Deacon Steve Hinkle remembered by his care for those in need

Denver Catholic Staff

Deacon Steven Hinkle passed away on May 18.  He was 65 years old.  He ministered at Spirit of Christ Catholic Church in Arvada.

Deacon Steven Douglas Hinkle was born to Clyde and Esther Hinkle in Hugoton, Kansas on March 6, 1953.  As a convert to Catholicism, Deacon Hinkle was baptized at Spirit of Christ Parish on the April 18, 1992 by Msgr. Ken Leone.

The youngest of five children, Hinkle and his family moved to Denver when he was six years old.  His brothers had joined the Air Force, which left him and his sister in the home with their mom.  He attended Alameda High School and graduated in 1971.  After spending time at Red Rocks Community College, he decided to start a business of his own in the construction industry in 1986.

While in high school, he met “his high school sweetheart,” Terri.  After nine years, Hinkle asked Terri to marry him in 1979.  They were married on September 21, 1979 at Mother Cabrini Shrine by Father Bert Chilson. Their marriage was blessed with two wonderful daughters, Ashley and Lindsay and three grandchildren.

Hinkle was reluctant to join the Catholic Church, but with the prayers and urging of Terri and the children, he finally answered the calling of the Holy Spirit, “with tears in his eyes.”  At the 1992 Easter Vigil, he joined his family in the Catholic Church and received the Sacraments of Initiation.  At the parish, Hinkle was on various committees and was an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.  Answering a persistent call from the Holy Spirit to serve others, he applied for deacon formation in 2006.

Deacon Hinkle was ordained a deacon on June 25, 2011 by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and was immediately assigned to Spirit of Christ Catholic Parish, where he remained throughout his ministry.  He assisted with prison ministry and would make mission trips to help those in need of housing.  He also assisted parishioners as an advocate for annulments and loved working with the elderly.

“Deacon Steve was a wonderful minister with a simple task — take care of those in need.  His ministry was blessed with beautiful accomplishments that give beauty to the characteristics of a deacon,” said Deacon Joseph Donohoe, Director of Deacon Personnel for the archdiocese. “He knew how to draw in those that were in need and take care of them.  What a beautiful example he gave to his brother deacons and the community.”

COMING UP: Denver mayor surprises Catholic school students for Black History Month presentation

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On Monday, February 24, Christ the King Roman Catholic School in Denver held their first Black History Month celebration, and among the special guests was the Denver’s own Mayor Michael Hancock.

The celebration began with the surprise visit of Mayor Hancock, who addressed the students and spoke about the importance of the African American community in our society and remembered those who have made history and impacted our lives.

“I want us all to remember very clearly that this world, our society, has been created by so many people of different colors, races, religions, and we all depend on one another,” Mayor Hancock told the crowd. “Even when we don’t think about it, we’re depending on the inventions and discoveries of people who don’t look like us…Black history Month should also be about celebrating the cultures of history of all people that made this society great.”

After the Mayor’s speech, Kateri Williams, Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry at the Archdiocese of Denver shared her testimony about how she was born and raised Catholic and the impact her faith has had throughout her life.

Mayor Michael Hancock surprised students at Christ the King Catholic School, in Denver Feb. 24 during a presentation on Black History Month. (Photos by Brandon Ortega)

“It’s important that we don’t celebrate in just the month of February or Black Catholic History Month in November, but throughout the entire year,” Williams said. “It’s also important to remember, as Pope Francis has shared, that unity and diversity is something we should have a joyful celebration about. It’s not our differences that we should be focused on, but our unity in our Lord Jesus Christ, that brings us all together and we should bring all of those gifts from all of our ethnic communities together as the one universal Catholic Church.”

As part of the Black History Month celebration at Christ The King, the school held several events during the entire week of February 24, including a basketball game to honor the athlete Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed with seven others in a helicopter accident back in January. Before the fatal crash, Bryant, a Catholic, was seen praying at his local parish.

“The purpose is to bring focus to the contribution that the Catholic Church has [had] with black history,” said Sandra Moss, Teachers and Preschool Assistant at Christ the King Catholic School. “I want students to know Black history is American history. It’s not just about the color of your skin. It’s not about the negativity that is occurring everywhere in the world. I wanted them to see the good side of it… Black history is American history.”