Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders on six men who will be ordained deacons May 21.

The Mass of Ordination will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 North Warren Street, Trenton, and will be livestreamed on the

Of the six ordinands, five will be known as permanent deacons. They come from a variety of backgrounds and professional careers and are married with families. Their formation has included completing a five-year program with studies that are consistent with the intellectual norms established in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and life of Permanent Deacons in the United States.

The sixth candidate is a seminarian, and as such will be referred to as a transitional deacon as he continues his formation and prepares for the priesthood in the Diocese of Trenton.

Once ordained, all of the new deacons will assume responsibilities such as preaching and presiding over weddings, Baptisms, wakes and committals.

Following are the profiles of the men who have answered God’s call to serve the Church.

Guiding people in their journey of faith will be new transitional deacon Kevin Hrycenko's goal

Seminarian Kevin Hrycenko’s ordination to the diaconate on May 21 will bring him one step closer to his ultimate goal of reaching his priestly ordination, which he expects to take place next year. .

A native son of the Diocese, Hrycenko shared that he is looking forward to his diaconal year, and the opportunity to “guide people along their journey of faith” through celebrating Baptisms and preaching at Mass.

Hrycenko was born in Brick in 1994 to parents Walter and Loretto Hrycenko. He graduated from St. Joseph Grade School, Toms River, in 2008 and Monsignor Donovan (now Donovan Catholic) High School, also Toms River, in 2012, before going to The Catholic University of America, Washington, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in history in 2016.

Hrycenko began his seminary studies, in the fall of 2017 in Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Church history and a master of divinity degree. His summer parish assignments have been spent in what is known as The Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley which is composed of the linked parishes St. James, Pennington; St. George, Titusville, and St. Alphonsus, Hopewell, in 2018; St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, in 2019; Nativity, Fair Haven, in 2020, and St. Charles Borromeo, Cinnaminson, in 2021.

Work experience he gained while in high school included an ice cream shop in 2014 and in a grocery store produce department from 2016-2017. He was also involved in Scouting and went on to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

The soon to be Rev. Mr. Hrycenko said that during the Mass of Ordination, he will be vested in the diaconal vestments of a dalmatic and stole by Deacon Frank Babuschak, a retired deacon from St. Joseph Parish. He will serve his diaconal year assignment in St. Dominic Parish, Brick.

George Chemaly

Sponsoring Parish: St. Mary, Middletown

Place Of Birth/ Year Of Birth: Beirut, Lebanon, 1962

Family: wife, Juliana; son, Christy-John (CJ), 24, and daughter, Christelle, 22

Employment Background: Sales, Leonardo Jewelers, Red Bank

Education: St. Francis School, Beirut; Carmel St. Joseph High School, Beirut (1978-1982); American University of Beirut, B.A., economics, (1982-1986); Georgian Court University, Lakewood, (2017-2021), M.A., theology

Areas Of Ministry: Knights of Columbus, Altar-Rosary Society, Cursillo, Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

What Inspired You To Pursue A Vocation As A Deacon?: [I want to] follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ as a servant; serve the people of God by bringing more souls to the Church; participate in building the Catholic Church by proclaiming the Good News.

Vesting Priest: Father Jeffrey Kegley, pastor, St. Mary Parish

Robert Golden

Sponsoring Parish: St. Martha, Point Pleasant

Place Of Birth/ Year Of Birth: Newark, 1956

Family: wife, Jeanette Marie; daughter, Heather, 38, and son, James, 35; parents, Bernard and Irene Golden (both deceased)

Employment Background: Retired from NJ Health Care System

Education: St. Rose of Lima School, Freehold (1967-1970); St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel (1970-1974); Arizona State University, B.S./M.P.A. (1976-1980); Georgian Court University, Lakewood (2017-2021), M.A., theology

Certificates, Honors, Technical Training: Theta Alpha Kappa

Areas Of Ministry: Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

What Inspired You To Pursue A Vocation As A Deacon? The harvest is great; the laborers are few. Prayer, reflection and faith led me to heed the call to this ministry.

Vesting Priest: Father David Swantek, pastor, St. Martha Parish

Eugene Kotowski

Sponsoring Parish: St. Joan of Arc, Marlton

Place Of Birth/ Year Of Birth: Bayonne; 1964

Family: wife, Paula; daughter, Christina, 27, son, Matthew, 24; parents, Elizabeth and Edward Kotowski, (both deceased)

Employment Background: mechanical assembler, OPEX, Moorestown

Education: Our Lady Star of the Sea School, (1968-1977); Marist High School, Bayonne (1977-1981); Keystone Junior College (Keystone College), LaPlume, Pa. (1981-1983); Georgian Court University, Lakewood (2017-)

Certificates, Honors, Technical Training: pastoral ministry

Areas Of Ministry: Father John P. Wessel, Knights of Columbus; adult advisor for parish high school youth group WinGS (Welcome in God’s Spirit); core member in parish men’s prayer group, That Man Is You!; host, monthly parish movie night, Popcorn, Franks & A Movie; team member for monthly parish Community Sunday ministry; team member for parish welcoming committee, annual picnic committee; Lector; Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion; volunteer with annual parish carnival, parish council

What Inspired You To Pursue A Vocation As A Deacon? Since the day Paula and I joined St. Joan of Arc Parish, countless parishioners and friends inquired if I’d ever consider becoming a deacon. In fact, one parishioner and close friend now, Dean DeRose, called me “Deacon Gene” from the moment he first met me. My response to everyone was the same. “Until I hear that small still voice, I will not pursue the diaconate.” On Oct. 1, 2016, at our Saturday evening Mass, Father Leon (Buni), during his homily, walked down the center aisle of our church and pointed directly at me and said, “You can do more.” And it was at that exact moment that the small still voice said, “Yeah, you can do more!” I knew this was God speaking to me because earlier on Friday morning, after attending our men’s group, I picked up a bulletin and noticed the announcement that the Trenton Diocese was restarting the Permanent Diaconate Program.

Vesting Priest: Msgr. Richard LaVerghetta, pastor, St. Joan of Arc

Joseph Montone

Sponsoring Parish: St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton

Place Of Birth/ Year Of Birth: New York City; 1960

Family: wife, Mireya; son, Ricardo, daughter, Jessica, son, Edgar; grandchildren, Dominick, 9, Anthony, 5, Aylin, 4, Matthew, 2; Parents, Ann (living), Dominick (deceased)

Employment Background: Executive Director and Founder of My Father’s Vineyard, Inc., Yardley, Pa.; Aviation Safety Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration, USA

Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, New York (1966-1972); Great Neck South, Great Neck, N.Y. (1972-1978); SUNY Farmingdale, A.A.S Aerospace Technology (1978-1980); Dowling College, B.S, Aeronautics (1980-1982); Georgian Court University, Lakewood, (2018-2021) Honors, Technical Training: M.A., theology.

Areas Of Ministry: Prison ministry in New Jersey and at Philadelphia Department of Prisons; pro-life ministries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; pilgrimages – USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe; radio host at EWTN affiliate station (1570 AM WISP / 1420 AM WCOJ); television host for Voices for the Unborn (PHL 17); cantor/reader/Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral Parish, St. Ignatius Parish, Yardley

What Inspired You To Pursue A Vocation As A Deacon? An inner calling from the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God the Father, the Blessed Mother, St., ministry as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and the saints. A passion to the Lord’s work.

Vesting Priest: Msgr. Joseph L. Roldan, rector of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral

Paul LaPlante

Sponsoring Parish: St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square

Place Of Birth/ Year Of Birth: Brooklyn, NY; 1963

Family: wife, Lori; son, Paul Jr., 33; son, Jonathan, 31; parents, Kenneth and Patricia La Plante (both deceased)

Employment Background: senior director, dept. of communications, TIAA, New York

Education: St. Mary Elementary School, South Amboy, NJ (1969-1977); Sayreville War Memorial High School, Sayreville, NJ (1977-1981); Rutgers College/University, B.A., Communication (1981-1985); Seton Hall University, South Orange, M.A., systematic theology (2015-2019), M.A., religious studies (2017-2021)

Areas Of Ministry: All at St. Gregory the Great: Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion; parish pastoral council; 4th Degree Knights of Columbus (past Grant Knight); small faith-sharing group leader; Vacation Bible School instructor; parish stewardship council; parish communications and marketing board; St. Gregory the Great Academy school board