“Deacon” was a name only synonymous with Bill DeMarco for 12 years, but it was a role he wholly embraced until his unexpected death March 26.
Dcn. Bill DeMarco
Born: May 1, 1943
Ordained: Nov. 4, 2006
Service in the Diocese of Phoenix:
Nov. 2006-Nov. 2010: St. Francis Xavier, Phoenix
Nov. 2010-March 2013: St. Jerome, Phoenix
March 2013-March 2019: St. Francis Mission, Ak-Chin and San Lucy, Gila Bend
Died: March 26, 2019
Dcn. DeMarco dedicated the first half of his ministry at parishes that easily serve thousands of families: St. Francis Xavier for four years following his Nov. 4, 2006 ordination and another two at St. Jerome. The remainder of his diaconate regularly took him to the southern extremes of the Diocese of Phoenix to serve its Native American communities. He was a regular face at both San Lucy Mission in Gila Bend in the southwest and St. Francis of Assisi Mission that serves the Ak Chin community in the southeast.
“He had a real soft spot in his heart for both of those missions,” said Dcn. Jim Trant, director of the diaconate for the Diocese of Phoenix. Together, they shared the role of associate parish administrator of San Lucy.
Dcn. DeMarco offered catechesis and marriage preparation at the missions. The latter he offered alongside his wife, Mary Catherine, as well as helping parishioners navigate the annulment process.
Dcn. Larry Grey, who was in his ordination Class of 2006, called his fellow deacon “the epitome” of what a deacon should be. “He was truly a humble, holy, servant leader and he had a very quiet, calming nature,” Dcn. Grey said.
Dcn. Schubert Wenzel, who also spent all of his diaconate formation with Dcn. DeMarco, added to that saying their fellow deacon “placed the needs of others always before his own and did so with exceptional grace. His humor and quick wit preceded him and would light up a room.” Dcn. Wenzel also called him “a genuine disciple of Christ” who lived life with authenticity and love and had no reservation about sharing God’s love with others.