Archbishop Myers to Ordain Nonet of Priests on May 24 at Cathedral Basilica Mass
The ordinandi, ranging in age from 27 to 65, recalled the challenges and joy of seminary training and shared their life experiences and spiritual insights. Many identified youth ministry work as having nurtured the Lord's call to service as well as a desire to provide humble ministry while working among God's people. For one man, the journey to the priesthood began 10 years ago following the death of his beloved wife.
"I am exceptionally confident that the Class of 2008 will bring a wealth of priestly service to the Archdiocese of Newark, Msgr. Thomas Nydegger, vice rector and director of formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary on the campus of Seton Hall University (SHU), South Orange, said, commenting on the new priests. "They have invested themselves so totally in the program of priestly formation that the pastoral care they will bring in their priesthood will serve the people of God with great dedication and love."
"They are good men-mature and tested by a long itinerary of deepening their faith in the Neocatechumenal Way." Father Tobias Rodriguez Lasa, assistant to the rector at Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary, Kearny, said, offering his view of the Class of 2008.
"As they have already shown in their diverse diocesan and missionary ministries and assignments, they are full of zeal to evangelize and bring to other people the joy and the consolation of the Gospel," he continued. "I am grateful to the Lord for the richness of their different backgrounds and abilities, which is doubtless a gift for the Archdiocese of Newark."
Biographies of the nine new archdiocesan priests follow:
Father Michael C. Barone
Buffalo, NY, native Father Michael C. Barone, attended St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Canisius College, both in his hometown; the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania; Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology at SHU and Mount Saint Mary's University Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD. He holds a Bachelor degree in classics and philosophy from the University of Scranton and a Master of Divinity degree from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary.
Father Barone received his field education and summer assignments at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in the Ironbound section of Newark and Saint Michael's Hospital, also in Newark. He will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving May 25, 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, West Orange, where he served as deacon. Father Brian Woodrow will be the homilist.
Father Pedro Bismarck Chau
Born in Managua, Nicaragua, Father Pedro Bismarck Chau, 40, attended Immaculate Conception Seminary and has a Bachelor degree in psychology and a Master of Divinity degree in moral theology.
Before entering the seminary, Father Chau worked for 13 years as a general accounting clerk for a New York life insurance company and lived in Brooklyn. During that time he became "very much involved" in the Charismatic Renewal at the parish and diocesan levels.
He was a deacon at Saint Francis deSales Parish in Lodi and received field education and summer ministry at Saint Joseph Parish in Maplewood and Saint Aloysius Parish in Jersey City.
Father Chau will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving at noon, May 25 at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Linden, his home parish. The Mass will be interpreted in American Sign Language for the deaf community. Msgr. Nydegger will be the homilist.
Father Andres Condoner Contell
Father Andres Condoner Contell, a 27-year-old native of Valencia, Spain, was a student at Redemptoris Mater, the archdiocesan missionary seminary in Kearny. He earned a Bachelor degree in Education and a Master in Systematic Theology degree from SHU.
Father Contell received his field education and summer assignments at Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Union City; Our Lady of the Assumption, East Boston, MA; and Sacred Heart Parish, Lyndhurst. He was a deacon at Saint Aloysius Parish in the Ironbound section of Newark.
Father Contell will be the homilist at his first Mass of Thanksgiving May 25, 11:30 a.m., at Saint Aloysius Parish.
Father Raphael Lee
Father Raphael Lee, 33, who hails from Seoul, South Korea, worked at a shipping company for a number of years before entering the seminary. After having first obtained a Bachelor degree in psychology from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Father Lee attended Immaculate Conception Seminary and earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts, Biblical Studies degrees. He served as a deacon at Saint Henry Parish in Bayonne and received his field education and summer assignments at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark.
Father Lee will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Joseph Korean Church, Demarest, May 25 at 5:15 p.m. Father Jungsoo Diego Kim will be the homilist.
Father Ireneusz Pierzchala
Father Ireneusz Pierzchala, 28, born in Kozienice, Poland, received his higher education at the Diocesan Seminary in Radam at Cardinal Wyrzynski University in Warsaw and SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, MI. He received his formal training at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD.
His field education and summer assignments included Most Sacred Heart Parish, Wallington, as well as Saint Paul the Apostle and Saint Aloysius parishes in Jersey City. Father Pierzchala will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving May 25, noon, at Saint Theresa Parish, Kenilworth, where he served as a deacon. The homilist will be the pastor, Father Joseph S. Bejgrowicz, V.F.
Father Manuel R. Romerde
Father Manuel R. Romerde, 37, is a native of Totolan, Dauis, Bohol in the Philippines. He attended high school and college at Holy Name University in the Philippines, and obtained degrees from Saint Anthony Claret College of Philosophy and the Maryhill School of Theology also in the Philippines. His seminary training took place at the Claret Formation Center.
Before entering the seminary, Father Romerde was an education major in the Philippines. It was during those days he began volunteering at his diocese's youth ministry.
Father Romerde received his field education and summer assignments at Assumption of Our Lady Parish in his hometown and Saint Hilary of Pointiers Parish in Louisiana. He served his deaconate year at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Wyckoff, where he will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving on the day of his ordination at 5 p.m. Most Rev. Antonieto Cabajog, Bishop of Surigao City in the Philippines, and Father Ferando Po, parochial vicar at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, will be the homilists.
Father Ivan Sant
A deacon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, Father Ivan Sant, 29, was born in Pieta, Malta and was studying to be an electronics technician before entering Redemptoris Mater in Kearny.
The recipient of a Master in Systematic Theology degree from SHU, Father Sant received his field education and summer assignments at Saint Mary Parish, Plainfield, and Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Union City. The Cathedral Basilica will be the site of Father Sant's first Mass of Thanksgiving on May 25 at noon. He will be the homilist.
Father Bruno Sammarco
Married 22 years before losing his wife to breast cancer on Good Friday a decade ago, Father Bruno Sammarco, 65, entered Redemptoris Mater at the age of 59. Despite this calling to the priesthood relatively late in his life, Father Sammarco is convinced "the owner of the vineyard has called me like a worker of the last hour."
Before entering the seminary, Father Sammarco, born in Civitanova del Sannio, Italy, had been a managing director in the International Division of Telecom Italia SpA, which, at the time, was the largest corporation in Italy.
He attended Classic Lyceum at Santa Marie College in Rome and holds a Licentiate in Mathematics along with a Master of Divinity degree. He was a deacon at Saint Columba Parish in Newark and received his field education and summer assignments at Holy Redeemer Parish in West New York and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Newark.
Father Sammarco will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving May 24, 8 p.m. at Saint Columba. He will be the homilist.
Father Paolo Tanzini
Born in Poggibonsi, Italy, Father Paolo Tanzini, 42, attended Redemptoris Mater and was a deacon at Holy Redeemer Parish in West New York. He attended Universita degli Studi di Firenze in Italy and Immaculate Conception Seminary's School of Theology at SHU.
Father Tanzini has a bachelor degree in Mathematics, and Master of Divinity degrees in Pastoral Ministry and Systematic Theology. His field education and summer assignments were at Holy Redeemer Parish and Holy Family Parish, Nutley.
Father Tanzini will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving May 25, 11:15 a.m., at Holy Redeemer Parish. He will be the homilist.