James Jeffrey Benisek
James Jeffrey Benisek, 52, was born in Oak Park, Ill., and is
a parishioner of St. William of York Church in Stafford. The
son of Jerome and Mary Benisek, he grew up in Elmhurst, Ill.,
with his younger brother.
Benisek received a bachelor's in law enforcement
administration from Western Illinois University, a master's
in criminal justice from New Mexico State University and a
master's in theology from Catholic Distance University.
He and his wife, Alice Mary, will celebrate their 25th
wedding anniversary in February. They have one son, Stephen,
who is a 17-year-old home-schooled high school senior.
Benisek served in several branches of the military prior to
his current position as a special agent for the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration, which he has held for more than
He has been the volunteer director of religious education at
St. William of York since 2006.
Benisek said his primary inspiration to enter diaconate
formation was the example of Deacon Richard Smith, who was
active at St. William of York for many years. Smith's service
to others inspired Benisek to follow in his footsteps, he
Alfred Caporaletti, 64, was born in Alexandria and is a
parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Manassas. He is the son
of Louis G. Capora1etti (deceased) and Anna Pavone
Caporaletti and has two brothers.
Caporaletti attended St. Rita School in Alexandria and St.
Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, and graduated from
Wakefield High School in Arlington in 1967. He attended
Thomas Nelson Community College and Northern Virginia
Caporaletti and his wife, Linda, have been married for 41
years and have two daughters, Tricia Lopes and Kimberly
Poynter, and four grandchildren. He retired from the U.S. Air
Force in 1989 and joined the Capitol Police, from which he
retired in 2009.
Caporaletti said his call to the permanent diaconate is not
about himself, but about love and service to God - which
includes service to Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, his
pastor and parishioners.
Jim Hepler, 51, is a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia
and a parishioner of St. Timothy Church in Chantilly. He grew
up a parishioner of St. Philip in Falls Church, the son of
Charles and Ann Hepler, both deceased.
Hepler attended Northern Virginia Community College and has
taken classes at George Mason University in Fairfax. He
completed the Education for Parish Service program at Trinity
College in Washington in 2005.
He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 24 years and
have three sons, Daniel, Jason and Nick. He is a retired
police officer with the Falls Church Police Department and
currently teaches high school in the Fairfax County Public
Hepler has taught religious education at St. Timothy for 13
years. He also has been an usher, lector, extraordinary
minister of holy Communion and a Knight of Columbus. He
currently teaches an adult baptism class and is in charge of
the extraordinary minister program at St. Timothy.
Hepler said he was drawn to the diaconate after he began
visiting the Eucharist during adoration. He enjoys working
with youths and the elderly and bringing Communion to the
sick, he said.
Dennis A. Holley
Dennis A. Holley, 58, was born in Suffern, N.Y., and has been
a parishioner of St. John Neumann Church in Reston for 15
years. He is the son of Agnes and Alan Holley and has one
Holley graduated in 1971 from Mahwah High School in Mahwah,
N.J. He earned a bachelor's in public administration from the
University of Arizona in 1975 and a master's in criminal
justice from Arizona State University in 1976.
He and his wife, Patty, were married in 1979 and they have
two daughters, Denicia and Colleen, and a son, Peter.
Holley retired from the U. S. Secret Service with 27 years of
federal law enforcement service. He is employed by the
Federal Air Marshal Service and is the supervisory federal
air marshal in charge of the Critical Incident Response
He said his calling to the diaconate began more than 30 years
ago after meeting his wife, who also is passionate about the
Faith. Holley has been active in the Church, serving as the
Gabriel Project and Just Faith parish coordinators and as a
member of the Salesian Spirituality team and the Arlington
Diocese Peace and Justice Commission. Holley said he knew
that the Holy Spirit was working on his behalf when he
applied and was accepted into the formation program.
Dave Maurer, 55, was born on Long Island, N.Y., and is a
parishioner of St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax. He grew
up in Setauket, N.Y., the son of Gerard and Helene Maurer. He
has an older brother and younger sister.
Maurer attended public schools and went on to receive a
bachelor's and master's of science in naval architecture and
marine engineering in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. He is completing a master's in moral theology
at Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College in
He is the chief naval architect at Gryphon Technologies in
Washington, primarily supporting U.S. Navy ship acquisition
Maurer and his wife, Kathy, who is professed in the Secular
Order of Discalced Carmelites, married in 1983. The couple
has six children, Anna, Gerard, Susie, Sarah, Peter and Mary
Rose, aged 14 to 26. All their children were home-schooled
through high school.
The Maurers have been active serving St. Mary and diocesan
activities, including Catholic Engaged Encounter, Cursillo
and the Serra Club of Arlington. Maurer has served as a
catechist for many years and is a fourth-degree Knight of
Maurer said he answered the call to diaconate formation at
the encouragement of several priests and friends. He said he
is excited to be called to serve as a deacon in the parish
and in family and work settings.
Christopher E. Ryan
Christopher E. Ryan, 51, was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., and
has been a parishioner of Good Shepherd Church in Alexandria
since 2009. He is one of five sons of F.X. Ryan (deceased)
and Margaret Ryan.
He is a 1978 graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy and a 1982
graduate of Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass. Ryan works at
Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington.
Ryan is a retired Catholic Youth Organization basketball and
track coach, Boy Scout assistant troop leader, and sports
columnist for The Caledonian Record. He and his wife,
Kathleen ("Kitty"), are the parents of sons Patrick, 22, and
Aidan, 16, and a daughter, Maura, 14.
He serves as a lector, extraordinary minister of holy
Communion with visits to nursing homes and to the elderly
homebound, a prison visitor, and a volunteer at Christ House
Ryan said he answered the call to diaconal ministry due to
the encouragement and good example of an old family friend
and his confirmation sponsor, Deacon Bernier L. Mayo of the
Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vt.
Patrick Michael Strain
Patrick Michael Strain, 57, was born in Memphis, Tenn., and
is a parishioner of St. Mathew Church in Spotsylvania. The
son of Patrick Reese and Mary Luigs Strain, he is the oldest
of four children with two brothers and one sister.
Strain attended Catholic grade school and high school,
graduating in 1972. He joined the Marine Corps in 1973 and
earned a bachelor's in 1984 and a master's in 1993.
He and his wife, Phyllis Marie, married in 1975 and have five
children, Denise, Angela, Christopher, Bridgette and Elena,
aged 23 to 36. They also have six grandchildren.
Strain retired from the Marine Corps in 2000 after 27 years.
He is employed by the Department of the Navy as a program
director at Dahlgren, Va.
Strain said he first experienced a calling to the diaconate
about 30 years ago, but was unable to start formation due to
frequent moves while a member of the Marine Corps. Once
retired, the call became stronger and he decided to answer it
five years ago. Strain said he looks forward to serving the
people of the diocese as a deacon.