New Deacons (2017)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Deacon candidates and their wives with diaconate instructors Father Len Brown and Msgr. Juan Alfaro.

New Deacons

The archdiocese will receive six new deacons and their wives on Saturday, June 17, at a 2 p.m. ordination Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church. They are Clinton and Diana Couch, John and Elia Gearhart, Dr. José and Terelyn Santos, Stephen and Shelley Kerr, Michael and Mary Ann Matteson, and Michael and Janet Vrzalik.

Clinton and Diana Couch

A native of San Antonio, Clinton is the youngest of four children of Anthony and Frances Couch †.  His sisters are Cecilia Winkler, Christine MacDonald, and Catherine Doughty. Clinton served at St. Leo the Great Parish before moving to St. Mary’s Catholic Church downtown as he completed Lay Ministry Institute from the Oblate School of Theology. Clinton and Diana have been married for 25 years and served at Blessed Sacrament Church for almost 20 years. Clinton and Diana have two children: Jaimie and Evan. Jaimie is a music educator who puts a song in our hearts, and Evan who is a vocal performance major, insures we stay in tune and never miss our cue to smile. Each member of the family has attended and served in ACTS retreats. Clinton and Diana currently serve as catechists at Shrine of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Parish and Evan sings with their choir. Jaimie serves as a vocalist and volunteer music director at St. William’s Church in Round Rock. Clinton is grateful to his family for their love, support, and inspiration, especially during his years in formation. Clinton serves the Archdiocese of San Antonio as a staff member of the Department for Pastoral Ministries and emcee for special liturgical events.


John and Elia Gearhart

John and Elia have been married for 36 years. John was born Feb. 12, 1959, as the youngest of four, to John and Maria Gearhart, Sr., of San Antonio. John was baptized and made his First Holy Communion at St. Michaels before the church was relocated to make way for the 1968 Hemisfair Park. They are both 1977 graduates of South San High School. In August of 1980, they exchanged marriage vows at St Clare’s. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He obtained his Certificate of Public Accounting licensure in 1986. John and Elia have been parishioners of St. Rose of Lima for over 28 years, where both have been involved with religious education, the ACTS community, youth ministry, various prayer groups, the choir, and as lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. John also currently serves as the emcee at the 11 a.m. Mass. This year, Elia will be completing 38 years of employment at Frost Bank, where she is currently a bank officer. John has worked as a CPA in both public and private, banking and insurance industry sectors, since 1985. This year will mark 17 years at USAA, where he currently works as a business advisor.


José and Terelyn Santos

José and Terelyn Santos have been married since 2003. They have three children including José Jobim Santos, a robotics engineer living with his spouse Karin Robinson in San Francisco, Lydia Elena, who completed a graduate degree in Deaf Education, is working and living in San Antonio and awaiting entry into Occupational Therapy school, and AnaMarie Therese, who has advanced to seventh grade at their home school.

When Jose met Terelyn, she was working as the lead pediatric chaplain at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and retired with the arrival of AnaMarie. Terelyn remains active in facilitating and leading Catholic women’s ministry programs including ENDOW, evangelization, Bible studies, Women of Grace, ACTS, and a monthly morning Day of Grace women’s retreat in their home. She serves as chair of the Faith Formation Committee for the National Catholic Association of Latino Leaders. She home schools their daughter, AnaMarie, and helps teach the faith to children at their Veritas co-op.

Jose is the youngest of six children born and raised by Alberto and Hortencia Santos in Laredo. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and completed a Medical Doctorate degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. He trained in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of California- Davis Medical Center and has been in private practice in San Antonio since 1988. He has served as medical director of various medical rehabilitation programs including CHRISTUS Santa Rosa downtown and in the Medical Center. He has been affiliated with Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital both at Westover Hills and Medical Center since 2012 and with Neurorestorative Rehabilitation since 2012.

He was involved with the restoration of the Catholic Physicians Guild of San Antonio and continues to serve as regional director for the Catholic Medical Association.

Jose and Terelyn are parishioners at St. Pius X where he has served as RCIA catechist, lector, and extraordinary minister of the Holy Eucharist. He has been a speaker at local retreats on topics of faith and on Our Lady of Guadalupe. He has served on team for the ACTS community at St. Peter Prince of the Apostles, San Fernando Cathedral, and St. Pius X. He leads a rosary prior to Sunday Mass, and has led the rosary at funeral vigil services.

He hopes to serve in his capacity as a deacon with various ministries including marriage preparation, bereavement, and formation of young physicians.


Stephen and Shelly Kerr

Stephen and Shelly Kerr were married 30 years ago on Oct. 24, 1986. They have been blessed with four children and three grandchildren. They have been parishioners of St. Monica Church in Converse since 1999. They both continue to serve the parish community in a variety of roles. Stephen is the first of four sons born to Ronald and Marlene Kerr. He grew up in St. Cloud, Minn., where he attended Tech High School and St. Cloud State University. He arrived in San Antonio for the second time in 1984 and has lived here ever since. He served in the United States Air Force on active duty from 1980 to 1986 and then in civilian service from 1988 to 1998. He recently retired from USAA where he worked for over 18 years as a project manager. Shelly grew up in San Antonio. She is the younger of two girls born to William and Charlene McFarland. She attended Lee High School. Shelly has committed her life in service to her family and the church.


Michael and Mary Ann Matteson

Mike was born on Sept. 25, 1967 to Captain Charles and Carmen Matteson at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and is the oldest of four boys. Many moves later Mike graduated from El Reno High in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University, where he met the love of his life and future bride. After completing studies at OSU, Mike and Mary Ann were married in 1993 and served the church in Tulsa as sponsors in RCIA, choir members, and as catechist for confirmation. During this time, the Lord blessed them with the birth of their daughter Catherine, who has become a very fine young lady and woman of faith. Catherine is currently studying in Germany and is the pride and joy of her entire family. The family moved to Houston in 2005 and finally to San Antonio in 2007. Mike and Mary Ann are members of the outstanding parish of St. Joseph Honey Creek where they have taught elementary faith formation, adult confirmation, altar server training, and participated in the RCIA program. Mary Ann has been particularly active in teaching/mentoring in youth ministry and with teen ACTS. Mike wishes to express his deepest gratitude to our Lord for his mercy, to those he works with for their kindness, and to his wife for her steadfast support, strong faith, and courageous witness. Lastly, he thanks the staff of the Mexican American Catholic College, Msgr. Patrick Ragsdale, Fathers Augustin Estrada, Jimmy Drennan, Jose Francisco Puente-Flores, and Francis McHugh, and all the faithful in the parish of St. Joseph Honey Creek for their support, guidance, patience, and prayers.


Michael and Janet Vrzalik

Michael and Janet Vrzalik have been married for 27 years and have two wonderful sons, Nicholas and Joseph. The family live in Elmendorf and have been members of St. Anthony’s Parish for 10 years. Michael is the second of three children born to John and Elenor Vrzalik of China Grove and Janet is the 13th and last child of Andrew and Kathryne Rodriguez of Elmendorf.  Michael has a degree in Civil Engineering and Teaching Certification and currently works as an education specialist at Education Service Center-Region 20. Janet has a degree in Finance and Accounting and works in commercial real estate. Mike and Janet have known each other since the sixth grade and have attended middle school, high school, and college together. They feel very blessed to have taken the majority of their life’s journey together. They feel there could be no greater gift than to go through life with your best friend.  Michael and Janet are eager to serve God and the church in their new ministries. They would like to thank all of their friends, family, and their parish family who prayed for them during diaconate formation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”5074,5075,5076,5077,5078,5079″ img_size=”medium” title=”New Deacons 2017″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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