CJ Members Join the Deaconate

Through the Liturgy of Ordination of Deacons on Saturday, April 24, CJ gained the blessed benefit of having two ordained clergy on staff. After years of study and completion of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program as well as three years in Deaconate Formation.

Brian Campos, development database coordinator, and Jim Walworth, director of development, will be ordained as permanent deacons by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr through prayers and laying of hands. During the ceremony celebrated at Immaculate Conception in Dayton, 33 men were ordained as permanent deacons and three as transitional deacons in the process of becoming priests next year.

Before beginning his five years of preparation to become a member of the deaconate, Campos was discerning a call to the priesthood when he met Corrina, who would later become his wife. Even in marriage, there was no doubt in Campos's mind that he would become a permanent deacon--honoring God's call in his life to serve the Church in a much deeper way. "I never looked at becoming a deacon as a step down. It was just a different way to serve God and the Church," he said.

"The call to ordination is something that has been with me throughout my adult life. There were times when I tried to step away from it, but God's calling always brings you back."

An eight-year member of Ascension Church, Campos plans to continue enriching his prayer life through the Liturgy of the Hours, and serve parishioners through officiating at sacraments celebrated outside of Mass. He looks forward to working with sick and the homebound, bringing them the Eucharist and praying the Liturgy of the Word with them. He also looks forward to assisting with Masses as deacon at CJ and is open to other possibilities as they arise, including the possibility of teaching religion in the archdiocese.

"I'm young and I think there is going to be a lot of room and time for my ministry to unfold. I'm trying to remain open to what God wants me to do. That could mean ending up in Guatemala in 10 years. There's just no way of telling."

Jim Walworth's call to ministry began 25 years ago when his pastor at St. Paul in Englewood, Ohio and asked him to consider becoming a deacon. "I said, 'no,' but it planted a seed that kept coming back to me.

"I kept pushing the thought aside until six-and-a half years ago, when a friend of mine from NCR passed away suddenly."

Walworth said that losing his friend caused him to think about life and how people tend to take time on Earth for granted. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2003, he approached Fr. Dan Meyer, pastor of Holy Angels Church about becoming a member of the deaconate.

During his first three years earning a Masters in Pastoral Ministry at the University of Dayton, Walworth said that he struggled with the idea of whether or not his calling was a real one. By the time he had earned his degree in July 2007, his heart and mind had settled on an answer.

"It was a real call, and I had to follow it," he said. Walworth then began the deaconate formation program at the Athenaeum in September 2007 and for three years has spent every other weekend, plus some, at the institution preparing for ordination.

Through the years, Walworth said that he has begun a devotion to Mary, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis, and a "deepening awe for the Word of God and the Eucharist. These are things that I carry within me."

Upon ordination, Walworth looks forward to serving the Church in various ways including assisting with Mass and officiating at baptisms, weddings and funerals. "Through this ministry, God is placing me at important moments in peoples' lives."

He also believes that becoming a deacon is an important part of why he accepted the position of director of development at Chaminade Julienne in August 2008. In seeking a new position, he wanted to become a member of a Catholic institution that could benefit by his professional background and by the Catholic formation education he was receiving.

"It's such a blessing to be part of CJ—a faith-filled community," he said. "Through my deaconate ministry, I am able to assist outside of my responsibilities as the school's director of development."

For the past year and a half, Walworth has helped with faculty and staff Masses, and chaperoned a summer mission trip last year. He intends to do both this coming year in addition to his newer duties of coordinating the efforts of the Mission Effectiveness Advisory Council.

"The permanent deacon is regarded as an essential part of the Church in the ministry of the altar, the Word and charity. With Brian and I, CJ will now have ordained clergy back on staff," he said, though he believes that this ministry has the potential to expand within the school. "I believe that there are a few other men on our staff who are at a place in their lives to discern God's call."