On June 11, 2006 His Grace Bishop Thomas made his annual arch-pastoral visit to St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania to celebrate the Feast of Holy Pentecost. . . .
On the Sunday of Pentecost Saidna (Bishop Thomas) gave an encouraging sermon that challenged us all aspire to holy living.
His Grace also elevated Gregory Kattouf to the sub-diaconate and was honored along with Sub-deacon Greg at a banquet following the Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Prayers.
Sub-Deacon Gregory Kattouf has long been a faithful servant of God at the Holy Altar and is an example to us all of holy living and we are grateful to the bishop for honoring him by making him a sub-deacon.
(from an article on the website of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America that is no longer available)
Having written many times of universal human disability as well as the multiple intelligences we also have all been graced with by our loving Lord, here is a man who exemplifies this, having been counted worthy and able to serve in the most holy place of Orthodox Christian worship. In our worship this place is symbolic [in the “Present” (rather than absent) sense] of heaven itself. Sub-deacon Gregory has Down Syndrome, as well as many abilities, including the ability to perform the holy and joyous tasks of a “servant of the Light” (one of the duties of Sub-deacons is to light the candles in the Altar). Surely there are many other things he is and does for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. Those who know him are most welcome to illuminate the rest of us by means of writing a supplemental comment to this Post.
Subdeacon Gregory also received a Special Award from the Ecumenical Conference at the 2005 Annual Dinner to recognize his support of the weekly religion classes for students with mental and physical challenges.