
Deacon Kevin’s family was a founding member of St. Fabian and have been at the parish since 1967. Deacon Kevin and Anita grew up within the parish were married at St Fabian’s in July of 1983. They have two children; Fr. Matthew O’Donnell and Andrew O’Donnell, who also grew up within the parish, went through the Religious Education Program and received all of their sacraments at St. Fabian’s. Deacon Kevin was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Chicago in May of 2006 and Anita received her Lay Ministry Certificate.
Deacon Kevin’s is a St. Jude Chaplin for the Chicago Police Department. He is also a licensed funeral director, for over 40 years, and works part time at a local funeral home in Summit.
As part of Deacon Kevin’s ministry at St. Fabian’s Parish he assists couples in preparing for the sacrament of Matrimony, he is an 8th grade coordinator for students preparing for Confirmation, administers the sacrament of Baptism, and preaches at various masses.
Deacon Kevin and Anita are glad to be back home at St. Fabian Parish.