DEARBORN HEIGHTS — A lot has changed during Deacon Lawrence Girard’s 100 years on this earth.
With a lifetime that has spanned two countries, two career paths and a vocation as a pioneer in the permanent diaconate, the centennarian has countless stories of service.
But the story that gives him the greatest joy still, he maintains, is the Gospel story that he continues to proclaim as a deacon at St. Sebastian Parish in Dearborn Heights.
“I like helping the priest; whatever they want me to do, I try to do,” Deacon Girard told Detroit Catholic while vesting in the sacristy of St. Sebastian before a Friday evening Mass in October.
Despite his advanced years, Deacon Girard strives to assist at eight Masses a week, serving at the altar during most of the 11 Masses throughout the week at St. Sebastian, proclaiming the word of the Lord to the people.
“When I was more active, I visited the sick and made home calls, because there was a lot for the priest to do in person,” Deacon Girard said. “But now I’m a little bit slower – ‘senior deacon’ is what they call me, I think. But when I was active, I went to hospitals to bring Communion. Sometimes (patients) would start confessing their sins, so I stopped them and said, ‘Wait a minute, I’ll get Father.’”
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