Deacon Don was ordained in 1979, with a diocesan health ministry at Plaza Extended Care Facility (now Rosewood Heights). In 1980, he was assigned by Bishop Harrison to St. Margaret’s Parish, to train interested parishioners to become Ministers to the Sick. In 1981, at a mass on May 3, he commissioned 28 members to visit those in hospitals, nursing homes and private homes. Since then, he has had various ministries conducting pre-baptismal classes, training altar servers, RCIA classes, adult classes and upon his retirement of forty years in the Air Force and Air Guard in 1990 as an Avionics Manager, has been involved with most funerals. He conducts Prayer Services at a Funeral Home prior to Funeral Mass at Church, where he serves as a Deacon, followed by officiating at a Committal Service in area cemeteries. For those not wanting a Funeral Mass, he does a Liturgy Outside of Mass at a Funeral Home, followed by a Committal Service at a cemetery.
He is also Chaplain of the 174th Alumni Association that comprises over 600 members world-wide. He conducts Memorial Services for members who have died and ensures that their names will be engraved on granite stones at the Alumni Park located on the Air Base at Hancock Field.
A native of the Syracuse area and a father of three, he has been involved with two of his children in their marriage ceremony at St. Margaret’s, by delivering the homily for his daughter and officiating at his son’s wedding. He is the grandfather of eleven, having baptized ten of them in Lake Forest, California; Lawrenceville, Georgia; St Cyril’s in Alexandria Bay; St. Rose in North Syracuse and several at St. Margaret’s. Of the ten, he has been privileged to impart the Sacrament of First Communion to seven and has been with two Bishops from Ogdensburg for three granddaughters receiving their Sacrament of Confirmation and with an Archbishop of Atlanta for a granddaughter and grandson’s Sacrament of Confirmation.
Deacon Don is an ex-officio member of the Parish Council and member of the Liturgy Committee.