On Saturday, June 9 at 10:00 a.m., Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, will ordain seven new Catholic priests, including four for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and three former Episcopal priests for the Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, created earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglican groups and clergy in the United States seeking to become Catholic while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage.
Deacon Stephen Cotter, 36, is the oldest of the four men to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He has studied for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Roland Park. He served two tours in Iraq as a chaplain assistant in the U.S. Army and will serve as a military chaplain after his ordination to the priesthood.
A native of Kenya, Deacon Isaac Makovo, 34, is one of two foreign-born men to be ordained to the priesthood Saturday. He also prepared for the priesthood at St. Mary’s and has spent the past year assisting at Church of the Resurrection in Laurel.
Deacon Steven Roth, 33, is a former teacher at the University of Scranton and Marywood University in Pennsylvania who will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at St. Margaret’s in Bel Air, where he has been serving since 2009.
A native of Colombia, Deacon Jamie Garcia-Vasquez, 28, is the youngest of the men to be ordained. He studied for the priesthood at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg and has spent his “Pastoral Year” assisting at St. John the Evangelist, Frederick.
The following men are former Episcopal priests and will be ordained for the Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter:
Jason Catania, 40, was an Episcopal priest for 12 years. He became Catholic with his parishioners on January 22, 2012. He received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1993, a Master of Divinity from The Catholic University of America in 1999 and, after completing seminary studies at Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin, an S.T.M. in 2000. He served parishes in Schnectady and Lake Delaware, NY until 2006 when he became rector of Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, now Mount Calvary Catholic Ordinariate Community, in Baltimore. Mount Calvary, which had been one of the oldest Anglo-Catholic parishes in the United States, is online at mountcalvary.com.
David Reamsnyder, 38, of Eldersburg, Maryland, was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2009, following a career in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Spring Arbor University in Michigan in 2001, and received a Master of Divinity from Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin in 2009. Since that time, he was been a curate with Mount Calvary in Baltimore, and a hospice chaplain. He and his wife, Beth, have been married ten years and have two children. Their infant daughter was baptized Catholic on January 22, 2012 by Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson.
John Anthony Vidal, 52, of Eldersburg, Maryland, is a 1981 graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, where he earned a degree in mathematics and physics. He went on to receive a master of science in physics from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and undertook his theology studies through the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He was vicar at La Iglesia de los Tres Santos Reyes Episcopal church in Baltimore for 11 years, associate priest at All Saints Episcopal for four years and vicar of St. Augustine Anglican for one year. He currently is an associate at Mount Calvary Catholic Ordinariate Community in Baltimore. He and his wife, Helene, have been married for 23 years and have a son and two daughters.
Nationwide, 30 Anglican priests are being ordained for the ordinariate this summer. Another 30 men are preparing for ordinations over the next year.
Only two ordinariates exist in the world, in the United States and United Kingdom. A third will be established in Australia on June 15. The ordinariate is led by a former Episcopal bishop, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson of Houston, Texas.
The Mass of Ordination will take place June 9 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. Two weeks later, on June 24, over 125 members of Christ the King Anglican Parish in Towson, Maryland, will be received into the Catholic Church as part of the Ordinariate.
There are currently 157 diocesan priests actively serving in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. A total of 487 men are being ordained to the priesthood in the United States in 2012.
The Mass of Ordination is rich in Catholic tradition and very visual: the new candidate for priesthood is presented to the bishop who asks about their intentions and worthiness to be ordained. The ceremony continues with the candidate prostrating himself while the congregation chants the Litany of Saints. Immediately following, the bishop through the ancient sign of ordination confers priesthood by laying hands on the candidate. Each priest present also lays his hands on the candidate. The new priest is then vested in a stole and a chasuble (symbols of the priestly office) followed by the bishop presenting the bread and a chalice filled with wine, which is offered and consecrated at this Ordination Mass, the new priest’s first Mass.
It is requested that members of the media wishing to cover the ordination contact the Director of Communications in advance. Reporters/photographers are asked to dress in appropriate attire. Photographers will be given access via the side aisles of the Cathedral. So as not to obstruct the view of those in attendance, photographers will not be allowed in the center aisle, sanctuary (altar area), or the area in front of the altar.
Media parking is permitted on the side and lower lots (south) of the Cathedral. Media vehicles are not permitted to park on the driveway directly in front of the Cathedral.