Seven Men to be Ordained Priests

June 11, 2008

Growing up on a tobacco farm in Southern Maryland, Patrick Riffle learned hard work and sacrifice from a young age – lessons he says have served him well in his vocation. As he worked on his family’s farm, thoughts of becoming a priest often entered his mind, starting at age 11.

As he neared graduation from La Plata High School in Charles County, Maryland, he felt certain he was being called to the priesthood and entered college seminary while attending the University of Scranton. “It was a quiet, simple nudging that I heard and felt in the silence of my heart,” he said.

Riffle is one of seven men that Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will ordain as Catholic priests on June 14. They include a former lawyer from Argentina, two men from the Dominican Republic, a former All-American lacrosse player and an aspiring rock star who studied architecture. They come from diverse backgrounds, but they were all born and raised Catholic.

Mass of Ordination
Saturday, June 14, 2008
9:30 a.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

The men are among 74 who studied for the priesthood with the Archdiocese of Washington this year.

Juan Esposito, 34, is from San Luis, Argentina, where he earned a law degree. Juan began his seminary training in Argentina but after meeting some American priests on a visit to New York, he felt called to serve the growing Hispanic population in the United States. He moved to the United States at age 29 and entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. After four years here, “I feel very much at home,” he said. Esposito was a deacon at the April 17 Papal Mass in Washington.

Mark Ivany, 30, from Washington, DC, earned a bachelors degree in political science from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, where he was an All-American lacrosse player. Before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, New Jersey, he worked as a legislative correspondent and a personal assistant in the U.S. Senate. His father is a retired 2-star General in the U.S. Army and Mark hopes to someday become an Army Chaplain. His home parish is St. Peter’s in Washington, DC. Ivany was a deacon at the April 17 Papal Mass in Washington.

Marco Schad, 30, is a native of the Dominican Republic who moved to the United States at age 17. He earned a bachelors degree in international relations and computer science from the College of William and Mary and a masters degree in foreign service and a law degree from Georgetown University. He hoped to work as an international civil servant but felt called to the priesthood during his last year of law school and entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, New Jersey right after taking the bar exam. Schad was a principal deacon at the April 17 Papal Mass in Washington.

Patrick Riffle, 26, grew up on a tobacco farm in Southern Maryland. After high school he attended college seminary at St. Pius X Seminary while attending the nearby University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. He double majored in philosophy and theology. He is completing his seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Riffle is an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a chaplain candidate and while in Rome has served on the Navy base in Naples on weekends. His home parish is Immaculate Conception in Mechanicsville, Maryland.

Vincent De Rosa, 27, comes from Mineola, New York. He earned a bachelors degree in international affairs from George Washington University and worked as a consultant for the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress before entering the seminary. He is finishing his theological studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. He has hiked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Kevin Regan, 27, is from Bowie, Maryland. He earned a bachelors degree in architecture from the University of Maryland in 2003, but growing up he wanted to be a rock star! He first thought about becoming a priest at age 17 and attended seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. Growing up he was inspired by the priests at his home parish of Sacred Heart in Bowie, whose “joyfulness and cheerfulness in the Holy Spirit drew many people to Christ – including myself,” he said.

Jose Raul DeLeon, 28, is a native of the Dominican Republic who moved to the United States at age 10 then grew up in Newark, New Jersey. He earned a bachelors degree in liberal arts from Thomas Edison College in New Jersey before entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Hyattsville, Maryland. He was 16 years old when he first considered becoming a priest. He served as deacon of the Gospel at the April 17 Papal Mass in Washington.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 140 parishes and over 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]