Father Lance Gonyo
-St. John Fisher College
-Catholic University of America
-Saint Mary’s Seminary and University
-Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas
-Saint Bernard’s Institute
Deacon Lon E. Smith Jr.
My first vocation is marriage. I was married to my wife Susan in 1983. We have two children and a wonderful grandson that attends Aquinas Institute. Susan means more to me than anything else the Lord has given to me. She is my precious gift from God. She is my soul mate and has been since we first met way back in high school. We have shared all the highs and lows life offers.
I was ordained a deacon in 2010. Since ordination Susan and I have served at St. Charles Borromeo in Greece, then at St. Leo the Great in Hilton, and then four years ago we began the assignment at St. Kateri in Irondequoit. Please note, I was ordained but we serve as a team, UNITED IN LOVE.
In addition to serving at the parish level, we find much of our time in various places in the city serving those in need. My wife and I serve the diaconal community as Co-Presidents in the St. Stephan’s Diaconal Community Association. There we work to support the diaconal community for the DOR by helping to plan participation in the ordinations, convocations and diaconal retreats. We also serve the Diaconal Personnel Board that supports the deacons and their wives in the DOR. Here we help assess diaconal assignments and evaluate diaconal relationships within their assignments.
I enjoy working with technology and inventing. At 18. I served in the Navy as a nuclear power plant watch supervisor and a scuba diver on board the USS Gato (SSN 615). While married and raising my family, I received my BS from RIT in electrical engineering and then an MS in Computer Integrated Technology, Color Science and Education. After a couple of years off, I decided to pursue my BS in Pastoral Studies at St. Bernard’s and after five short years “in the blender” I was ordained a deacon.
I have been a leader in the community for many professional associations, have several patents and have done some cool things in my life-time. Nothing I have done is as important as being husband, father and grandfather. When I am not tending to “church stuff” I love nature, birding, sports and most of all telling jokes and laughing. The greatest gift to me from God is the ability to share in the life of His people. I always try to remember, the diaconate is His ministry, and I have so little time left to share in it. His people have shared their lives with me and for that I am grateful.
Peace and Blessings, Deacon Lon