Cardinal Dolan will ordain 10 men as permanent deacons of the archdiocese at a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Saturday, June 23, at 9 a.m.
Deacon Tom Bennett, 37, is a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi, West Nyack, where he serves as extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, lector and homebound minister. He graduated from Mercy College in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in health services management. He received his paramedic certification from Rockland Community College in 2005. Tom and his wife, Kerri, have been married for 12 years and have two daughters, Abigail and Molly. Tom works for Englewood Hospital and Medical Center as a paramedic in the EMS department.
Deacon Jose A. Camacho, 41, is a parishioner at St. Peter-St. Denis, Yonkers, where he has served as a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. He is host of a small group for formation and prayer, sub-coordinator of the Emmaus Brotherhood, catechist and assistant to the pastor with the religious education program. He was born in the Dominican Republic and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The City College of New York. He holds professional engineering licenses from New York and New Jersey. Jose is married to Elodia Margarita. He works for Thornton Tomasetti Inc. as leader of a bridge inspection team. From 2004 to 2016 he worked for B & H Engineering, first as structural engineer and then as load rating engineer and team leader.
Deacon Oscar Adolfo Cifuentes, 63, was born in Guatemala City. Oscar has been married to Erika for 29 years. They have two daughters, Ericka and Jamie, and one son, Oscar Jr., who graduated from St. John’s University in May. Oscar and his wife are active and devoted both to their former parish, St. Ann in Ossining, and to their current parish, St. Joachim and St. John the Evangelist in Beacon. They are active in the Charismatic prayer group in Dutchess and Ulster counties. They assist with the pre-baptismal preparation class and also with the RCIA in Spanish. Oscar is grateful to his wife for encouraging him to enter the diaconate formation program, and he credits her love, prayers and encouragement for getting him through each stage.
Deacon Anthony Salvatore Cirone, 53 is a parishioner of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Lagrangeville, where he is a lector, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and an acolyte. He previously served as parish council president, finance council member and catechist. He graduated from Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx in 1982 and attended Manhattan College. He is a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus. Anthony has been married to Andrea for 28 years; they have one daughter, Ashley, who just completed her master’s degree in earth and environmental science. Anthony and Andrea own a religious book, gift and church supply store, Hearts From Heaven, in Hopewell Junction. Anthony is also employed by Arlington Central Schools in the transportation department.
Deacon John Michael Hanley, 55, is a parishioner at St. Thomas of Canterbury-St. Joseph, Cornwall-on-Hudson, where he has served as lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and RCIA catechist. John has been married to Laurie for 13 years. John said he is blessed to have a wife who has given him endless support, encouragement and love in his discernment to the call to serve in the diaconate. John and Laurie are both volunteers with Camp Veritas in the United States and Ireland, Youth 2000–Fearless Retreats and with the Sisters of Life. John is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and a member of the Cursillo Movement. He is a 1981 graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School, and he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from SUNY New Paltz. John has been an educator for 20 years, the past 10 at Warwick Valley High School.
Deacon Jose Luis Ojeda, 59, has been a parishioner of St. Frances of Rome-St. Francis of Assisi-St. Anthony-Our Lady of Grace in the Bronx for 28 years, where he served as a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. He is a member of the parish liturgy committee, Hispanic committee and Charismatic prayer ministry. He assists with RCIA, baptismal preparation instructions and nursing home ministry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Lehman College of the City University of New York. Jose works as a data analyst for an automotive replacement parts manufacturing company. He has been married to his wife, Norma, for 34 years. They have one son, Jose Antonio, and a 7-month-old grandson, Elias.
Deacon Raymond L. Ricci, 56, is a parishioner of St. Christopher and St. Sylvia in Red Hook, where he has served as a member of the choir, the RCIA team and the Holy Name Society, as well as a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. He is a 1980 graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University and a master’s in computer engineering from Syracuse University. Ray and his wife, Lorraine, have been married for 28 years. Their children are Francis, Aaron and Elizabeth. Ray has worked at IBM for 34 years.
Deacon Vincent J. Verlezza, 69, is a parishioner of Santa Maria in the Bronx, where he serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and coordinator of the faith formation program. He is a 1967 graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s of business administration in management from Manhattan College. He was married for 40 years to Saveria, before her death; they have a son, John, and a daughter, Marisa. He is the grandfather of Vincent, Sofia, John Francis, William and Nicholas. Vincent is retired after serving 40 years in law enforcement. He is presently enforcing the law as a full-time baby sitter to his two youngest grandsons.
Deacon Christopher Wodzinski, 46, is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament on Staten Island, where he has served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, lector and coordinator of the parish altar server program. He also leads Scripture study groups and the baptismal-preparation program for first-time parents. He has worked as an instructor for the Archdiocesan Catechetical Institute. Christopher holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. John’s University and a master’s in religious studies from St. Joseph Seminary’s Institute of Religious Studies. He and his wife, Alicia, have been married for 23 years and have two daughters, Rebecca and Emily. He has been employed as a federal law enforcement officer for 25 years.
Deacon Kevin E. Wright, 59, is a parishioner of St. Teresa of Avila in lower Manhattan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language from Montclair State University in New Jersey, and a master’s of business administration in management from Fairleigh Dickinson University, also in New Jersey. He is the father of Kevin J. and Allison, and the grandfather of Vincent Joseph. He is currently a missionary serving with the poor at LAMP Ministries in the Bronx.