Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church
Edward Burke is ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai on Saturday, June 8.

Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church Edward Burke is ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai on Saturday, June 8.

Kenai’s Catholic Church hosts diaconate ordination

The event was attended by roughly 300 people, nearly a dozen priests and deacons and the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau

Our Lady of the Angels, the Catholic Church in Kenai, last week hosted what church leadership believe is the first Catholic diaconate ordination ever performed on the Kenai Peninsula.

During a ceremony on Saturday, June 8, that was attended by roughly 300 people, nearly a dozen priests and deacons and Rev. Andrew Bellisario, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, Edward Burke was ordained a transitional deacon.

Father Patrick Brosamer, the pastor at the church, said he was certain the ordination ceremony was the first performed in Kenai’s church, almost certain that it was the first ever performed on the Kenai Peninsula — rather than in Anchorage. Pews were filled, and people were hurriedly carrying in extra seats only minutes before the service began.

“We’re gathered here in this church, Our Lady of the Angels in Kenai, where Ed has lived — has served — the people of this parish,” Bellisario said. “It is fitting that, Ed, your deacon ordination takes place here, in your home parish, surrounded by your family, and your friends, and the church.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Burke swore vows, was robed by Soldotna Deacon Dave Carey and his mother, Laura Burke, and administered communion. A celebratory reception was held after the service, for Burke, but he left early to lead a church service at Soldotna’s Catholic church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Bellisario, speaking after completing the rite, said Burke’s ordination as a deacon is a step toward priesthood. Though temporary, he encouraged Burke to enjoy and learn from his time in the role.

“Your time as a deacon will be relatively short, and it can be seen as a mere steppingstone to a perceived higher goal,” he said. “Live this ministry, breathe this ministry, express this ministry. Lay your life before all in loving and joyful service as a deacon.”

A full recording of the ceremony can be found on Facebook at “Our Lady of the Angels-Kenai, Alaska.”

Reporter Jake Dye attended this event as a freelance photographer hired to capture photos of the event by Our Lady of the Angels, separate from his role as a Clarion reporter. He decided to pursue Clarion coverage of the event after its conclusion.

Reach Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.

Edward Burke is ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

Edward Burke is ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

Deacon Edward Burke administers communion after being ordained a transitional deacon at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

Deacon Edward Burke administers communion after being ordained a transitional deacon at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

Deacon Edward Burke administers communion after being ordained a transitional deacon at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

Deacon Edward Burke administers communion after being ordained a transitional deacon at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)

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