Part 3: Future deacons reflect on their call to ministry


Bishop W. Shawn McKnight has summoned 13 men of the Jefferson City diocese to become permanent deacons.

He plans to ordain them during Mass on Saturday, May 4, in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Jefferson City.

The men and their wives have been preparing for the diaconate since 2015.

This is the third in a series of articles profiling these candidates for the permanent diaconate:

Toward grace and mercy

When God began revealing to William “Bill” Kenneth Seibert Jr. his diaconal calling, Mr. Seibert responded in prayer, “God, I don’t want to be a burden to You.”

Now, Mr. Seibert is eager to help the Church proclaim God’s power and willingness to forgive.

“I am a prime example of God’s grace and ability to change people,” he said. “I’m always willing to testify to God’s love.”

Mr. Seibert said God has given him so much, he’s overjoyed to give back by serving His people.

He entered formal discernment thinking the diaconate is something he was seeking.

“Then I realized I was being called,” he said. “This journey is a calling from God, for I am not worthy by myself.”

Mr. Seibert was born in England and spent his childhood in Washington, D.C., before moving with his family to Rolla in time for high school.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Columbia College and spent 42 years in public service.

He served as executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission and spent 30 years with the State Highway Patrol, retiring as the assistant superintendent.

He and his wife, Rachelle, members of Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City, were married in 1976. They have three adult sons and a grandson.

Mr. Seibert was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in 1995.

As a deacon, and with the bishop’s and his pastor’s blessing, Mr. Seibert hopes to focus his ministry on the people who are the most disadvantaged.

“This expression of love is undeniable,” he stated.

He asks for prayers to be able to continue growing in God’s love and following Jesus’s teachings.

Proclaiming God’s love

Amparo Orozco loves the Church and is committed to God.

That’s why he’s excited to be answering God’s call to the diaconate.

“This is the means by which I want to thank Him for everything He’s done for me and my family,” Mr. Orozco, who grew up in Michoacan, Mexico, stated in Spanish.

He and his wife Veronica are members of St. Peter parish in Marshall. They have four children — one girl and three boys.

Mr. Orozco is grateful to Bishop McKnight and the whole local Church for giving him the opportunity to serve.

He hopes to do so “in whatever way the Church needs me and wherever God needs me. I am in the hands of the bishop and the Church.”

As a deacon, he hopes to be involved in evangelization, group formation and the leading of Bible studies.

He believes the Church needs to remain committed to visiting the sick, the homebound and the incarcerated, “to bring them a word of hope, reminding them that God loves them unconditionally.”

He asks for prayers for “God’s protection and the grace of perseverence to serve God’s people.”

In all things, charity

“To proclaim the Gospel and preach the Word and instruct the People of God through homilies and catechesis.”

That is what Jaime Medina hopes to do as a deacon.

“I am very grateful to God and to our diocese for this opportunity,” Mr. Medina, who was born and raised in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, stated in Spanish.

He and his wife, Ana, are members of St. Peter parish in Marshall and have four children.

As a deacon, Mr. Medina hopes to give the best to God and His people, “with works of mercy to the needy and to help build up the Church.”

He is eager to help lead people to Christ, specifically through evangelization, spiritual retreats, and merciful action.

He believes the Church models Christ’s mercy by visiting people in prison, helping people in need, and promoting concrete works of charity to those who suffer.

Mr. Medina asks for people to remember him in prayer when they pray the Rosary.

Advocate for evangelization

Luis Enrique Reyes Pimentel wants to be a light, a friend, a guide for those who have lost their way, and above all their servant.

“I am here, willing ‘to serve and not be served,’ as Jesus said,” Mr. Reyes stated in Spanish.

He was born in El Salvador, where his mother instilled confidence and patience in him.

His grandmother was the pillar of the family and encouraged him to be an altar server and later to consider whether God was calling him to Priesthood.

After graduating from a high school seminary, he studied to become an electronics technician and then pursued a degree in industrial engineering and business administration.

He worked for Avancé Ingenieros S.A. de C.V. for six years before moving to the United States with his father.

He continued his studies in Los Angeles, where he met his future wife, Yesenia Reyes.

They moved to Marshall, got married and became members of St. Peter parish. They have two children.

Mr. Reyes said he wants to be a deacon in order to serve God and His people totally and in love.

“I hope to be pleasing in the eyes of God and worthy to call myself a son of God and to be for His people one more brother,” he said.

Mr. Reyes believes the greatest opportunities for leading people to Christ come through one-on-one evangelization — “visiting house by house in each community.”

He feels particularly suited to evangelizing by visiting people who are sick, elderly or in prison — but as a deacon, “I will dedicate myself to whatever the bishop assigns me.”

He asked for people to pray an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” for him as a deacon, and to pray the Rosary as a family for the ministry of all deacons.

“Ask God to give me the strength to persevere until the end of my life and increase my love of service,” he requested.

At the foot of the cross

“I’ve been a Catholic all my life, thank God,” says Néstor Andrés Montenegro, who sometimes goes by “Neto.”

He was born in the Santa Ana district of El Salvador, and worked with his father on their family farm until he was 19.

He and his wife Sonia have been married for almost 24 years and are members of St. Patrick parish in Sedalia.

They have three children, ages 22, 16 and 13.

He began pursuing the diaconate because he felt called and sees the need in the diocese.

Grateful to God for the opportunity to serve Him in new ways, Mr. Montenegro is eager to exercise his ministry to the best of his ability.

He especially hopes to minister to people who are in jail or prison.

He believes his best opportunities to minister will come from witnessing that Christ is alive and working in him.

“God is always waiting for us to get to His feet, to be forgiven,” he said.

He asked for people to remember him in prayer while they’re praying the Rosary.