Four taking penultimate step to priesthood for Baltimore Archdiocese

Archbishop William E. Lori will ordain four men to the transitional diaconate May 11 during a 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.

The next step for Zachary Crowley, Brendan Fitzgerald, Evan Ponton and Jeremy Smith will be their priestly ordination through the sacrament of holy orders, tentatively set for 2020.

The men range in age from 27 to 42. They have discerned their vocations, taken on pastoral assignments and will complete their seminary studies during the 2019-20 school year, two at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, two at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.

The public is invited to Saturday’s Mass.

Brief biographical sketches of the men, using information provided the archdiocesan Office of Vocations, follow.


Zachary Crowley

AGE: 27


FAMILY: Son of Michele and the late Walter Crowley; one brother, Jacob.

EDUCATION: Fallston High School; bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics, University of Maryland; currently at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore

PASTORAL ASSIGNMENTS: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Crofton; St. Agnes in Catonsville and St. William of York, Ten Hills; pastoral year split between Spanish immersion in Bogota, Colombia; and Sacred Heart of Jesus/Sagrado Corazón de Jesús in Highlandtown

DID YOU KNOW?: After earning his undergraduate degree, Crowley did a year of national service through Americorps, at a public charter school in Washington, D.C.


Brendan Fitzgerald

AGE: 35

SPONSORING PARISH: Immaculate Conception, Towson

FAMILY: Son of Julie and Tom Fitzgerald; three younger siblings, Caitlin, Liam and Evan

EDUCATION: St. Stephen School, Bradshaw; Calvert Hall College High School, Towson; bachelor’s in philosophy, Loyola University Maryland; currently at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary

PASTORAL ASSIGNMENTS: St. Joseph, Fullerton; St. Michael the Archangel, Overlea; Spanish studies in Bogotá, Colombia; St. Martin’s Home for the Aged, Catonsville; St. Maria Goretti High School, Hagerstown

DID YOU KNOW?: Fitzgerald worked in the seafood industry for a number of years


Evan Ponton

AGE: 29

SPONSORING PARISH: St. Peter, Libertytown

FAMILY: Son of Marie and the late Paul Ponton; two younger brothers, Bryan and Paul

EDUCATION: Linganore High School; The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; bachelor’s and licentiate degree in philosophy, CUA’s Theological College Seminary; master’s in education, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute; currently at St. Mary’s Seminary

PASTORAL ASSIGNMENTS: St. Michael the Archangel, Overlea; Ss. Philip and James, Baltimore; St. Peter Claver, Baltimore; Bon Secours Hospital, Baltimore; St. Joseph, Odenton

DID YOU KNOW?: Ponton’s experiences include co-authoring a book on the history of Catholic churches in Hawaii, and walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


Jeremy Smith

AGE: 42

SPONSORING PARISH: St. Ursula, Parkville

FAMILY: son of Steve and Sandy Smith; one sister and four brothers

EDUCATION: Loyola Blakefield; bachelor’s in Wildlife Management, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.; currently at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary

PASTORAL ASSIGNMENTS: St. Philip Neri in Linthicum Heights; St. John the Evangelist, Severna Park; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Crofton; St. Louis in Clarksville; St. Agnes, Catonsville.

DID YOU KNOW?: Smith worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 12 years.


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Paul McMullen | Catholic Review

Paul McMullen | Catholic Review

Paul McMullen has served as the managing editor of the Catholic Review since 2008.

The author of two books, Paul has been involved in local media since age 12, when he began delivering The News American to 80 homes in his neighborhood. He began his journalism career with the Capital-Gazette Newspapers in Anne Arundel County, and spent more than 25 years as a sports writer for The Sun in Baltimore. His favorite writing assignments have included the Summer Olympics in Australia and Greece, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and “Feet for Francis,” a 2015 walking pilgrimage from the Baltimore Basilica to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.