Ordination Class Reports


    Meet the Ordination Class of 2024

    In celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Good Shepherd Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Secretariat on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is pleased to offer the results of the survey,  Class of 2024: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood , taken of deacons preparing to be ordained to the priesthood this year.

    We asked some of the members of the Ordination Class of 2024 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 2024!


    "I was raised in the United Methodist Church but had no religious affiliation while in the Marine Corps. Then, one Sunday, I had this overwhelming desire to go to Mass. I went and cried at the elevation of the Holy Eucharist and that is when my journey to the priesthood started."

    - Dcn. Craig Alexander, Diocese of Greensburg



    "I was a supervisor over three McDonald's restaurants before seminary. I started working there at 16 years old and worked there for 14 years before entering the seminary."

    - Dcn. Bo Beaty, Diocese of Knoxville



    "I had a career in professional sports for over 10 years before beginning to discern a vocation to the priesthood and entering the seminary."

    - Dcn. Kevin Bertleff, Diocese of Youngstown




    "I used to be very reserved and self-conscious. It was Christ who transformed my life into the joyful, confident reality that it is today."

    - Rev. Br. Steven Bolton, CO, Raritan Oratory of St. Philip Neri




    "I co-authored a murder mystery comedy musical."

    - Dcn. Steven Caraher, Diocese of Gary



    "Before my Ordination, I completed the Camino de Santiago, a very powerful and revealing journey for me moving into my priesthood."

    - Br. Vince Mary Carrasco, OFMCap., Order of Friars Minor Capuchin




    "It was not until I let the Holy Spirit take over that the doors were opened, and I was invited to enter the seminary. I am grateful that when I had given up, God never did."

    - Dcn. Sean Embury, Diocese of San Diego



    "Before entering seminary I wanted to work as a teacher and go into a career developing educational policy on the state and federal level. God called me in a particular way while student teaching in a Catholic school to show me how I could be a different type of teacher."

    - Dcn. Daniel Hackenjos, Archdiocese of Hartford


    "I worked as a D.C. police officer before entering seminary. People (who know me well) might not be surprised to know that I was quite bad at it."

    - Dcn. Conor Hardy, Archdiocese of Washington




    "I had a horse named after me at the Catholic summer camp that I worked in Gaylord, Michigan. I don't like horses!"

    - Dcn. Stephen Moening, Archdiocese of Detroit




    "I founded and operated with staff a land entitlement consulting practice and was chairman of a chamber of commerce of 800 companies while serving as a palliative and hospice caregiver to my parents."

    - Dcn. Stephen Mullaney, Diocese of Worcester



    "I am grateful for the precious gift of my parents. Despite losing my father at the age of ten, I hold dear the impact he made by choosing my mom as his life partner. As a child I may not have comprehended much, but I am thankful for his decision. My mother, a pillar of unwavering faith and self-sacrificial love, navigated widowhood while raising eight children. Her inspiring journey instilled in me a deep and abiding commitment to faith and family and fueled my calling to the priesthood."

    - Dcn. Anthony Onu, Diocese of Albany


    "Having grown up on a farm, I love spending time outside and working with my hands. Amusingly, my family raised sheep. Now, as a priest, God will entrust His flock to me and consecrate my hands for His work."

    - Dcn. Carter Pierce, Diocese of Ogdensburg



    "I had a complete conversion of heart during my high school years in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I went from having a great hatred for the Catholic Church to a great love for it."

    - Dcn. Rene Rodriguez-Huerta, Diocese of Reno



    "I learned how to bake cookies and bread during my first few years of study as a Dominican friar from another friar who is a great baker! Now, I bake on my own in a separate community as a service to the taste buds of the friars I live with, and I enjoy baking with my friend who taught me in the first place when we have the opportunity."

    - Br. Carlos Salas, OP, Dominican Friars, Province of St. Martin De Porres



    "After teaching music in the Bahamas for 10 years, I found my way to the priesthood through a devastating hurricane experience."

    - Dcn. Ronan Sarmiento, Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands



    "I was adopted from Romania, and I never realized how big of an impact this would have on my vocation. Now, I have come to appreciate my heritage and spent time in the Romanian Byzantine Diocese of St. George. My heritage and connection to the Eastern Catholic Church, will help meet the needs of Byzantine Catholics in my diocese."

    - Dcn. Michael Schultz, Diocese of Louisville


    "I have always wanted to be a priest from childhood. The desire for the priesthood never left me even thought I had an interesting education career for a couple of years before I joined the seminary."

    - Dcn. John Tanyi, Archdiocese of Boston



    "I find my greatest joy in evangelizing the youth, like St. John Bosco. I've tried running away from this call to the priesthood several times, but it turns out God has His own unique sense of humor. In every step I've discovered that my heart finds its most profound peace and boundless joy cradled in the loving embrace of our loving God."

    - Dcn. Anthony Tran, Diocese of Honolulu


    "I have wanted to be a Catholic priest all my life, since at least kindergarten. Many people are surprised that I never attended a Holy Hour or Eucharistic Adoration until I entered seminary. It was my working with people, through my ministry, that set my heart on fire for the priesthood."

    - Dcn. William Wainio, Diocese of Youngstown



    "In pursuing the path to priesthood, I have been blessed with spiritual guidance and the transformative grace of God. The call to serve as a diocesan priest is not just a vocation but a profound commitment to emulate Christ's love, lead by example, and care for the souls entrusted to one's pastoral care."

    - Dcn. Stephen Wong, Archdiocese of Washington