Four to be ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Baltimore

By Catholic Review Staff

Archbishop William E. Lori will ordain four men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore during a 10 a.m. Mass June 20 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland. Their ordination is the culmination of years of theological study and pastoral work.

Biographical profiles of the future priests, compiled by Catholic Review Staff Writer Erik Zygmont, are below.

Deacon Christopher de Leon

Age: 40

Hometown:

Born in Washington, D.C.; Baltimorean since 1992

Parents: Jesse P. de Leon and Elaine U. de Leon

Home parish: St. Louis, Clarksville

College: The Johns Hopkins University Seminary: St. Mary’s Seminary and University; Pontifical North American College, Rome; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington, D.C.

Served: St. John, Westminster; St. John the Evangelist, Long Green Valley; St. Francis de Sales, Abingdon; Holy Family, Davidsonville

Background: Before beginning priestly formation, Deacon de Leon worked in electrical engineering and was an active parishioner of St. Louis, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He was a member of the parish’s Respect Life Committee, Knights of Columbus council and confirmation catechetical program.

The archdiocese says that Deacon de Leon credits Monsignor Joseph L. Luca, pastor of St. Louis, for actively and persistently encouraging his vocation to the priesthood.

Deacon de Leon looks forward to “leading the faithful of Baltimore closer to God through teaching, preaching and, most especially, through the sacraments,” according to the archdiocese.

Deacon Joshua Laws

Age: 30

Hometown: Baltimore

Parents: Deacon Frank Laws and Duffy Laws

Home parish: St. Stephen, Bradshaw

College: Loyola University Maryland Seminary: St. Mary’s Seminary and University; Pontifical North American College, Rome; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

Served: St. Gregory the Great, Baltimore; St. Augustine, Williamsport; St. James, Boonsboro; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Baynesville; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ellicott City

Background: A lifelong parishioner of St. Stephen and alumnus of Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Deacon Laws has always had a passion for athletics, enjoying wrestling, soccer, football and rugby. He has coached rugby at the high school and collegiate levels.

Also active in the Boy Scouts of America, Deacon Laws reached the rank of Eagle Scout.

After graduating from college, he taught religion at The John Carroll School in Bel Air. The archdiocese states that Deacon Laws began priestly formation following a period of discernment that included the above experiences, as well as spiritual retreats, service projects and practicing the Spiritual Exercises developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As a priest, Deacon Laws is looking forward to teaching the faith, visiting the sick and homebound, working with the poor and marginalized, and celebrating the sacraments.

Deacon Carlos Osorio

 Age: 31

Hometown: Arbriaqui, Colombia; Baltimorean since 2009

Parents: Rafael Angel López and Mariela Quiróz (adoptive)

Sponsoring parish: St. Louis, Clarksville

College and seminary: Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigó, Medellín, Colombia

Served: St. Ann, Hagerstown; St. John, Westminster; St. John the Evangelist, Severna Park; Sacred Heart, Glyndon

Background: A native of a small town in Colombia, Deacon Osorio “has been characterized as a dreamer with high aspirations in the field of service,” who aspires to be “a man from God for the people of God,” according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

His desire to study and evangelize, according to the archdiocese, began on the day of his baptism, Dec. 4, 1997, inspired by the words, “We must leave everything and follow him.”

For Deacon Osorio, this means “giving what he has, his life, to serve the church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.”

Since he began that mission, he has honed his pastoral skills in parishes across the archdiocese.

To recharge, Deacon Osorio enjoys playing basketball, volleyball and soccer, and watching the Ravens and Orioles.

Deacon Francis Ouma

Age: 29

Hometown: Atiak, Uganda; Baltimorean since 2010

Parents: Robert Ocan and Florence Akidi Ocan

Sponsoring parish: Sacred Heart, Glyndon College: Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, Uganda

Seminary: Katigondo National Major Seminary, Masaka, Uganda; St. Mary’s Seminary and University

Served: Sacred Heart, Glyndon; Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Church of the Immaculate Conception, Towson; St. Ursula, Parkville; St. Ambrose, Park Heights

Background: Deacon Ouma grew up in the village of Atiak in the northern region Uganda. He has four sisters and two living brothers.

According to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, his family was forced to leave its ancestral village after an increase in violence by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group accused of murder, kidnapping and forcing children to fight in hostilities, among other human rights violations.

At age 7, Deacon Ouma decided he wanted to become a priest. In 2010, his pursuit of the vocation led him to Baltimore to study theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University.

According to the archdiocese, Deacon Ouma has a soft spot for visiting the sick and homebound, as well as teaching the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Bible study and religious courses.

Also see:

In 2009, the Catholic Review followed Deacon de Leon and two other seminarians throughout their first year of studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park. 

Read part one, part two and part three of the award-winning series, which covers the joys and struggles of preparing for the priesthood.

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The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.