From left, candidate for the diaconate Thomas Kroll stands near book-bearer Karol Simon and Bishop James P. Powers during Kroll’s ordination Mass. The first candidate to complete the diocese’s updated diaconal program, Kroll was ordained to the permanent diaconate Aug. 26 at St. Patrick, Hudson. (Catholic Herald photo by Anita Draper)

Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

Hundreds of people – priests, brother deacons, Carmelite nuns and laity among them – gathered Sunday, Aug. 26, at St. Patrick Parish, Hudson, to witness Thomas

Kroll’s ordination to the permanent diaconate.

Bishop James P. Powers celebrated the first ordination of a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Superior in four years. In his opening remarks, he characterized it as “a wonderful day for the diocese, a wonderful day for St. Patrick’s.”

Kroll was the first candidate to complete the diocese’s 5-year-old joint program with the Diocese of La Crosse, which added “a year or two” to Kroll’s formation, as Bishop Powers noted in his homily. Kroll’s vocational journey also included a change of bishops, health issues and other personal obstacles known only to him and his wife, Susan.

“Through it all, you stayed true to the call of our Lord,” the bishop added.

Bishop Powers spoke of a deacon’s threefold ministry – of word, liturgy and charity – and urged Kroll to always find quiet time for prayer and to rely on God for strength. His homily ended with a blessing of Kroll and his family.

After prostrating himself before the altar, making his promises and the laying on of hands, Kroll was vested and declared a deacon.

The deacons of the Diocese of Superior also met for their annual convocation in conjunction with the ordination.

Deacon John Grek, director of Diaconal Life for the diocese, said the diocese has nine men in formation for the permanent diaconate. The five-year program is divided into two sections; men spend two years as an aspirant and three years as a candidate.

Four men are beginning their second year of candidacy, and five are in their second year of aspirancy.

“I thought it was a very beautiful and joyous celebration, and St Patrick’s Parish is to be commended for a job well done,” Deacon Grek said. “The parish and the Diocese are very fortunate and blessed to have Deacon Tom as a member of the clergy.”