Bishop to ordain seven new permanent deacons

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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 26 years.

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 said.

Alfred Caporaletti

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 Community College.

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

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 School system.

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 younger brother.

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 Program.

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

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 Alexandria.

He is the chief naval architect at Gryphon Technologies in Washington, primarily supporting U.S. Navy ship acquisition programs.

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 Columbus.

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 in Alexandria.

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.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012