To say that it’s ordination season in the Diocese of Phoenix is an understatement. In total, six men serving the Diocese of Phoenix are taking formal steps toward priesthood in the coming weeks.

Two bonus ordinations also have diocesan ties. Both men are from the Diocese of Phoenix and will be ordained into the same society of apostolic life.

Artículo en español
Diócesis ganará tres sacerdotes esta época de las ordenaciones, además de otros frutos

Three men will become priests for the Diocese of Phoenix June 16 — just in time to celebrate their Mass of Thanksgiving at their home parishes the following day, Father’s Day.

The month of May already had one ordination in diocesan boundaries to keep in prayer with others on the horizon. Br. Peter Teresa McConnell, a Franciscan Friar of the Holy Spirit was ordained a transitional deacon May 13 at St. John the Baptist Parish in Laveen. Br. Peter Teresa is one of the seven founders of his religious community, which turns 2 in July.

We are overjoyed on the occasion of Brother Peter Teresa's ordination to the Transitional Diaconate! To God be all the…

Posted by Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit on Monday, May 14, 2018

The Franciscan friars serve the diocese’s Native American communities and the Holy Spirit Newman Center at Grand Canyon University. Br. Peter Teresa will remain here for the summer then finish his final year at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

Ordination to the Priesthood


10 a.m. June 16
St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, 3450 W. Ray Rd., Chandler

Br. Alex Juguilon, OSC

9 a.m. May 26
St. Gregory Parish,
3424 N. 18th Ave., Phoenix

Priestly Fraternity of
St. Peter

8 a.m. Arizona time, May 26
St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska

Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

9 a.m. May 27
Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave.

Roughly one week out is a priestly ordination within Phoenix’s Crosier community. Br. Alex Juguilon, OSC, who has been serving as a transitional deacon at St. Gregory Parish for the last year, will be ordained.

That same day, a St. Catherine of Siena parishioner and a member of Mater Misericordiae Mission will complete their journey toward holy orders with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter — a community whose charism is to celebrate the Latin Mass and serves Phoenix’s Mater Misercordiae Mission and St. Cecilia Church in Clarkdale. Dcn. Rick Wallace and Dcn. Martin Rangel-Garcia will be ordained with eight others May 26 in Nebraska.

Shirley Wallace, Dcn. Wallace’s mother, said she is “getting more energized and excited every day. It’s unreal to me and I can’t believe I will have a priest staying in my home when he comes to visit which is right after ordination.”

His Mass of Thanksgiving is 9 a.m. June 2 at St. Catherine.

Dcn. Martin Rangel-Garcia is reportedly a long-term member of Mater Misericordiae Mission and should be assigned there post-ordination.

A day after ordinations for the fraternity and Crosiers is the transitional diaconate ordination of Chris Gossen, a diocesan seminarian. It airs and streams live May 27 during the regular 9 a.m. Mass from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.

New priests

The handful becoming priests — two for a religious order and three for the Diocese of Phoenix — count themselves among 430 prospective ordinands nationwide. Br. Alex and Dcn. Wallace are among at least 78 ordinands to the religious priesthood with the Phoenix trio — Dcn. Frank Cicero, Dcn. John Nahrgang and Dcn. Vinhson Nguyen — part of at least 252 ordinands to diocesan priesthood.

U.S. Ordinations
Class of 2018

Full report

“People might be surprised to know…” (Part 1)

“People might be surprised to know…” (Part 2)

Another 96 were unaccounted for because they didn’t respond to the annual Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood put out by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

The U.S. Church received more new priests last year — 160 more — and 86 percent of those to be ordained in 2018 reported being encouraged to discern a religious vocation.

Deacons Frankie Cicero, John Nahrgang and Vinhson Nguyen will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix June 16.

Mass of Thanksgiving

Fr. Frankie Cicero

12 p.m., June 17
St. Timothy Parish, 1730 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa

Fr. John Nahrgang

10:30 a.m., June 17
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 5614 W. Orangewood Ave., Glendale

Fr. Vinhson Nguyen

10 a.m., June 17
Resurrection Parrish, 3201 S. Evergreen Rd., Tempe

Fr. Alex Juguilon, OSC

10 a.m., May 27
St. Gregory Parish, 3424 N. 18th Ave., Phoenix

Fr. Rick Wallace, FSSP

9 a.m., June 2
St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 6200 S. Central Ave., Phoenix

For Dcn. Nahrgang, one of those “encouragers” was a Missionary of Charity — five years before he even converted to Catholicism. He ultimately spent three years discerning a Marian religious community before entering the diocesan seminary. Throughout it all he has gained a greater appreciation for the treasures of the Church and the gift of faith.

“It has put me in a position to offer so much,” Dcn. Nahrgang said, noting the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of formation.

Growing up, it took time for Dcn. Cicero and Dcn. Nguyen to develop a strong two-way relationship with God. Great mercy and suffering ultimately captured Dcn. Cicero’s soul while a varied sacramental life prepared Dcn. Nguyen’s heart to ponder a religious call. Seminary life stressed the importance of community life for Dcn. Nguyen.

“As members of the Body of Christ we are not called to live in isolation from one another but rather, we are called to be in community,” the senior seminarian wrote from Rome.

Though the young men will begin as parochial vicars at separate parishes, the ordinands emerge from seminary prepared to be good shepherds, explained Fr. Paul Sullivan, diocesan director of vocations. He said the priests-to-be are gifted in the ability to teach the faith — including in Spanish. All three will begin serving bilingual parishes July 1.

“They all have the ability to serve those in great need or who are experiencing suffering in their lives,” Fr. Sullivan said.

It’s fitting, given some of the symbolism and key moments of the Ordination Mass. The second half will have the new priests taking turns leading the prayer of consecration, “his first offering of the holy sacrifice given to us by Jesus,” Fr. Sullivan explained.

Shortly before that, it’s tradition that mothers of the new priests bring up the gifts for consecration.

“There is something special here,” Fr. Sullivan said. “Parents offer their son to the Church and he, in turn, offers himself as a gift in order that the people would have Jesus’ greatest gift, which is His very Body and Blood.”