Victoria Garcia 
(973) 497-4189 
garciavi@rcan.org
For Release 
May 18, 1999 

At 16 ordination class is largest in the Nation 

Archbishop of Newark Theodore E. McCarrick will ordain sixteen men to the priesthood at 9 a.m. on Saturday May 29, 1999 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark.  According the United States Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of Newark's class is again the largest ordination class in the United States. The Archdiocese of New York follows with 11 men. 

The Archbishop has ordained more than 200 seminarians to the priesthood since becoming a bishop in 1981. The Archdiocese of Newark is a leader among US dioceses for the number of priests ordained in the last decade. 

All of the men to be ordained attended either Immaculate Conception Seminary, on Seton Hall
University's South Orange campus, or Redemptoris Mater, the Archdiocese's missionary  Seminary in Kearny that provides formation to many foreign-born seminarians. 

Nationally, this year's ordination class will help to increase the racial-ethnic mix of the U.S. Catholic clergy. According to a survey conducted for the U.S. Bishops's Committee on Vocations, one-fourth of those to be ordained this year are of nonwhite origins. 

Ten of the men being ordained in the Archdiocese of Newark are foreign born, which parallels statistics from a national survey that indicates more than one-fifth of the U.S. seminarians to be ordained this year were born in another country. 

Six men in the Newark ordination class were born in the United States. The remaining men hail from such diverse places as Vietnam, Mexico, the Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, Wales, Poland, Tanzania, Korea, Malta and the Dominican Republic. 

BIOGRAPHIES
 

Donato Cabardo Jr.
Father Cabardo, 35, was born in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, Western Visayas, Philippines, to Donato Cabardo Sr. (deceased) and Milagros Cabardo. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City in 1986 and has proficiency in guidance and counseling and religious education from the Mother of Life Center in Novaliches, Quezon City. He also was a fourth-year high school religious-education teacher, 1987-89, prior to entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Father Cabardo will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, Bergenfield, followed by a reception in Conlon Hall.
 

 

Richard Cabezas
Father Cabezas, 55, was born in Hoboken to Eleanor Mary Curley and Roberto Humberto Cabezas. Before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary, he served 28 years in education as a school teacher and administrator. He earned a doctorate in education from New York University in 1991.

Father Cabezas will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at St. John the Evangelist Church, Bergenfield.
 

James Chern
Father Chern, 25, was born in Summit to George and Jo Ann Chern and was raised in Clark. He earned a bachelor's degree in theology and philosophy from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Center Valley, Penn., before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Father Chern will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at St. Agnes Church, Clark, and a Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday, June 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Ridgewood.
 

Minhyun Cho
Father Cho, 35, was born in Seoul, Korea, to Nae-Seo Cho (father) and Sung-Ja Cho (mother). He served in the Korean Army, 1987-89, and was a construction worker, 1990-1991, before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary. He also earned a master's degree from Drew University in 1997.

Father Cho will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Kim Church, Orange, followed by a reception there.
 

Dominic Ciriaco
Father Ciriaco, 28, was born in Newark to Dominic and Judith Ciriaco and was raised in West Caldwell. He earned a bachelor's degree in social studies and secondary education from Caldwell College. He taught fourth grade at Sacred Heart School, Lyndhurst, prior to entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Father Ciriaco will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Aloysius Church, Caldwell, and a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, June 6 at noon at St. Michael's Church, Cranford.

Hadmels Defrias
Father Defrias, 27, was born in Santo Domingo de Guzman, Dominican Republic, to Rafael Milciades Cabiera and Rosa Esterlina Gaton. He came to the United States in 1988 and earned a bachelor's degree from Seton Hall College Seminary in 1995.

Father Defrias will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 12:45 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Union City, followed by a reception in the parish hall.
 
 

Gregory Brian Hann
Father Hann, 29, was born at Fort Dix to Simon and Joan Hann. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Scranton, before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Father Hann will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Summit, and a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 13 at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Hackensack. A reception will follow his Saturday, May 29 ordination at L'Affaire Caterers, Mountainside.
 

Sudash Joseph Kokeram
Father Kokeram, 36, was born in Trinidad and Tobago to Lloyd and Bhragatter Kokeram. He came to the United States in 1987. Before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary, he earned a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and was an electronic engineer.

Father Kokeram will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Newark.
 

Miroslaw Krol
Father Krol, 28, was born in Gorlice, Poland, to Marian (father) and Helena (mother) Krol. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Christ the King Seminary in Poland in 1994, before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Father Krol will celebrate his first Mass (in English and Polish) on Sunday, May 30 at 2 p.m. at St. Theresa's Church, Linden.

     

Sean Manson
Father Manson, 35, was born in Cardiff, Wales, to Joseph and Linda Manson. He worked for four years in Cardiff, before earning a B. Ed. (Hons.) degree from the College of St. Paul and St. Mary in England in 1990. He came to the United States that year to enter Redemptoris Mater Seminary. His priestly formation included missionary work in various parts of the United States, including Oklahoma, Illinois, Arizona and Louisiana.

Father Manson will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 1:15 p.m. at Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Hoboken, followed by a reception in the school hall.
 

Jose Emigdio Marquez
Father Marquez, 39, was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, to Emigdio Marquez (deceased) and Maria del Refugio Marquez. He came to the United States in 1961 and earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering at California Polytechnic University at Pomona in 1991. He worked for McDonnell Douglas Corp. aircraft company, Long Beach, Calif., prior to entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Father Marquez will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at St. Theresa Church, Kenilworth.
 

Siffredus Rwechungura
Father Rwechungura, 44, was born in Kamachumu, Tanzania, East Africa, to Balthasar Nkunda (father) and Sarapia Kokunura (mother). He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics at the University of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. Before entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary, he served a year in military service, three years as an air-traffic controller and four years as a computer programmer, all in Tanzania.

Father Rwechungura will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church, Elizabeth, followed by a reception in St. Patrick's cafeteria.
 

Ivan Sciberras
Father Sciberras, 29, was born in Pieta, Malta, to John and Helen Sciberras. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Malta and worked as a school teacher in Malta, prior to entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary. His priestly formation included missionary work in Minnesota and Illinois.

Father Sciberras will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 12:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, Garfield, followed by a reception in Father Casserly Hall.
 

James Starasinich
Father Starasinich, 37, was born in Joliet, Ill., to William and Elizabeth Starasinich. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force with security police in Wyoming and Sicily and worked for United Parcel Service for four years, prior to entering Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Father Starasinich will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Newark.
 

Peter Hung Viet Tran
Father Tran, 28, was born in Vietnam to Tran Quang Khanh (father) and Nguyen Yen Binh (mother). Father Tran earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies and philosophy at Seton Hall University in 1995 and studied for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary. He left Vietnam for America nine years ago.

Father Tran will celebrate his first Mass on Saturday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, and his first Mass in Vietnamese on Sunday, May 30 at 3 p.m. at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, the Bronx.
 

Peter Gregg Wehrle
Father Wehrle, 36, was born in Thomaston, Conn., to Francis and Hilda Wehrle. He earned a bachelor's degree in German and master's degree in finance and information systems, both from the University of Rochester, N.Y. He also earned a bachelor's degree in sacred theology from Gregorian University, Rome. Father Wehrle was an accounting consultant for Lista AG, Erlen, Switzerland, and a systems analyst for Morgan Stanley, New York City, prior to entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Father Wehrle will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 30 at noon at Holy Family Church, Nutley.

 
1999 News Releases