Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood

Join us at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on June 15th at 10:00 am as ten men are ordained as priests for the Archdiocese of Washington. Can’t make it to the ordination? Watch the livestream here!

John Benson

First Mass: St. Philip the Apostle in Camp Springs, MD
on June 16th at 11:30 am

My life before the seminary:
I have two older sisters. I grew up in Bethesda, MD. My father is originally from Kentucky, and my mother from Ohio. I went to public school. I was an altar server at our parish, Our Lady of Lourdes. I entered the Neocatechumenal Way in 2006.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
When Benedict XVI visited the United States in 2008, I participated in a mini-pilgrimage with the Neocatechumenal Way to see the pope in New York. That was when I first felt called to the priesthood. After graduating from high school my plan was to study filmmaking, but I realized that would not fulfill me; I had a deeper desire to give my life to Christ. I entered the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to be formed as a missionary priest for the New Evangelization.

Other interests include:
Music, film, graphic design, Ultimate Frisbee.

Brendan Glasgow

First Mass: Saint Peter’s Parish in Olney, MD on June 16th at 11 am
Home Parish: St. Peter, Olney

My life before the seminary:
I joined the Saint John Paul the II Seminary right after finishing high school. In high school I enjoyed theatre, soccer, and skiing in the winter. I have fond memories of growing up in Olney as the second oldest of seven children.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
I was extremely blessed to grow up in a practicing Catholic home, but it was not until my Junior year of high school that I started to seriously take the Faith into my own hands. Thanks to the encouragement and support from my siblings and cousins, I found myself attending daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration. Once my desires became focused on growing in holiness, then the idea of the priesthood did not seem as intimidating. The idea of the priesthood had been in the back of my mind, but it was not until I began the journey toward living a holy life that I could answer the call to enter seminary.

Other interests include:
I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee at the seminary and volleyball with my three other brothers. Accompanying musicians on the Djembe (drum) is also a favorite past time.

Joseph Cwik

First Mass: Our Lady of the Presentation in Poolesville, MD on June 16th at 10:45 am
Home Parish: Our Lady of the Presentation, Poolesville

My life before the seminary:
During my high school years, the priesthood had been on my mind but was easily put on the back burner at the time. I enjoyed playing a hodgepodge mix of sports: football, soccer, and my favorite swim team. As I thought of what I would like to do professionally, flight came to the forefront. I always was awed by all things that flew. From birds to aircraft, my head seemed to find itself tilted upwards waiting for the next plane to fly overhead. With this passion, I decided to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Learning the ins-and-outs of a field that captured my attention was great fun and I enjoyed working at the wind tunnel on campus. After 3 years of studies, the question of priesthood re-arose. This time around, I was unable to put it on the ‘back-burner.’ Instead, I found that my involvement at the Catholic Student Center provided me the community and space to discern the question of priesthood leading me to leave the University of Maryland to begin my seminary studies.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
When it came to going on retreats or attending a Bible study, I was stubborn! For the first 3 years of my college studies, I always had an excuse. However, I finally caved in during my junior year of college and decided to go. I guess after 3 years, you run out of excuses. And I’m glad I did! On this retreat, I came to know the Lord in a personal way. I had been wanting to grow in my faith but wasn’t sure how to or even what that looked like. On this weekend retreat, I went to confession with honesty, contrition, and real openness to God’s grace and forgiveness. Returning from confession, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was occurring and I simply sat back down in the chapel. The silence of the room rested upon me. I felt relieved and forgiven but above all I felt something had changed. I remember looking at the Eucharist and the thought finally came to me, “God hadn’t changed as a result of my confession but God had changed me.” Best of all? God wasn’t done yet. I returned to campus with that thought still lingering on my mind. I made prayer a priority, especially Adoration. While I could still see myself living happily as an engineer, I knew deep down that there was something or rather someone tugging at my heart. Convinced that Christ was at work in my life, I began to discern where He might be leading me. As I opened the door of my life to Him, I found my heart drawn with peace and freedom to the seminary: to a great journey I could never have imagined.

Other interests include:
I enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, camping, and swimming are some of my favorites. And of course, scanning the skies for planes.

Benjamin Petty

First Mass: St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD on June 16th at 11 am
Home Parish: St. Bernadette, Silver Spring

My life before the seminary:
I was baptized Lutheran and confirmed as an Episcopalian. A few years after studying philosophy and theater at Wheaton College,IL. I worked for a short time in professional and community theater as an actor and stagehand. I was received into the Catholic Church in 2006. I earned my Masters in Theological Studies in 2012 from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family life while working at Trader Joe’s in Silver Spring, MD. I was looking for positions teaching religion in local Catholic schools when I decided to enter seminary.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
I had some draw to the priesthood shortly after my conversion, but dismissed it at first as a convert’s enthusiasm. I felt a keener sense of attraction to it in the middle of a serious dating relationship, but again dismissed it because of how the immediacy of the relationship trumped the abstract and distant sense of the attraction to the priesthood. My studies at the John Paul II Institute helped to be more open to the beauty of both celibacy and married life. When they were completed, I realized that I had been hearing the voice of God inviting me to consider the priesthood, but that I had done little to respond to that invitation. At my pastor’s encouragement I attended the Men’s Discernment retreat, where I made two key discoveries. First, you don’t have to be one hundred percent certain about the priesthood to enter seminary. Second, you won’t be able to become certain about a vocation until you enter the seminary. Once I grasped those two ideas, I realized that if I was going to take God’s quiet invitation seriously, I needed to enter the seminary.

Other interests include:
I have always loved good theater and singing, either as a participant or as an audience member. I like to cook. I enjoy baseball and almost any sport that involves water, but especially sailing. I appreciate a good hike in beautiful country. Indoors, I like good movies (Master and Commander is a favorite) and good books, especially anything by George MacDonald, and board games.

Ebuka Mbanude

First Mass: Church of Nativity in DC on June 16th at 10 am
Home Parish: Church of the Nativity, Washington, DC

My life before the seminary:
I studied Biology at the University of the District of Columbia, worked at Target and DC Parks and Recreation. I also volunteered as a youth ministry coordinator at Nativity Catholic Church working with the youths in the parish.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
After about two weeks of wrestling with the decision to either go to seminary, further my biology studies as a graduate student or go to medical school, I discerned to go to seminary in order to do the will of God which he has placed in my heart, to bring others to God through prayer and service.

Other interests include:
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing table tennis (ping pong), playing soccer, traveling and helping others in any way I can.

Christian Huebner

First Mass: St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill on June 16th at 9 am
Home Parish: St. Peter, Capitol Hill

My life before the seminary:
I grew up in Nebraska with three younger sisters, two great parents and many cats and dogs who all seemed to meet untimely ends. I went to college in Minnesota (St. Olaf) and then attended Yale Law School. It was during law school that I became a Catholic. After graduating, I worked in Texas for a year, then moved to DC for a job with a law firm.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
Fairly early on after being received into the Church, the thought of becoming a priest occurred to me, and both fascinated and terrified me. I spent a fair amount of time trying to convince myself that it wasn’t want I wanted to do, but the Lord was persistent. Even though I had a very good life as a young professional in DC, it wasn’t enough. I knew deep down I wasn’t living the adventure of life to it’s fullest, in the way the Lord wanted for me.

I was blessed with good spiritual direction and good friends. Under their influence, I developed a habit of prayer, which tended to grow. At a certain point, I came to a cross-roads at work, in my personal life and with the “seminary question.” In a moment of simple prayer, I finally said “yes” to the possibility the Lord was holding out to me. At that moment, I received a profound in-flooding of peace, and I was on my way.

Other interests include:
I’ve learned how to be Catholic in many respects through feasting, and there are few things I enjoy as much as hosting or attending a big Sunday brunch, all the fixings, with good conversation, and perhaps some music and poetry. I also enjoy running, college football, a great book with a cup of tea, Christmas caroling and essay writing.

Patrick Mullan

First Mass: Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, MD on June 16th at 10:30 am
Home Parish: Shrine of St. Jude, Rockville

Former Youth Minister of St. Mary’s County and Campus Minister to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Won CYO Mother’s Day writing contest in first grade.

Michael Russo

First Mass: Saint Stephen Martyr in DC on June 16th at 11 am
Home Parish: St. Stephen-Martyr, DC

My life before the seminary:
I came to DC in 2009 to go to George Washington University. While at GW I became active in the Newman Center Catholic community. There I learned to have a relationship with God and found good friends and because of this experience I discovered that God was calling me to be a priest.

What convinced me to enter the seminary:
The realization that if I loved God and wanted to be truly happy, I had to follow His will wherever it led me.

Other interests include:
History, politics, Greek and Roman culture and language, art, music, and good food.

Jan Tomasz Pietryga

First Mass: St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church in Laurel on June 16th at 12:30 pm

Stefan Megyery

First Mass: Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church in Bethesda, MD on June 16th at 12 pm



Event Details

Date & Time




Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC 20064, USA

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