Bishop Bambera will ordain eight permanent deacons on November 26 – Diocese of Scranton
SCRANTON – Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will ordain eight men as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Scranton at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 26, 2022, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton.
The newly ordained deacons will join the ranks of the clergy who care for the faithful in parishes and other places in the diocese.
During the Ordination Mass, Bishop Bambera will ordain the following men to serve permanently in the Order of Deacons: John F. Bankus, John F. Bubb, Martin J. Castaldi, Matthew R. Eisley, Thomas A. Kostic , Steven J. Miller, Nicholas M. Rocco and Frank H. Zeranski.
“It wasn’t something I had planned,” Eisley said. “By the grace of God and the path he has led me on over the years, I have found myself in this position.”
These men will undergo a five-year training program and become members of the ordained triple ministry which consists of bishops, priests and deacons.
All of the candidates said the diaconate program helped them discern their vocation to ministry, deepen their relationship with the Lord, and shape their lives after Jesus.
“There is so much to learn about faith. It’s incredibly deep yet very accessible. The teachers here have been great. The priests were wonderful. I couldn’t ask for a better experience,” Bankus said.
“The instructors were phenomenal,” said Kostic, who is theologically trained and has worked in education for 33 years. “I learned more than I ever thought I could.”
“I used to read the scriptures on my own and the more I read the more I realized what I didn’t know but wanted to know more,” Castaldi added. “That set everything up for me.”
During this period, the eight men grew not only in faith, but also in friendship.
“The men I’ve been on this journey with have been absolutely amazing. They’re just a testament to faith. I’ve grown so much just watching and admiring them,” Rocco said.
The service of the deacon has three aspects: word, adoration and charity. He may perform certain ministerial functions such as the administration of baptism; serve as a deacon at Mass, including proclaiming the Gospel, preaching the homily, and distributing Holy Communion; bring viaticum to the sick; presiding over revival services, funeral liturgies and funeral rites and with the pastor’s permission, may perform the sacrament of marriage.
Deacons also serve the needs of families, single parents, students, the elderly and infirm, prisoners, and those suffering from poverty or drug addiction.
When asked what drew him to the diaconate, Zeranski said it was this ability to serve others.
“I like helping people, I like working with people, I like talking to people and listening to people,” he explained.
Miller, who already regularly visits two homebound parishioners in her parish, Our Lady of Victory in Tannersville, is seeking to expand those opportunities.
“In one case, I’m the only person she sees other than her son. She really doesn’t have any other visitors,” Miller said.
Bubb, who will celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary the same week of his ordination, feels called to help young families.
“I have seven children and I can relate to couples getting married or couples in trouble, if they need someone to talk to,” he explained.
All are invited to attend the ordination mass at Saint-Pierre Cathedral. For those unable to attend in person, CTV: Diocese of Scranton Catholic Television will broadcast Mass live.
A live stream will also be available on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel and all diocesan social media platforms.
Here are brief biographies of the permanent deacon class of 2022:
John F. Bankus
John F. Bankus, 62, of Wyoming, is a member of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Swoyersville. He has been married to his wife, Judith, for 32 years and the couple have one child.
After graduating from EL Meyers High School, Wilkes-Barre, in 1978, Bankus earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Penn State University at University Park.
He went on to earn an Associate of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University, Wilkes-Barre, and his BS in Economics from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre.
The Deacon Candidate is currently an Asset Integrity Specialist at Williams Company.
John F. Bubb
Montoursville resident John F. Bubb, 58, and his wife, Donna, are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year and are parents to seven children.
A 1982 graduate of Williamsport Area High School, he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State University at State College in 1986 and completed studies for a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Alabama University in 2010.
Bubb is currently Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Hope Enterprises, Inc. He also previously held accounting and accounting executive positions at UPMC, Susquehanna/Susquehanna Health.
Martin J. Castaldi
Martin J. Castaldi, 59, and his wife of 33 years, Renee, reside in Scranton, where they are members of Divine Mercy Parish. The couple have four children.
The deacon candidate graduated in 1981 from Scranton Central High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. He then earned his Masters in Business Administration from Marywood University in Scranton.
Castaldi is a 32-year veteran of the United States Postal Service. After his retirement as Postmaster of the Carbondale Post Office, he served as Chief Sexton/Maintenance Supervisor at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton.
Matthew R. Eisley
Jersey Shore resident Matthew R. Eisley, 44, has been married to his wife, Molly, for 20 years and are parishioners of Saint Luke Parish. They are parents of three children.
After graduating from Montoursville Area High School in 1996, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and high school in chemistry from Lock Haven University.
The diaconate ordinand went on to earn his master of science degree in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University in 2006.
Eisley is currently on the faculty of the South Williamsport Area School District as a chemistry teacher. He previously taught at the Pennsylvania College of Technology as an adjunct instructor.
Thomas A. Kostic
Deacon candidate Thomas A. Kostic, 67, serves the Diocese of Scranton as principal of Holy Family Academy Elementary School in Hazleton.
Members of Saints Cyril & Methodius Parish, Hazleton, he and his wife of 35 years, Patricia, reside in Hazleton and have one child.
Kostic graduated from Bishop Hafey High School in 1973, after which he earned his bachelor’s degree in social work, with a minor in criminal justice, from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre.
For the next five years, the future deacon attended United States Air Force Officer Training School, reaching the rank of captain. During this period, he also earned his master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University in Alabama.
Kostic pursued further graduate studies in philosophy and theology at Catholic University and the Washington Theological Union, both in Washington, DC, and in theology at Marywood University, Scranton.
Steven J. Miller
A member of Our Lady Victory Parish in Tannersville, Steven J. Miller, 60, resides in Tannersville with his wife, Karen. The couple have been married for 37 years and have two children.
Deacon Candidate Miller graduated in 1980 from Mount Olive High School in Mount Olive, NJ
After graduating, he attended Lock Haven University and began studies in computer science and mathematics. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1984.
Miller is employed as a senior project manager for DXC Technology.
Nicolas M. Rocco
Nicholas M. Rocco, 49, and his wife of 17 years, Adeline, reside in Jefferson Township and are parishioners of Saint Eulalia Parish, Roaring Brook Township. They have four children.
After graduating from Mid Valley High School, Throop, in 1991, Rocco earned his associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Penn State University. In 2006, he earned a Master of Science in Nursing Anesthesia from the University of Scranton.
Rocco graduated from the Anesthesia Business Group Executive Management program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 2019 and plans to receive his master’s degree in pastoral studies next year from Pontifical College Josephinum.
Rocco is currently a nurse anesthetist for Geisinger at the Northeast Surgery Center.
Frank H. Zeranski
Deacon candidate Frank H. Zeranski, 63, has been married to his wife, Jayne, for 39 years. Residents of Jefferson Township are members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Moscow.
Zeranski graduated in 1977 from North Pocono High School and earned his certificate in electronics technology from Lackawanna County Vocational Technical School in Scranton.
He later earned his associate’s degree in computer science and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Keystone College in La Plume.
He is employed by RS Integrated Supply in Radnor as an Application Support Representative within the Information Systems Department. He also serves as the Site Coordinator, Instructor and Rider Coach for the PA’s Rider Safety Program.