By Aly Dominguez
St. John Chrysostom, Houston, Texas
Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla ordained Reader David Dominguez and Robert Klesko to the diaconate during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Nov. 29, 2023 at St. John Chrysostom in Houston, Texas.
Reader David is a parishioner of St. John in Houston. Robert Klesko is a parishioner of St. George Melkite church in Birmingham, Ala. Both David and Robert completed diaconal formation at SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Spring 2023.
Archbishop William served as the main celebrant. The Very Rev. Andrew Deskevich served as Master of Ceremony. Father Kevin Marks, vocations director for the Archeparchy, was the homilist.
Also concelebrating at the altar were Father Thomas Wells, pastor of St. John Chrysostom; Father Elias Rafaj, pastor of St. Basil in Irving, Texas; and Father Daniel Dozier, pastor of St. George in Olympia, Wash. Also assisting at the altar were Father Deacon Andrew Veres of St John Chrysostom; Father Deacon John Reed of Epiphany of The Lord Parish in Roswell, Ga.; Deacon John Liddle, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit (and father-in-law to Robert Klesko); and Deacon Jamil Daaboul of St. Barbara Melkite Mission in Houston, Texas. Father Fadi Al Mimass, pastor of the Melkite mission in Houston, assisted at the chanter stand. Also in attendance were Father Justin Rose, pastor of St. George Melkite Church in Birmingham, Ala.; and Deacon Andrew Baroody, also from St. George.
Also in attendance were members, both officers and clergy, of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in their green and black regalia.
Before the start of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop William conferred the minor orders of reader and subdeacon to Robert, and subdeacon to David.
In the homily, Father Kevin Marks compared the long journey to the diaconate to the ”journey” the faithful undertake during the pre-Nativity penitent season. He highlighted a few of the feast days during this season and how the lessons of those feast days are a benefit to the ministry of a deacon.
“Sometimes, [the] journey is not best taken the quickest or the fastest. Sometimes a journey is better taken slow.”
Father Deacon David Dominguez is a proud, lifelong Houstonian. He and his wife Aly have been members of St. John Chrysostom for almost 10 years. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy in 2010. He has been a teacher for the past eight years and is currently a U.S. History teacher at Aldine Senior High.
Father Deacon Robert Klesko is originally from Michigan and attended Madonna University were he earned a Bachelor in Arts in Theology. He also has a Masters of Arts degree in Theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He currently serves as a Theology Advisor at EWTN. He, his wife Aundrea, and their six children have been parishioners at St. George Melkite Catholic Church in Birmingham for the past seven years.
A small reception in the parish hall followed the Divine Liturgy.
Deacons David and Robert ask the faithful of the Archeparchy for their prayers as they begin their ministry serving the people of God.