Man refuses to be derailed by brain tumor on his path to the priesthood

August 24, 2009

Last winter, Andrew Morkunas, 45, was taking a break from his final semester of studies for the priesthood when he had a skiing accident. While he was not injured in the accident, hospital tests left him with some scary and unexpected news: he had a brain tumor. Suddenly, the long-held plans by this former Army officer to be ordained a Catholic priest this past June were put on hold. Instead, Andrew faced a long road of surgery, recovery and fear.

Fortunately, the surgery was successful and, with a few setbacks, recovery went well. With a new, deeper appreciation of suffering and the importance of faith, Andrew will be ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington by Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl:

Saturday, August 29, 2009
10:00 a.m.
Crypt Church (lower level)
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20017

Participating at the ordination – and celebrating Andrew’s recovery – will be the seven men he was supposed to be ordained with in June. He will learn after the Mass which parish he will be assigned to serve as a priest.

Participating at the ordination – and celebrating Andrew’s recovery – will be the seven men he was supposed to be ordained with in June. He will learn after the Mass where he will be assigned as a priest.

He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving, his first Mass as a priest, on Sunday, August 30, 2009, 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church, 3320 St. Peter’s Drive, Waldorf, MD. He was a parishioner at St. Peter’s when he entered the seminary.

A native of Ohio, Andrew Morkunas is a former Army officer. He spent 13 years in the Army after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo in Ohio. His parents immigrated to the United States from Germany, arriving through Ellis Island in 1952. He credits the late Deacon Charles Wilson and Deacon Robert Lyons from his home parish of St. Peter’s in Waldorf, Md. with helping him to discern his vocation. He entered Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in 2005.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 140 parishes and 580,000 Catholics in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Contact:
Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
301-853-4517
[email protected]