Deacon directors bring a wealth of experience to their work


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The two deacons who coordinate the functions of the permanent diaconate office in this diocese bring a wealth of ministerial and life experience to their roles.

Deacon John Schwartze, recently appointed diocesan director of deacon formation, is a Jefferson City native and graduate of St. Joseph Cathedral School and Helias Catholic High School.

He was ordained a deacon of the Diocese of San Antonio, Texas, in 2008.

He and his wife Carol have been married for 40 years.

Deacon Schwartze worked in the electrical utility business for over 40 years, which led him to Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Texas — the latter for 21 years.

They moved back to Jefferson City in 2015 to be closer to family.

Bishop W. Shawn Mc­Knight incardinated Deacon Schwartze into the Jefferson City diocese and assigned him to assist the pastor of Cathedral of St. Joseph parish.

There, he teaches RCIA classes and helps individuals prepare for the sacraments of initiation, coordinates Catholic services at a local nursing home, trains altar servers and other liturgical ministers, serves on the Resurrection Cemetery Board, and assists the pastor when there is a need.

Deacon Raymond Purvis, who previously served as formation director for the diaconate, continues as director of deacon life and ministry.

A Martinsburg native and graduate of St. Joseph School, he was ordained in 2003 and has been assisting the pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City since that time.

He and his wife, Donna, have been married for 46 years and have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Mrs. Purvis coordinates the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Deacon Purvis assists with that ministry and other sacramental ministries in the parish.

He is a retired engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.