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home : our diocese today : our diocese today August 16, 2017

Bishop O'Connell to ordain four men to the diaconate May 20

Our Diocese Tod@y

Taking the next step on their journey toward the priesthood, four seminarians from the Diocese will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders when they are ordained deacons by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the 10 a.m. Mass May 20 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

With their ordination, the new deacons will continue their seminary studies, as well as be assigned to parishes where they will assume duties such as presiding over weddings, Baptisms, wakes, funeral services and committals, proclaiming the Gospel and preaching homilies. They are on track to be ordained priests next year.

The ordination will be carried via live video stream on the home pages of and beginning at 10 a.m.  An archive of the video stream will be available later in the day on the same websites.

Also, connect with the Diocese of Trenton on Facebook and Twitter for live posting from the Cathedral.  The Monitor’s reporting and photos from the transitional deacon Ordination will be posted to beginning May 20, and will be published in the June 1 print edition.

Background on the four deacon candidates follows:
  • Christopher Dayton, 30, was born in Long Branch and grew up as a parishioner in St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake. He attended Manasquan Elementary School, Manasquan, and Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, graduating in 2006. Dayton attended Christendom College, Fort Royal, Va., graduating in 2010 with degrees in political science and economics. He then worked in public service for a time, before entering St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, in 2013. He is scheduled to receive a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology and a master of divinity degree just before his priestly ordination in 2018. After ordination to the diaconate, Dayton will serve in St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson.
  • Michael G. DeSaye, 33, attended Holy Family School, Lakewood, and served as an organist at the age of 14 in St. Mary of the Lake Parish, Lakewood, when his family lived nearby in Brick. DeSaye graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, in 2001, and enrolled in Ithaca College, N.Y., earning a bachelor’s degree in music and piano in 2005. After working in several parishes and schools as organist and pianist, DeSaye entered St. Mary Abbey, Morristown, and became a Benedictine brother. He spent four years completing his novitiate and professing simple vows. DeSaye earned a pre-theology certificate from Theological College in The Catholic University of America, Washington, in 2015, and matriculated to Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where he is currently pursuing a master of divinity degree. Upon ordination, DeSaye will serve as a deacon in Visitation Parish, Brick.
  • Brother Nicholas Dolan, 24, grew up attending Allenwood Elementary School, Allenwood; New School of Monmouth County, Holmdel; Wall Intermediate School, Wall Township, and Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Brother Dolan then attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2014. From 2014 to 2015, he attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore. He is currently studying for the priesthood in Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where is scheduled to graduate in 2018. Brother Dolan is part of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a Community-in-Formation located on the St. Anthony of Padua Parish campus. Upon ordination to the diaconate, Brother Dolan will continue serving in St. Anthony’s.
  • James Smith, 37, grew up as a parishioner of Incarnation Parish, Ewing. He attended Parkway Elementary School, Trenton; Incarnation School, Ewing, and graduated from Ewing High School in 1997. Smith attended Mercer County Community College from 2010-2012, majoring in liberal arts. He then transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts in 2014. Following his ordination to the diaconate, he will be serving the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony, Hamilton.

You can learn more about the soon-to-be deacons in this story from The Monitor.

Related Stories:
• Four new priests to be ordained by Bishop June 3

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