Retired Permanent Deacon Stephen Hopkins (1982), died Feb. 15 of natural causes at the age of 89. He was among the first class of African-American deacons ordained in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was ordained Nov. 7, 1982 by Cardinal John Krol at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
Deacon Hopkins was assigned to St. Benedict Parish, Philadelphia, where he remained until his retirement in 2010. The parish merged with St. Athanasius in 2013, and Deacon Hopkins was active there until very recently.
He was retired from AT&T, and also served in a combat role in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, where he served time as a prisoner of war.
Deacon Hopkins was married to his wife Gloria for 65 years. They have four children: Stephen Jr., Gwendolyn, Gregory and Omar. In addition, Deacon Hopkins is survived by 14 grandchildren (five of whom are deceased); 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m. at St. Athanasius Parish, Philadelphia. Due to COVID restrictions, attendance is limited only to family plus assigned liturgical ministers.
The principal celebrant will be Bishop Edward M. Deliman, and the concelebrant Father Joseph F. Okonski. The Deacon of the Mass and homilist will be Deacon James L. Mahoney.
The Mass will be livestreamed on YouTube here.
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