25 years of Faith-filled Service
Deacons were an integral part of the early church. The office was restored in 1963 by the Second Vatican Council which described the Deaconate as a ministry of service distinct from but related to the priesthood. Deacons serve the People of God in the ministry of liturgy, of the word, and of charity. They are able to perform baptisms, to assist at and bless marriages, and to officiate at funeral services. They proclaim the Gospel and preach, they are often involved in sacramental preparation and are on call to serve assisting the Bishop with whatever he might need. Most work regular jobs, many are married with families and that is part of their mission to bring Christ into their workplaces and the wider community through the example of their lives.
Peter Travalik was a teenager at the time of Vatican II. One of three children born to Catherine and Peter B. Travalik, he was a Collinwood boy, attending St. Joseph Collinwood School and then St. Joseph High School. His brother and sister eventually moved out of state, but Pete stayed, marrying Mary Ann Fistek in 1972 at St. Jerome church and taking a job with Pick & Pay which became Tops, and then Finast in the 40 years that he worked there. He and Mary Ann were very involved with the parish from the beginning. Their three children, Brian, Angela, and Neil went to school at St. Jerome. They served on the decorating committee for years and helped with the parish festivals. They were very active in Respect for Life making the yearly trip to Washington DC for the March for Life. For many years they were involved with the Pre-Cana program at St. Jerome helping young couples prepare for marriage. It was at an especially moving Pre-Cana session that he first felt the call to become a Permeant Deacon. That was back in 1987. At that time the application process took 18 months followed by three years of formation.
That journey culminated twenty-five years ago on May 22, 1993, when Peter Travalik was ordained a Permeant Deacon by Bishop Anthony Pilla and began a new journey that continues today. As he would tell you he has had the privilege of marrying his children and recently baptized his 5th grandchild. He has been able to offer comfort and guidance to the people of St. Jerome in times of grief and to celebrate our joys as well.
A very strong memory for me personally, was when Fr. Cassese was so sick at the end, and we were informed that he had taken a turn for the worse and was not expected to recover. Many parishioners gathered at church and Deacon Pete led us in a very special rosary. We later learned that Fr. Cassese had died while we were praying. Deacon Pete was instrumental in helping so many of us through that very difficult time.
We hope you will join us to celebrate Deacon Pete’s 25 years of service (Mary Ann’s too) on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 10am Mass. A reception will follow.
Congratulations Deacon Pete! Thank you for all you do for St. Jerome!
Parish Secretary/business manager at St. Jerome Church