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Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
May 17, 2017
For immediate release

Bishop Scharfenberger to Ordain Four New Deacons for Albany Diocese at Cathedral On May 20

A former national guard member, the CEO of a non-profit, a software engineer, and a naturalized citizen of the United States all have one thing in common: each will be ordained to the diaconate for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger at a Mass and Rite of Ordination at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany on Saturday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m.

Zachariah Chichester, who will be ordained a transitional deacon in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood in 2018, graduated from Magdalen College, New Hampshire and earned a Master of Politics degree from the University of Dallas. A former member of the U.S. National Guard, he discerned his call to the priesthood in the years following his military career. Though he spent two years discerning, it wasn’t until he entered into a weeklong, silent retreat that he clearly knew that the Lord was asking him to become a priest. “What a gift! To know what was asked of me! I said, ‘Yes,’ and applied to enter formation to the priesthood a few days later,” he says. He is currently in his third year at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, Ill.

The three other men to be ordained May 20 will be permanent deacons:

Anthony Cortese can be found volunteering with the McKownville Fire Department when he is not serving as president and CEO of St. Anne Institute in Albany. With certifications and a master’s degree in social work, he has served as the director for the Residential Treatment Program at Parson’s Child and Family Center in Albany, the executive director of the St. Cabrini Home in West Park, the vice president of residential services at Northeast Parent and Child Society in Schenectady, and cottage life supervisor at House of Good Shepherd in Utica. He describes his vocation to the diaconate as “less about knowing and more about trusting.” His faith “became the pathfinder that helped me become spiritually confident,” he says, and led him to purse this ministry together with his wife, Jackie.

Andrew Haskins is a software engineer whose resume includes companies in Louisiana, Texas, New Hampshire and New York. It was while he was in Texas, where he was involved with the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, that he first began to discern a vocation to the diaconate. Even after relocating to the Albany area to work with GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Malta, he felt continually drawn to service in this ministry, saying that through this journey, “All that has been asked of me is simply to continue to say ‘Yes’ in response to his merciful love.” He resides in Ballston Spa with his wife, Donna.

Gary Miles was born in Dorval, Quebec, and raised in Vancouver, where he worked for Air Canada before becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2013. While still living in Canada, he felt a continued call to serve the Church but was not sure in what area to do so. He became a Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus and participated in various programs at his parish. As parishioners kept inquiring as to whether or not he was a deacon, he soon recognized his call to the ministry. Since his lack of French created a barrier to serving in Canada, he immediately started pursuing the diaconate when he moved to the United States, together with his wife, Karin. “As I have journeyed this path, I have been blessed with remarkable affirmations and grace,” he says. He currently serves as the sacristan at St. Mary of the Assumption in Waterford.