Bishop Gruss Admits Seven Men as Permanent Deacon Candidates

Left to Right: Jason Rasmussen (Holy Spirit Parish, Shields ), Hugh LeFevre (St. Dominic Parish, Saginaw), Matt Begres (Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Pleasant), Bishop Robert Gruss, John Copes (St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove), Bob Zondlak (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Midland), Lenn Stankiewicz (St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove) and Bob Sasiela (St. Joseph Parish, Saginaw).


SAGINAW — On November 6, Bishop Robert D. Gruss celebrated the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for seven men during Mass at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.

“In this rite, the one who aspires to ordination publicly manifests his will to offer himself to God and the Church to exercise a sacred order. In this way, he is admitted into the ranks of candidates for the diaconate” (National Directory, 210).

The following candidates will now continue on a three-year journey of preparation to serve in the Diocese of Saginaw as permanent deacons -- ordained ministers who carry out works of charity, evangelize, and serve in various liturgical roles such as proclaiming the Gospel, preaching homilies, celebrating baptisms and presiding at weddings and funerals outside of Mass:

  • Matthew Louis Begres, Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Pleasant
  • John Louis Copes, St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove
  • Hugh Richard LeFevre, St. Dominic Parish, Saginaw
  • Jason Edward Rasmussen, Holy Spirit Parish, Shields 
  • Robert William Sasiela, St. Joseph Parish, Saginaw
  • Leonard Joseph Stankiewicz, St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove
  • Robert James Zondlak, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Midland

Note: If you or any man you know expresses a desire or hears the call to serve as a permanent deacon, please e-mail Dr. Dan Osborn or call him at 989-797-6662 as soon as possible. Applications for the permanent deacon program are only accepted once every four years, and a key cutoff date is approaching on May 1, 2023. Both married and single men may apply.