USCCB News Release
May 6, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Road to Priesthood as Varied as Priests; For Some Through Trials, Others Through Careers, Others Right From College
WASHINGTON—For some, such as Hai Duc Din, 46, of the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, who spent a year in a Vietnamese labor camp, the road to the priesthood was marked by soul-searing ordeal.
For others, such as Martin Laird, MD, 40, of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana, and Kevin Bauman, 47, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, and former vice-chairman of the Romance Language Department at the University of Notre Dame, priesthood follows another career.
For still others, such as Jeffrey Montz, 25, the call was clear when he was young, and he started his freshman year of college in the Archdiocese of New Orleans formation program at St. Joseph Seminary College.
A look at the ordination class of 2008 reflects the varied and broad experience involved in discerning a call to the priesthood.
Many men began their search in a foreign country. For example, the Archdiocese of Chicago will ordain 11 men, each 38 or younger. Maciej Galle, 30; Michal Lewon, 27; Marcin Szczypula, 26; and Peter Wojcik, 27,were born in Poland. Juan Pablo Avila Ibarra, 29; and Jose Maria Garcia-Maldonado, 28, were born in Mexico, and the rest in other nations. Bradford Hernández Arriaga, 31, of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, is an immigrant from Mexico.
Some share involvement in church activities. The three men from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ryan Ruiz, 26; Jason Bedel, 34; and Ed Pratt, 45, are all fourth degree Knights of Columbus. David Link, 72, of the Diocese of Gary, Indiana, and former dean of the University of
Notre Dame Law School, is widowed. He heard the call to priesthood through prison ministry.
Lincoln Dall, 45, of the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, worked for three years as a lay minister in Ecuador. Joseph Arsenault, 61, of the Archdiocese of Boston, was a permanent deacon.
For some, religious service is a family affair. Thomas Niehaus, 30, of the Diocese of Winona, has two brothers who are priests and a sister in the Schoenstatt order.
Some diocesan classes have a wide age range. In the Diocese of Rockford, which will ordain seven men, the youngest, Thomas Doyle, is 27; the oldest, David Reese, 42.
Some dioceses feel especially blessed this year. The Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan will ordain four men, the most since 1982. They include Nicholas Coffaro, 27; Christopher Coman, 34; Denis Heames, 35 and Daniel Roa, 29.
Some new priests began their journey in another religion. Mark Barr, 29, one of 7 men being ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston, for example, grew up as an Episcopalian and converted to Catholicism in college. Jeffrey Wharton, 38, a former Episcopalian minister, is being ordained for the Diocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Brandon Jones, 37, of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, has an identical twin brother Chandler Jones who is an Anglican minister. Both were raised as Southern Baptists.
In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the three men being ordained are all in their twenties: Martin Ivanovich, 27; Brian Kean, 28 and Daniel Kredensor, 27. In the Archdiocese of Washington, the seven ordinands range in age from 27 to 34. They include Jose Raul DeLeon, 28; Vincent DeRosa, 27; Juan Esposito-Garcia, 34; Mark Ivany, 30; Kevin Regan, 27; Patrick Riffle, 26; and Marco-Schad-Frometa, 30.
A variety of careers marks the class. Francis Mulvaney, 43, a member of the Redeptorist order, is a clinical psychologist. C. Denis O'Shaughnessy, 68, from the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, a widower with four adult children and worked for 40 years with General Motors in marketing and sales. Glenn Jones, 48, is a former U.S. Marine officer and an engineer for Texaco. He is one of three men being ordained for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
John McCarthy of Rockville Centre, New York, spent 25 years in the U.S. Navy. He is one of nine men being ordained for Rockville Centre. Nock William Russell, 58, worked for Walt Disney for 30 years as a programmer, project manager and systems analyst.
Further information on men being ordained in 2008 can be found at www.usccb.org/vocations/classof2008.