By MaryLou Molitor
for the Idaho Catholic Register
BOISE — The role of permanent deacons in the Catholic Church can be summed up in one word: service. Diaconal service takes many forms, including assisting at liturgies, conducting graveside rites and baptisms, and ministering in prisons or hospitals. But four deacons assigned to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Boise have found a unique way to serve their parish – by serving up classic rock tunes.
Once a year, Deacons Lou Aaron, Jim Ineck, Pete Cuppage, and Mike Servatius, aka the “Deacon Blues,” tune up their guitars, spend some time practicing, and choose several songs to perform. Then they trade their albs and stoles for the appropriate gear (including beards and dark glasses) and provide the closing act for the parish’s “Taste & Talent” fundraiser.
This event raises money to help cover the expenses of OLR’s music ministry and youth programs. But more than that, it provides the parish with two evenings of downright fun.
Father Dat Vu enjoying the talent show antics. (Courtesy photo/Chris Ennis)
This year’s Taste & Talent was held on Friday and Saturday, October 6-7. Master of Ceremonies, Hope Ryan, kept things moving, introducing each act and encouraging attendees to participate in the silent auction and dessert auction.
The “taste” portion of the evening was an Italian buffet prepared by Deacon Lou (wearing his chef’s hat) and served by members of the parish youth group. The “talent” was provided by parish members of all ages. Dinner guests were treated to an original folk tune performed by Bob Parsons entitled “The Gang at OLR.” Then, they enjoyed such varied acts as a stand-up comedy routine, a jazz band, and several talented vocalists who sang songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Little Women, and The Greatest Showman.
But as desserts were served, the anticipation in the parish hall was palpable as it became apparent that everyone was waiting for the Deacon Blues to take the stage. And they did not disappoint. With Deacon Lou on lead guitar, Deacon Jim and Deacon Mike on rhythm guitars, and Deacon Pete providing the vocals (plus backup help from OLR choir members on keyboard and drums), the band first performed the ZZ Top song, “Sharp Dressed Man” and followed that with “Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd). As in their previous three appearances at Taste & Talent, the Deacon Blues wrapped up the evening with a stirring rendition of “Soul Man,” made famous by John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in “The Blues Brothers.”
Idaho’s parishes are blessed to have many permanent deacons who assist their pastors in countless ways. Through their once-a-year performances, the Deacon Blues provide a valuable service and have a lot of fun in the process. And whoever said service couldn’t be fun?
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