KENZORA, Deacon Phillip Anthony, age 73, of Springfield, Ohio passed away on May 20, 2020. Phil went to be with Jesus whom he loved, honored, and served.
Phil was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on July 20, 1946 to the late Frank Kenzora and Louise (Patsche) Kenzora and resided in Bridgeport, OH.
In addition to his parents, Phil was preceded in death by infant sister, Theresa, and infant brother, James.
Phil is survived by his three brothers Joseph Kenzora and Raymond Kenzora, both of Bridgeport, OH; Paul (Connie) Kenzora of St. Clairsville, OH; four sisters Mary Patricia (Howard) Dabrawsky of Benwood, WV; Judith Ann (Greg) Zawacki of Lynnwood, WA; Joyce Lynn (Michael) Schramm of Shadyside, OH; and Rita Louise (Mark) Roth of Bridgeport, OH; many nephews and nieces; great nephews, great nieces and a great-great nephew and a great-great niece and many friends. A special thanks to Fr. Tim Shannon, Fr. John MacQuarrie, Fr. Larry Gearhart, Fr. Emmanuel Nyong, Fr. Louis Asobe and Chaplain Jerome for their guidance and friendship over the years. And also JoAnn Wright, the keystone in the arch at St. Teresa.
Phil contracted polio in the 1950's and recovered. In his early years, Phil was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wolfhurst where he served as an altar boy.
Phil was a 1965 graduate of St. John Central Catholic High School, Bellaire, OH. He enjoyed playing basketball and was a member of the freshman, sophomore, and junior basketball teams.
A 1970 graduate of Ohio University, Athens, OH, he received a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering. Later, Phil also earned Master Degrees in Industrial Management and Industrial Quality Control.
Phil volunteered for the Wheeling Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol where he served as Safety Officer. For rest and relaxation, he enjoyed playing golf and watching the golf pros.
After Phillip graduated from college and worked a couple of summer internships with International Harvester (IH) he became employed fulltime at the IH plant in Shadyside, OH as Supervisor, Work Analysis and Design. A few years later he was transferred to the IH plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During his time in Fort Wayne, Phil, along with a couple of friends, formed a consulting firm, LJP Associates, focusing on productivity, methods, and systems in factories.
When International Harvester closed the plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Phil transferred to the IH plant in Springfield, OH where he has since resided since 1983. Phil remained employed with the company when it became Navistar International. Phil then transferred to Core Materials Corporation out of Columbus, OH, which later changed its name to Core Molding Technologies where Phillip held a management position.
When Phil moved to Springfield, he became a member of St. Teresa Catholic Church where he served as a Catechist for many years. He also served as a Eucharistic Minister taking the Holy Eucharist to the sick. He volunteered many hours at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
After Phil retired from work, he had another calling to become a Deacon. He studied for many years and on April 30, 2016, was conferred as a Deacon by the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati at the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Dayton, OH.
In July of 2016, Phil received the authorization to Solemnize Marriages. On September 7, 2018, Phil was granted permission to preach by the Office of Arch Diocese of Cincinnati by the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati.
Here are some excerpts from one of the sermons given by Deacon Phil:
One of the things I find most rewarding about being a deaconâ€¦, no, it's not preachingâ€¦, it is baptizing babies. God has called me to assist Him in this great sacrament which brings another soul into union with the Blessed Trinity.
As I pour the water over the baby's head and say those words given to us by Jesus: (Name) "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." With that simpleâ€¦, but powerful phraseâ€¦, this child has been re-born in Christ.
The baptized are freed from all sin, the inherited Original Sinâ€¦, the child, for the first time is filled with the Holy Spirit. Their soul is permanently marked by God for all eternity to designate them as His child, his newest adopted daughter or son.
And with it, the door to the other sacraments is opened to themâ€¦, to us. What a mysteryâ€¦, what a gift He gave to all of us who are baptizedâ€¦, as part of His glorious plan for our salvation.
Phil then went on to tell the story about Zechariah's unbelief when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to tell him that Elizabeth would conceive in her old age and have a baby and to name him John. Zechariah wanted a sign and Gabriel responded, "You shall be unable to speak until these things take place."
This led Phil to incorporate the following into the sermon regarding the nine months of Zechariah not being able to talk and communicate with others:
In a 2010 homily Pope Benedict XVI (July 4, 2010) said, "We live in a society in which it seems that every space, every moment must be "filled" with projects activities and noise; there is often no time even to listen or converse. Let us not fear to create silence, within and outside ourselves, if we wish to be able not only to become aware of God's voice but also to make out the voice of the person beside us, the voice of others."
In his book, "The Power of Silence," Cardinal Sarah relates how important silence is in all our lives.
â€¢ "Man must make a choice: God or nothing, silence or noise."
â€¢ He cites Saint John of the Cross who said: "The Father spoke one Word, which was His Son, and this Word He always speaks in silence, and in silence It must be heard by the soul."
All of our readings today reflect on individuals being called by God. All of them spent time in silence with God to hear and understand their calling. Isaiah is called from his mother's womb to be the light to the nations and spread the news of salvation to the ends of the earth. Paul, called in a special way himself, is preaching how God fulfilled his promise to David in the coming of Jesus.
David was another unlikely figure called by God. Zechariah and Elizabeth were an unlikely couple to carry out God's plan.
But all of them spent time in silence with God to hear and understand their calling and reflect on the mysteries of God. And we know that John the Baptist and Jesus went into the silence of the desert to prepare for their missions. And think of all the times Jesus went off by himselfâ€¦, for quiet and solitude, to pray to the Father during His mission.
The readings today are reminding us that we are wonderfully made and God has created all of us to play a part in His salvation planâ€¦, we have all been called.
Do we hear His call? A call perhaps;
â€¢ To improve my efforts as the teacher of the faith to my children or grandchildren;
â€¢ To visit an elderly or sick friend or relative;
â€¢ To bring the Word of God to someone struggling with their faith;
â€¢ To invite a friend or relative who has drifted away to join us at Church;
â€¢ To bring comfort to someone who has lost a loved one?
â€¢ The list of possibilities is endless and changes over time based on our life situation.
In order to respond to the call, we need to hear the callâ€¦, we need to choose silence over noise. The choice is oursâ€¦, to make the commitmentâ€¦, the effortâ€¦, to respond to God. It is not easy, and it requires perseverance. For me, it's early in the morning, before the noise of the day begins its barrageâ€¦, stopping by Church for a visit with Jesus in the tabernacle is always special. Our schedules are busy; everyone needs to find their own best time.
Although it is not easy, God gives us the help we need to make it happen. It begins with that quiet reflection we have with Him after receiving His body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharistâ€¦, that time when He becomes part of us in such a mysterious special wayâ€¦, to give us the nourishment we need.
Are we ready to spend time in silence with God so we can hear Him speakâ€¦, to hear His call?
Phil had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and was always taking classes to learn new things and to educate himself. He would then take that knowledge and act upon it and share it with others.
Phil will be missed around the dinner table with his insightful conversations and laughter.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Teresa Catholic Church, 1827 N. Limestone Street, Springfield OH 45503.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. in St. Teresa Catholic Church. Visitation will be held one-hour prior, beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the church. Burial will be held in St. Bernard Cemetery.