Eight men ordained priests, receive parish assignments

June 19, 2010

Two former “Catholic Terps” from the University of Maryland, a seminarian who has flown planes and a former Hill staffer were among eight men ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Washington on Saturday, June 19 by Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

More than 2,000 priests, family and friends filled the Basilica. The men were among 68 preparing to become priests for the Archdiocese of Washington this past year; seminary studies typically take five or more years.

Rev. Justin Huber, 27, from Baltimore, MD graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland before entering Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, and then completing his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. Baptized a Catholic, he became deeply involved in his faith at the University of Maryland. The joy he saw in the priests he met led him to be open to the priesthood. Fr. Huber will be at Annunciation parish in Washington, DC this summer before returning to Rome for further studies in the fall,

Rev. David Wells, 27, from Bowie, MD also went to the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in international business and Spanish. He had not considered the priesthood until his junior year of high school when his uncle, Monsignor Tom Wells, a popular local priest, was killed. “I was really overwhelmed by the number of lives he touched from all over. I saw the positive effect that a good priest has on so many people and it had a real impact on me,” Fr. Wells said shortly before ordination. He completed his seminary studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. Rev. Wells has been assigned to Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Lexington Park, MD.

Rev. John Reutemann III, 27, of Rockville, first thought about becoming a priest at age 17 after participating in a Mount 2000 program for Catholic teens, which is held annually at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. There he realized he would be fulfilled only if doing what God wanted him to do. He was accepted by the archdiocese for college seminary and subsequently received an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham University in New York while attending St. John Neumann Seminary. He completed his theology studies this year at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. His home parish is St. Raphael in Rockville. Fr. Reutemann has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and can fly a plane. He has been assigned to Sacred Heart parish in LaPlata, MD.

Rev. Ismael “Mel” Nastor Ayala, 35, a native of Olney, MD, spent eight years working in college admissions after graduating from Hood College in Frederick, MD and earning a master’s degree in thanatology – the study of death and dying. He first considered the priesthood at a very young age, and was inspired and encouraged by his parish priests who were happy in their ministry. He studied theology at Theological College in Washington, DC. He will be close to home at his first parish, St. Peter in Olney.

Rev. Rafael “Blake” Evans-Campos, 45, a native of Puerto Rico, worked as a marketing and public relations executive before entering Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. He attended college at the University of Central Florida and worked in marketing for 16 years, including four as president of his own marketing company, then spent five years as senior editor for BUILDER magazine/Big Builder, based in Washington, DC. Baptized Catholic as an infant but raised as a Southern Baptist, he was exposed to Catholicism through an ecumenical movement and became active in the Church while in college. He felt called to the priesthood through time spent in Adoration before the Eucharist and at Mass. He has been assigned to the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville.

Rev. Anthony Lickteig, 31, spent five years as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, helping manage large-scale technology transitions for companies prior to entering the seminary. Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 2000 for his job, he lived in Mora, New Mexico; Boston, Massachusetts; and Corpus Christi, TX with his family. They are members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, a Catholic apostolic society of priests, religious and lay people. His father has been a permanent deacon for 33 years. Rev. Lickteig graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mechanical engineering and undertook his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. He has run the Quantico Half-Marathon and been skydiving. He will be at St. Peter parish in Waldorf this summer, before returning to Rome for another year of studies.

Rev. Harry Stokes, 35, spent five years as a legislative assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives and the Office of Congressional Affairs in the U.S. Small Business Administration before entering Theological College seminary in Washington, DC. He first considered the priesthood when he was 15 years old. He earned his undergraduate degree in English and public relations from Xavier University. He has been assigned to St. Mary of the Mills in Laurel.

Rev. Charles Gallagher, 26, from Silver Spring, MD, has eight brothers and sisters, and is the son of a permanent deacon. He attended Fordham University in New York City while in college seminary and completed his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College seminary in Rome. His father always encouraged him to consider the priesthood but an encounter with Pope John Paul II was the deciding factor leading him into the seminary. He will be at St. Peter on Capitol Hill for the summer, before returning to Rome for another year of studies.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 140 parishes and 590,000 Catholics in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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