Deacon Ronald Darschewski
The original catalyst that prompted Deacon Ron Darschewski, 70, to consider a future in the diaconate program came by way of the satisfaction he experienced as a catechist for children in the religious education program at his parish in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill.
“During this time, seeing the joy which the children had as they grew in both knowledge and relationship with the Lord, moved me to further work with adults and the rest just seemed to blossom from there,” he said. Deacon Darschewski was ordained in Joliet on May 1, 1979; and served as a parish-based director of adult faith formation for 10 years, until moving to the Archdiocese of Denver in 2003. In Colorado, he works as director of religious education at St. Louis Parish in Louisville.
He enjoys seeing others come to a deeper relationship with God through the various ministries he’s been involved with including: religious education, RCIA, taking the Eucharist to the hospitalized and home bound, and working with couples preparing for marriage. In his professional life, he was employed in the printing industry for 30 years.
Deacon Darschewski has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 51 years; the couple has 10 children and 23 grandchildren. “Knowing that they have been very supportive from the very beginning has given me the strength to reach out to others,” he said of his family. “In addition, being married, a father, and now a grandfather, has assisted me in the way I respond to the various situations that arise through my ministry.”
When possible, he and Nancy enjoy traveling and recently went to Rome where they had an opportunity to be present at a Mass in St. Peter’s celebrated by Pope Francis where 10 men were ordained to the priesthood.
Deacon Richard Grimler
Before becoming a deacon, Richard Grimler, 76, and his wife of 49 years, Judith, were always active in their Bloomington, Ill., parish in the Diocese of Peoria, though he was “interested in doing more in the Church than what I was doing,” he told the Denver Catholic Register from his Fort Collins home Aug. 6. That call led to his ordination to the diaconate Nov. 18, 1979, in Peoria. He was not only the first deacon in his parish, but the first in Bloomington. “It was new to people, so there were challenges,” he said. “But I enjoyed being the trailblazer.”
Deacon Grimler moved to the Archdiocese of Denver in 2000, to Fort Collins, to be closer to family. Two of the couple’s four daughters live in the Parker area, the other two in Indiana and Michigan. He served at St. Joseph Parish until 2006 when retiring from active ministry though he continues to help out at the parish as needed. For the last five years, he has continued to serve by leading a Communion service and discussion group a couple of Sundays a month for a small group of convicted sex offenders in the area.
Deacon Grimler and Judith have prepared many couples for marriage, a task he really enjoyed; and he also enjoys giving homilies. “To get feedback that my homily may have been of value to someone has been very rewarding,” he said. He also found visiting the sick in the hospital to be a rewarding experience.
The couple has 10 grandchildren. Now retired from a career in accounting, Deacon Grimler enjoys being home, taking care of the house and watching sports on TV.
Deacon Thomas Quinlan
After being ordained in the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas, Deacon Thomas Quinlan brought his ministry to Denver. He was ordained in January 1979.
His calling to the diaconate came to him after the “newly ordained deacon in our parish died quite suddenly,” Deacon Quinlan shared.
“I felt that God was calling me to be his replacement,” he said.
He moved to Denver with his wife, Glenys, to whom he’s been married for 51 years, and their two sons.
Deacon Quinlan has served at the parishes of Christ the King in Evergreen; Our Lady of the Pines and St. Elizabeth, both in Conifer; and Good Shepherd and St. Jude, both in Lakewood. He is now helping with baptism preparation, marriage preparation and visits the homebound from Christ the King.
He said his family has been very supportive of his diaconal ministry. In his spare time, Deacon Quinlan is an amateur radio operator and operates a private winery, which produced wine for St. John Paul II during his 1993 World Youth Day visit.
He is also selling copies of his book “Another Set of Hands: A Collection of Short Diaconal Stories” published by the Alt Publishing Co. in 2012.