Seminarians Peter Gallagher, 23 and John March, 40, will be ordained transitional deacons during a 10:30 a.m. Mass and ceremony at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden on Saturday, May 11.
The two are currently completing their year of Third Theology, Gallagher at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, and March at the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.
Their ordination to transitional deacon marks the final stage in the journey to their priesthood, to culminate next May.
Gallagher’s home parish is Christ the King in Haddonfield, and he is a 2012 graduate of Paul VI High School.
In sharing his vocation story on www.camdenpriest.org, Gallagher wrote, “To truly receive the call to be a priest can be a scary thing,” but urged young men who might feel the call to talk to “someone who can truly help will make such a difference,” such as a priest.
“When I brought my story to the light, the light God calls us to live in that reflects His goodness, I was much more at peace,” he continued.
“I was able to see clearly God’s presence in my life. … Just as Jesus gave up His life, He calls us to give up ours. Our surrender: to take up the cross, to walk in the light of Christ, brings true joy and peace.”
March, a 1996 graduate of Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, calls Saint Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights, home.
After spending time serving in the military, and doing evangelization work at Saint Rose of Lima, March “felt like God spoke to me in a way that he has before (through a combination of prayer, people, circumstances and timing) to encourage me to look into the seminary. … A feeling of peace helped me in my decision to apply to the diocese,” he wrote on www.camdenpriest.org.
On advice to other men considering the priesthood, March said that one needs “to say I don’t know how to do this, try, and (maybe with a smile) trust God to help us.”