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06/11/2004
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Two priests ordained for the diocese
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Four permanent deacons will be ordained June 12
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Four permanent deacons will be ordained June 12


KANSAS CITY - The ranks of permanent deacons will grow by four at 10 a.m. June 12 when Rich Akins, Kenneth Albers, Steven Carter and Michael Peterson are ordained at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Their ordinations will bring the number of new deacons to 16 since Bishop Raymond J. Boland revived the ministry of the permanent diaconate in 2000.

Rich Akins is a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Lee's Summit.

Akins' father, Keith Akins, is a deacon in the Episcopal tradition. He credits his father along with former Holy Spirit Parish Deacon Jim Fugit with helping him discern his vocation.

Akins and his wife, Beth, have been members of the parish since 1981, shortly after they moved to Lee's Summit from Topeka, Kan. Raised in the Episcopalian tradition, Akins was received in communion with the Roman Catholic tradition at Easter Vigil in 1983.

Akins has been active as a member of the parish finance committee, the parish council, the vocations committee, the peace and justice committee, and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults team. He also serves as a lector and Eucharistic minister, and has been involved in ministry to the sick.

As a deacon, Akins plans to work with the Diocesan Office of Ministry With People With Disabilities as well as liturgical ministry and other parish duties.

Kenneth Albers is a member of St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Baptized at St. Elizabeth Parish and educated at Christ the King Parish, Albers married his wife, Catherine, in 1978. She was received into communion with the Catholic Church in 1980 at the Newman Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Albers is active in the parish as part-time director of religious education. Catherine Albers is also active as a lector and Eucharistic minister, and in marriage preparation. She also volunteers at the Holy Family Catholic Worker House soup kitchen in Kansas City.

Together, the couple has worked in jail ministry and with the Boy Scouts of America. For his ministry development project, Albers designed a special needs scouting program for the residents of the Community of the Good Shepherd, near their parish.

Steven Carter is a member of Holy Rosary Parish in Clinton. He married his high school sweetheart, Patricia, who led him into communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 1968.

Carter is active in the parish as a Eucharistic minister, lector, lay leader of prayer, and in the "Welcome Home" outreach to inactive Catholics.

Patricia Carter is also active as a Eucharistic minister, as co-chair of the parish's annual turkey dinner, and as a lay leader in the Engaged Encounter community.

For his ministry project, Carter developed a program of spirituality, literacy and communication skills training for inmates at the Henry County Detention Center.

Michael Peterson is a member of Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Lee's Summit. Baptized at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kansas City, Peterson attended Blessed Sacrament School and Bishop Hogan High School before graduating from Raytown South High School.

Peterson and his wife, Margaret, were married in 1969.

Peterson is active in baptism and confirmation preparation and as a lector and Eucharistic minister. Margaret is also a confirmation leader, a Eucharistic minister and a member of the Befriender ministry. She also volunteers in hospice at John Knox Village.

For his ministry development project, Peterson established a full-range chaplaincy program within the Lee's Summit Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services Department.

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