Cardinal Wuerl to Ordain Seven Men to the Priesthood
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
WASHINGTON – The Archdiocese of Washington is blessed to have seven seminarians who will be ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, on Saturday, June 21. More than 2,000 priests, family and friends are expected to fill the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the ordination. The men are among almost 80 who are preparing to become priests for the Archdiocese of Washington. Seminary studies typically take five or more years.
Mass of Ordination
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20017
A native of College Park, Deacon Timothy Daniel, 30, attended St. Mark Catholic School and DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville before pursuing degrees in marketing and Japanese at the University of Maryland. He spent his junior year studying in Kobe, Japan. “The year set my Christian identity in stark relief and demonstrated the need for and impact of the Gospel on an existential level.” After graduating from college in 2007, he entered seminary at Mount Saint Mary’s and continued his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. “My deepest desire is to please Christ, and especially in the form of bringing the Gospel to those who are searching but do not yet know Christ.” Fr. Daniel will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Rockville.
Deeply influenced by the devout Catholic faith of his mother and sisters while growing up in Honavar, India, Deacon Tony D’Souza, 33, began to consider the priesthood at the age of 10. “My mother continually encouraged us to love the Lord and to trust in His providence. When I was 16, I met the Neocatechumenal Way through which my faith matured and I could discern my vocation.” In 1999 he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Francis Xavier in Goa, India, which helped him to further discern his vocation. D’Souza studied at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Bangalore, India, and the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Hyattsville, Md. Fr. D’Souza will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo.
Deacon Kenneth Gill, 51, grew up in Melbourne, Fla. and graduated from Florida State University. Although he first heard the call to the priesthood when he was 19, Gill moved to Washington in 1987 where he worked in the fields of neurophysiology, information technology and business development. “After St. John Paul II died, the thoughts of priesthood returned, and like the rich man in the Gospel, I felt the Lord was calling me to leave my career and come follow him.” He entered seminary at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary. “To be able to bring God’s love, healing and mercy to those, especially who are suffering, has always seemed to me to be one of the most noble callings in life.” Fr. Gill will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Northwest Washington.
Growing up in Oświęcim, Poland, Deacon Cezary Kozubek, 38, saw the dedication of many priests and lay people, including his parents, trying to preserve their Christian identity and freedom under a Communist regime. “Their genuine faith and the sacrifice of their lives attracted me and stirred a desire for looking for Christ in my life.” His search brought him to the Neocatechumenal Way where he participated in World Youth Day in Paris (1997), Rome (2000) and Cologne (2005). “Each time the vocational meetings with the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way in those places helped me to crystalize and publicly manifest my desires to become a priest.” After graduating from the University of Rzeszów, Kozubek was a science teacher in his native country before entering Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary. Fr. Kozubek will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Hyattsville.
Deacon Charles Luckett, 33, grew up in Alexandria, Va., where he attended St. Mary’s Catholic School. He graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington where “I took all the math and science classes I could, but the idea of becoming a priest stayed in the back of my mind.” Two chance encounters after graduating from The Catholic University of America with Msgr. Robert Panke, then-director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington, caused him to explore the idea of becoming a priest. While pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, Luckett experienced a huge culture shock attending a non-Catholic school for the first time and realized that his chemistry studies “could not sustain a deeper longing that I could not deny.” He entered seminary at Theological College, the national seminary of The Catholic University of America. Fr. Luckett will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church in Greenbelt.
Deacon Aaron Qureshi, 38, grew up in Tucson, Ariz., the son of a Catholic mother and a Muslim father. After graduating from Holy Cross with degrees in classical languages and mathematics, he worked on Wall Street as a financial analyst before moving to Washington where he attended graduate school at the University of Maryland and worked as a computer programmer. Qureshi attended regular Bible study sessions at the Madonna House community on Capitol Hill where “weekly contact with the word of God opened my eyes to the riches to be found in Sacred Scripture. After a number of years working and being involved in my parish, I began to discern God’s call to a life more fully devoted to him and to his Church.” He entered seminary at Theological College and continued his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Fr. Qureshi will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at noon at St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill Catholic Church in Northeast Washington.
Deacon Christopher Seith, 25, grew up in Bowie where his faith journey began at an early age thanks to a deeply devout family. He had the opportunity to attend several World Youth Days where he “began to unpack the grace of my baptism during those experiences.” While studying Spanish and German Secondary Education at the University of Maryland, he saw many students brought to Christ through the university’s Catholic chaplain, Fr. Bill Byrne, and was inspired to consider a vocation. “Seeing what Christ was able to do in people’s lives through the hands of the priest, I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling life than being able to provide that transforming relationship for others.” He entered seminary at St. John Neumann Seminary College and continued his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Fr. Seith will celebrate his first Mass on June 21, 2014, at 6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bowie.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.