Deacon candidate attracted to ministry of charity

by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven

Louisburg — When George Karnaze first considered becoming a deacon, what appealed to him most was the service component of the diaconate.

“The diaconate is primarily a ministry of charity, assisting people and providing sacramental help to the people of God,” said Karnaze. “We’re there to assist the priests and bishop. We are especially called to help the poor, the homeless, the depressed.”

Once he becomes a deacon, Karnaze said his biggest concern was making sure he was a help to Catholics in experiencing their faith more fully.

“One of the first things we were asked in one of our first classes was: ‘What is the thing you fear most about doing [after becoming a deacon]?’” recalled Karnaze. “My fear is that I would say or do something that would prompt someone to leave the church. I want to be able to represent the church and the office of deacon humbly and faithfully.”

Sharing what he loves about his faith is something Karnaze is looking forward to doing in a new way as a deacon, once he and the 16 other candidates are ordained.

“The greatest thing about being Catholic to me is being a part of a church founded by Christ, being a member of the universal church of God,” said Karnaze. “It’s knowing Jesus died for me and for you.”


Profile

Name: George Karnaze

Parish: Immaculate Conception, Louisburg

Age: 62

Family members: wife, Etta; two grown children — Chris and Kelly

Occupation: banker

Favorite food: Mexican and Greek

What I’m looking forward to most about being a deacon: The role of the deacon is one of service to the poor and bringing the Gospel to others. It’s also a spiritual and liturgical ministry that allows one to grow in their faith and practice the Beatitudes.

Favorite saint: St. Dismas (the “good” thief next to Jesus at Calvary). He asked Jesus to remember him in the kingdom. Jesus told him he would be with him this day in paradise. This image conveys the absolute mercy Christ has for those who are contrite for their sins.

If I could visit a period in church history it would be: The Second Vatican Council. I have great admiration for Pope John XXIII and his courage for calling the council.

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