As seminarians prepare for ordination to the priesthood church leaders face the reality of continuing to function with fewer priests. Upcoming ordinations in the Phoenix Diocese include three to the transitional diaconate May 29 and four to the priesthood June 11.

The latter are among the nation’s 548 potential ordinands this year, down slightly from 595 in 2015 and up from 477 two years ago. See news release and full report for more info.

Be sure to also check out photos and some of the ordinands’ responses to “People might be surprised to know…” Entries are alphabetized by last name Be sure to scroll down alphabetically to learn more about Phoenix’s own “Ryan Lee.”

Some other highlights:

  • Among this year’s ordinands: a blacksmith, basic neurosurgeon, a one-time Supreme Court justice hopeful, master brewer, master librarian, minor league mascot, Tae-Kwon-Do teacher, CIA software developer
  • At least two have prior formal training in Church teaching as a deacon widower and a retired fire department captain-turned-Benedictine monk
  • One is the first-born son of Mary and Joseph — and no, his name is not Jesus. The couple met as lectors.
  • One co-owned a Subway restaurant with his brother
  • One appeared on “The American Bible Challenge” during his second year of theology
  • One convert became a Christian at age 13 and a Catholic at age 20