St. Mary’s Parish Clergy
Our Parish has been unique in that the clergy serving it have been members of religious orders. In the early years, priests of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), including St. John Neumann, served the Parish. After those few early years, until this time today, our parish clergy have been Benedictine monks of St. Vincent Archabbey. These men have been appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Erie upon recommendation of their religious superiors. Our first Diocesan clergyman appointed to serve in St. Marys Parish is our Permanent Deacon, Raymond Ehrensberger.
Fr. Thomas Curry, O.S.B., Pastor
Fr. Thomas More Sikora, O.S.B., Parochial Vicor
Deacon Ray Ehrensberger – Deacon Assistant
Deacon Ray, son of Raymond and Shirley Nussbaum Ehrensberger was born in St. Marys on January 17, 1955.
He attended school in St. Marys, PA.
Deacon Ray is married to Rose Anne and they have three daughters and five grandchildren. They are both involved in the Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Erie serving as local Cursillo representatives, and they both serve as Life Teen Core members.
Deacon Ray currently serves the St. Marys area as an EMT with the St. Marys Area Ambulance Service.
After completing his studies for ordination to the Permanent Diaconate of the Diocese of Erie, Deacon Ray was ordained a Deacon by Bishop Trautman on May 16, 2008. He was subsequently assigned by Bishop Trautman to serve St. Marys Parish as a permanent Deacon for a term of five years.
As a deacon of the Church, Deacon Ray assists the celebrating Bishop/Priests with celebrations of the Eucharist by proclaiming the Gospel and also preaching at the altar. He also administers the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony, teaches, and officiates at funerals.
Deacon Ray currently conducts Sunday Word Services at Silver Creek and Elk Haven and is Chaplain for the Crystal Fire Department.
For information about the Permanent Diaconate program or the Cursillo Movement feel free to contact Deacon Ray or Rose Anne at 814-594-3867 or 814-594-9074.
The following was taken from the USCCB website:
U.S. deacons, 97 percent of whom are married, comprise nearly one-half of the Catholic Church’s deacons worldwide.
“The permanent diaconate was restored by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) to be a “driving force for the Church’s service or “diaconia” toward the local Christian communities, and as a sign of the sacrament of the Lord Christ himself, who “came not to be served but to serve” (Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Letter, Ad Pascendum, 1972).” A distinct ministry in the early church, the diaconnate devolved by the Middle Ages to a transitional stage en route to ordination to the priesthood. Formally reinstituted by Pope Paul VI in 1967, the permanent diaconate is open to married or single men ages 35 orolder. A vital ministry in U.S. dioceses since 1968 he diaconate has grown an average of 10 percent annually. There are 28,238 deacons who serve the Church worldwide, a number which increased 17 percent from 1998 to 2001.”
Further information on the deaconate is available at www.usccb.org.