Diakonia: A Call to Service

First Thursday Monthly: 8:30 – 9 a.m.


Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic explore the importance of deacons in the Catholic Church today. They discuss the varied services deacons perform for their Church communities and for people in need no matter what their faith background.

Emmaus Ministries: A Pastoral Accompaniment to Men

Thursday, July 2, 2020
For the July, 2020 broadcast, Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic speak with Jonn Blazey and Deacon Peter Letourneau about the work they both do for Emmaus Ministries. Emmaus, started over thirty years ago by Chicago Deacon John Green, is a ministry of presence and accompaniment to men, typically young men, who are exploited sexually. In a difficult conversation about reaching out, companioning, as well as leading men to a better lifestyle, both Jonn and Peter reflect on how even the most outcast bear the image of Christ. The discussion includes looking at who these young men are, why they are doing what they are doing and what hope there might be for them. More information about Emmaus Ministries can be found at

Spiritual Direction—What is it? Who is it for?—Part Two

Thursday, June 4, 2020
The June, 2020 broadcast brings spiritual directors Helene Albano and Deacon Jerry Nora to talk with co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic. The four-way conversation picks up where it left off last month with a brief review of what spiritual direction is and who it is for (everyone!). To give a flavor of what happens in a spiritual direction session the conversation engaged in a few minutes of role-playing. Finally, the guests offered suggestions for those who simply cannot avail themselves of spiritual direction for whatever reason--seek the spirit of gratitude and openness to the awareness of God’s presence in all of life.

Spiritual Direction—What is it? Who is it for?

Thursday, May 7, 2020
The May, 2020 broadcast brings spiritual directors Helene Albano and Deacon Jerry Nora to talk with co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic. The four-way conversation began with thoughts on life during the “shelter-in-place” phenomenon—what signs of hope and life do we see? The discussion then turned to the question of spiritual direction or spiritual companioning. What is it? Who is it for? How do I begin? What does it look like? Is it only for the saintly or the clerics or nuns? Learn how spiritual direction can be an entry point for you to talk with another about how God is active in your life.

Ministry to Parents; Ministry to Children and Youth; and Reflections in a time of the corona virus

Thursday, April 2, 2020
The April, 2020 broadcast brings Teresa Pennix-Gill and her husband Deacon LeRoy Gill to join co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic. The four-way conversation reflected on life during the “shelter-in-place” phenomenon. Also, tune in to hear about Teresa’s work with Parenting 4 Nonviolence and Deacon LeRoy’s work with young people at St. Dorothy Parish, at St. Kilian, and at the Academy of St. Benedict the African. Teresa’s ministry is to parents, for the benefit of their children. Parenting 4 Nonviolence offers practical advice and sound guidance to parents raising children from very young ages to the teen years. More information is available at Deacon LeRoy similarly focuses on service to the younger generation by blessing them, teaching them and encouraging them to not limit themselves.

Renew My Church: Historically, the Largest Transformation of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Thursday, March 5, 2020
The March, 2020 broadcast brings Deacon Gerry Keenan, Director of Operations with Renew My Church, to discuss this transformation project. The conversation with host Deacon Richard Hudzik wends its way from where we find ourselves in the Church today in Chicago and in the wider culture to the Church’s challenges as well as opportunities. These challenges and opportunities include calling all Catholics to a life of Faith. This life in Our Lord is to be integral to the life of the individual and a life that is inviting to all who yearn for the transcendent but do not know or have forgotten that the hungers of their hearts can be satisfied by the Good News of Jesus. Further information about Renew My Church can be found at

The Formation of Deacons and Why This Matters to All of the Church

Thursday, February 6, 2020
The February, 2020 broadcast showcases the Institute for Diaconal Studies (“IDS”) and the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral (“ILP”), two of the institutes at University of Saint Mary of the Lake. Deacon Bob Puhala attended on behalf of IDS. Ms. Nelly Lorenzo of ILP was sadly unable to make it to the taping of the show. Joining with regular hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic, Deacon Puhala discussed the discernment path for deacon candidates and wives and, most importantly for all listeners, how this path is translatable and applicable to every Christian’s desire to serve and walk more closely through life as a servant, just as Jesus lived. Further information about the two institutes can be found here for IDS and here for ILP.

Helping With Foster Care—adding relationships and mentoring

Wednesday, January 1, 2020
The January, 2020 broadcast features Archdiocese Deacon Don Maiers who spoke with Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic regarding the work of Chicago Angels. Chicago Angels is an ecumenical and faith-based initiative that connects Chicago-area residents with children in foster care. The connection is chiefly through two programs--one known as “Love Box” and the other, “Dare to Dream.” The Love Box is an effort by individuals or groups to provide some of the “extras” children in foster care might not routinely get—their own school supplies, notes of encouragement and birthday cards, to name a few items. “Dare to Dream” is a mentoring program to encourage the young people to make good decisions, set goals and achieve them. Additional information and ways to get involved can be found at the organization’s website Chicago Angels.

Mission Work on College Campuses

Thursday, December 5, 2019
Deacon Dave Brencic interviews Daniel Golden, of LaGrange Park, who is working as a young adult missionary for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). Daniel has spent the last two years at universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania spreading the Good News among college-age students. His work has included not only evangelizing his peers one on one, but leading Bible studies and accompanying students on mission trips. In fact, all the baptized -- lay or ordained -- are called to be evangelizers. Daniel is living out that call. Listen to how doing God’s work has had a profound impact on this young man’s life and journey.

Accompanying the Grieving—Bereavement Ministry

Thursday, November 7, 2019
In recognition of the month of November, when our thoughts turn to those we have lost through death, Co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic interview Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon Bill Stearns and Anne Stearns. This husband and wife team have been ministering in bereavement at St. Damian Parish in Oak Forest for close to 25 years. In this conversation, we explore how parishioners might accompany those who have suffered a loss of a beloved, how those who grieve respond, and how everyone might consider joining in this ministry. The ministry can encompass helping plan the funeral liturgy, being present at wake services, or helping in some measure to assure those who suffer that they are being prayed for and that the parish community desires to embrace those who suffer a loss.

The Cursillo: What is it and why is it for me?

Thursday, October 3, 2019
Co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic interview Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon Len Marturano for a discussion of the Cursillo—what it is and how it is an answer for every Catholic who is seeking to sustain, deepen and enhance his Faith. Participation begins with the Cursillo retreat and deepens thereafter with small group gatherings of others who have gone through the Cursillo retreat. “Cursillistas” (those who have gone on the retreat) live in their parishes as enlivened, emboldened and passionate followers of Jesus. Information about the English language Cursillo in Chicago can be found at The Cursillo is also conducted in Spanish. The link to the national headquarters is

Discovering the Catholic Native American Presence in Chicago

Thursday, September 5, 2019
Co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic interview Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon Bill Frere and Jody Roy, Director of the Kateri Center located at St. Benedict Parish in Chicago (at Irving Park Road near Western Avenue). Deacon Bill and Jody explain the ministry of the Kateri Center, the outreach to the large Native American population in the Chicago area and how the Catholic Native Americans come together in their diversity and pray and worship our One Lord. Details about this fascinating center, how you can help, visit or get involved can be found at

Making Mature Missionary Disciples

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic interview Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon Keith Strohm to hear of his passion for sharing the Good News and seeking to have this News permeate hearts and lead to freedom in Jesus Christ. Through his retreat ministry, his preaching, his writing, all under the umbrella of Deacon Keith’s M3 Ministries ( Deacon Keith has been privileged to reach Catholics across the United States, as well as internationally. Deacon Keith is also assigned to Our Lady of Ransom Parish in Niles, Illinois.

The Long Goodbye

Thursday, July 4, 2019
Hear Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon John Lorbach explain his heart-warming ministry of accompanying husbands who are themselves accompanying a wife who is experiencing profound memory deficit. Deacon John is interviewed by Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic of the Archdiocese’s Office of the Diaconate. Deacon John tells how he gathers men from a variety of faiths, stations in life and ages, who all share the common experience of seeing their marriages significantly change as their wives go down the road of “The Long Goodbye.” Both husband and wife suffer in this journey, as both face the reality that many of their dreams for the days ahead are going to be different because of the wife’s memory loss—whether it be from Alzheimer’s, vascular deficits or otherwise. Deacon John provides a monthly, informal forum for the men to come together and know that they are not the only ones facing such difficulties. They share both the ups and the downs of the process. For more information, you can reach Deacon John at his parish office at St. Raymond Penafort Parish in Mount Prospect. The number is 847-253-8600.

Rest In His Arms

Thursday, June 6, 2019
Archdiocese of Chicago Deacon Jim Pauwels speaks about Rest in His Arms, a ministry that provides the dignity of a Christian burial for children, many of them tiny infants, whose remains have been abandoned. The children might be left in a garbage dump, along the side of the road, in a viaduct on a busy city street or in the county morgue. The spiritual care that Deacon Jim and those who work with him attends to not only the children but also the communities in which the bodies are found. Tragedy abounds but hope endures. Deacon Jim speaks with the regular hosts, Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic. For more information, go to

Catholic Relief Services

Thursday, May 2, 2019
Chicago Deacon Michael Fekete joins co-hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic to talk about CRS--Catholic Relief Services. Deacon Fekete speaks of his recent trip to Uganda to see the life-saving and faith-witnessing work of CRS. Also explored in this program are how we might here help the work of CRS and how CRS is serving people both domestically and in over 100 countries around the world. CRS puts to work our Baptismal gifts. Each baptized person is called to be "priest, prophet and king." CRS helps us all do that.

Ministering to Women in Prison

Thursday, April 4, 2019
Shawn Tiemeier, wife of Chicago Deacon David Tiemeier, shares with Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic her experiences with Women at the Well Prison Ministry. The ecumenical group travels downstate to Logan Correctional Center and conducts retreats and monthly Bible studies with women incarcerated in the maximum-security prison. Shawn says the group brings “life-giving water – God’s message of unconditional love and forgiveness.”

Marriage, Chastity and Respect for Life Arise from God’s Love for Each of us.

Thursday, March 7, 2019
The Archdiocese’s Senior Coordinator for Respect Life Ministry and Chastity Education Dawn Fitzpatrick joins Deacons Dave Brencic and Richard Hudzik for a discussion on the witness of marriage, the meaning of chastity and how both topics relate to respect for life. Employing an anthropology that articulates our status as Children of God, the conversation addresses the fact that God’s love for us both dignifies us and calls for us to honor each other with dignity.

Wisdom from Suffering

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Deacons Stuart Heyes and Dave Brencic join Deacon Richard Hudzik for a discussion on the ministerial response to those suffering from illness. Deacon Dave related his own recent lengthy recovery from some broken bones and Deacon Stuart spoke of the efforts of parish-based ministers of care. These many minsters of care, assisted by some deacons, engage in one-on-one visiting, with prayer and the Eucharist. The ministers of care attend to both body and soul of those separated from physical presence at the Sunday Eucharist. The difficult concept of redemptive suffering was raised, as expressed in St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians and in Pope St. John Paul’s letter “Salvfici doloris.”

Bringing the Healing Hand of Jesus to Mental Illness

Thursday, January 3, 2019
Deacons Tom Lambert and Dan Welter speak with Deacon Richard Hudzik about what the Church’s response is to persons affected by mental illness—those with such a diagnosis, their families and friends and the communities in which all of us live. Deacons Lambert and Welter are active in both the local Church’s response, as well as national and regional efforts to offer the embrace of the Church. Citing statistics that show mental illness affects virtually every person, either as patient or someone who loves or knows a patient, the deacons have responded to encourage parishes and other deacons to confront the issues of mental illness. The stigma, isolation and fear that surround the topic and the persons affected, directly or indirectly, can be minimized if not healed. By embracing the whole person, both body, soul and spirit, the compassion of Jesus can come to life. Parish- and regionally-based initiatives in the Archdiocese are discussed, as well as directions that point the listeners to helpful resources.

Zacchaeus’ Conversion

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Deacon Alfred Coleman, Executive Director of Zacchaeus House, speaks with Deacon Richard Hudzik about the work of Zacchaeus House. Deacon Alfred explains the origins of this south-side ministry that provides stability and shelter for men in transition from homelessness to a return to productivity and tranquility in life. The focus of the stay at the House, which can accommodate up to nine men at a time, is on job training, education, spirituality and psychologically healthy living. The healing of the hurts caused by homelessness—hurts caused to the families of the men, to the men themselves and to the community—is explored. Deacon Alfred relates how everyone can respond to homelessness, being especially mindful of those in their own families who, without intervention, support and love, might be on the path to homelessness themselves. The success stories as well as the sorrows and failures that happen to the men are told. We see both the Resurrection and the Fall in life at Zacchaeus House.

Paying It Forward in Guatemala.

Thursday, November 1, 2018
Chicago Deacon Freddy Palacios discusses with Deacon Richard Hudzik the outreach that Deacon Freddy has been spearheading in his country of birth. Deacon Freddy, with a heart for the poorest children in Guatemala, has seen the need for young teenagers to acquire job training and skills. Through Freddy’s efforts and the cooperation of others in Guatemala, there are approximately 100 school-age children, boys and girls, receiving practical, hands-on, education in how to do carpentry, electricity, baking and sewing. Part of the education is to bring the young people to an awareness of how to run a small business and how to market it. The hope is that, following the three-year curriculum, the young people will be able to either add to the family income with their micro-enterprises or eventually support themselves. Deacon Freddy has started this programs in not only Guatemala but has also been instrumental in getting them going in both El Salvador and Argentina. Deacon Freddy comes at this from an awareness of how trade-skills education from his early days in Guatemala helped him to begin his own business that is now thriving in the Chicago area. For the love of Christ, Freddy is paying it forward.

Jail Ministry—Bringing the presence of Christ into broken situations.

Thursday, October 4, 2018
Deacon Pablo Perez of Kolbe House and Deacon Bill Gibbons, working in the Lake County Jail, discuss jail ministry and accompanying those in brokenness. They join regular hosts Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic to reflect on how the presence of Christ is needed in those places of pain and brokenness—places that are broken for the incarcerated, for their families, their victims and the community. The invitation is for each Christian to live his Baptismal identity by enacting the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, many of which are directly involved in jail ministry. Even if the Christian never sets foot inside a jail, the call to perform the Works of Mercy, by supporting, praying for or understanding this ministry, is for everyone.

The Faith Dimensions of Caring for both the Dead and the Grieving

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic speak with Deacon Glenn Tylutki of the Archdiocese’s Catholic Cemeteries. The discussion considers the role of faith in caring for our dead, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and quite practical information about how one might rely upon the services of our Catholic cemeteries


Thursday, August 2, 2018
Deacons Richard Hudzik and Dave Brencic talk with Fr. Mike Ahlstrom about spirituality.

Diakonia: A Call to Service

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Deacons Richard and Dave host their inaugural program by discussing the foundation of the diaconate being liturgy, the word and charity.