Ordination Class Reports


In celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is pleased to offer the results of the Ordination Class of 2020 CARA Study , taken of deacons preparing to be ordained to the priesthood this year.

Meet the Ordination Class of 2020

We asked some of the members of the Ordination Class of 2020 to tell us something about themselves that others might find surprising.  Their answers provide some insight as to how each discovered their vocational call.  Congratulations to the Ordination Class of 2020!

Fr. Abraham Berrera Pelayo

"I felt the calling to priesthood at a very young age, even though I responded twenty years later. I realized that things happen at God's time..."

- Abraham Berrera Pelayo, Diocese of Monterey

Fr. Connor Penn

"I always wanted to be a professional sports reporter; over time, I discovered that God desired for me to report on a different sort of     "news": the Good News!" 

- Connor Penn, Diocese of St. Petersburg


Fr. Estevan Wetzel


"I am one of seven kids, 43 grandchildren, 114 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren."

 - Estevan Wetzel, Diocese of Phoenix


Fr. Louie Reyes

"Before entering the Seminary I ministered to college students at a secular university. Helping young adults get to know Christ and to understand their God given dignity has been a huge blessing in my life and vocation."

 -  Louie Girard Ison Reyes, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


Fr. Michael Berndt

"I can mimic people pretty well. If I know you long enough, I can probably do an impression of you."

 - Michael Berndt, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois


Fr. Peter Gallagher

"I enjoy running, love to sing, and have a definitive favorite author: the Canadian Michael O'Brien."

- Peter Gallagher, Diocese of Camden


Fr. Shaun Polman

"I have always wanted to be a priest since the 2nd grade."

 - Shawn Polman, Diocese of New Ulm


Fr. Christopher Johnson

 "From a young age, I wanted to teach history in a Catholic school where I could also coach. I achieved this goal in my mid-20s, and I loved every moment of it. I then realized that God had other plans for me, and I left teaching and coaching to join the Dominicans. I do not regret my decision in the least, as I have found more joy in this life than I could have ever imagined."

- Christopher Johnson, Dominicans, Province of St. Albert the Great

Fr. Stanislaus Achu

"As an altar server, I started thinking about the priesthood at age ten. But growing up, I wanted to be a medical doctor because I am always fascinated with the art of medicine and the bodily healing that comes with it. Now that I am on the path to priesthood, I don't think I have lost that desire to heal, no. Although I will not be able to heal bodily ailments as a medical doctor, but as a priest, I can heal spiritually as I administer the sacraments (of healing) to the people of God." 

 - Stanislaus Achu, Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts

Fr. Darren Santo Tomas

"I wanted to be the next Food-Network star, but God had other plans for me! I answered the vocation to become a priest in 2008, at a Vocational Meeting hosted by the Neocatechumenal Way, after the World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia."

 - Darren M. Santo Tomas, Archdiocese of Newark


Fr. Justin Oh

"I used to be on our high school varsity golf team."

 - Justin Oh, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


Fr. Tony Klein

"I am the youngest grandchild on both sides of my family (out of almost 60 cousins)." 

 - Tony Klein, Diocese of Sioux Falls


Fr. Matthew Miller

"I needed to get stiches 5 times before the age of 15, all on my head, and twice in the same place!"

 - Matthew Miller, Diocese of Duluth


Fr. Lorenzo Penalosa

  "My doctors didn't think I would be able to walk because of my handicap, but God proved them wrong. Some of my personal interests  include liturgical architecture, calligraphy, sketching, photography and video-editing." 

 - Lorenzo Penalosa, Order of St. Benedict


Fr. Angelbert Chikere

 "I draw cartoons and make comic pamphlets and write all kinds of poems." 

 - Angelbert Chikere, Diocese of San Jose


Fr. Denning Achidi

 "I disliked going to church as a child. Thanks be to God, I cannot picture my life outside of Christ's Church."

 - Denning Achidi, Diocese of Buffalo


FR. Chris Considine

"I like to birdwatch, drink tea and ski moguls."

 - Christopher Considine, Archdiocese of Denver



Fr. Andy Derouen

"I spend as much time painting and drawing for leisure as I did begrudgingly as an architecture student. My passion and skill have been at the service of the Church now for six years, and now the chapels, chalices and vestments I design are neither arbitrary nor taxing to do."

 - Andy DeRouen, Diocese of Lake Charles

Fr. Matthew Zwilling

"At one point in high school, I thought I wanted to become a video game designer."

 - Matthew Zwilling, Diocese of Youngstown



Fr. Rafal Borowiejski

"I love the NBA especially the team Chicago Bulls."

 - Rafal Borowiejski, Diocese of Rockville Centre


Fr. Kevin Moebius


"I was a college cheerleader at the University of Michigan prior to entering Seminary."

  - Kevin Moebius, Diocese of Toledo


Fr. Brandon Berg

 "My father's family are Norwegian and Swedish. I consider my beard as part of my Viking heritage! I was born in a small town in Kansas that promotes its Swedish roots. My Mom's family is German and Irish, hence my red hair and freckles. I played drums in a band with my best college mates. We did about a dozen concerts. I made my living after college as a restaurant cook and even owned a restaurant in Kansas with my father."

  - Brandon Berg, OFM Capuchins

Fr. Daniel Belken

"I started learning organ at about seven years old, served as a parish organist for three churches in high school before seminary. I've always been somewhat of a "tech guy" too, so much so that, combined with being an organist, many would never guess I grew up on a farm." 

 - Daniel Belken, Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Recent Ordination Class Reports

*archived reports available upon request