FALL RIVER — Four seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Fall River Diocese will be ordained transitional deacons by Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V, in the context of an 11 a.m. Mass on Saturday, May 21, in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River.
To be ordained are Brian P. Connors, John Garabedian, Christopher D. Hughes, and Thiago Menezes Santos. As deacons, they will be able to assist the priest at Mass and be an ordinary minister of the Eucharist, proclaim the Gospel and preach, baptize, and minister at other services.
Their ordination to the transitional diaconate will begin their final year of preparation for the priesthood. In the fall, they will return to Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, N.J., for their fourth and final year of studies, and it is anticipated that each will be ordained a priest next spring. The seminarians have assisted in different parishes during breaks from the seminary as part of their formation.
Connors is 31 years old and the son of Michael and Janice Connors. He is a 2009 graduate of Dighton-Rehoboth High School. Experiencing a conversion of faith while in his 20s, he received the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church in 2015 and began seeking opportunities to deepen his faith through retreats, witness sharing, and involvement in his home parish, Holy Family in East Taunton. He entered the seminary in 2017.
Garabedian, also 31, is from Mansfield, Mass. and is a parishioner of St. Mary Parish in that town. He is the son of John and Claire Garabedian. A 2009 graduate of Mansfield High School, he went on to Bridgewater State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in graphic design. He worked as a graphic artist and baseball coach for a few years as he discerned a vocation to the priesthood.
Hughes, 26, is a native of Sandwich, Mass., and the son of Daniel and Joanna Hughes. He is a parishioner of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee, where he has been active throughout his life, as a server, lector, and sacristan, in faith formation and in youth ministry. He is a 2013 graduate of St. John Paul II High School in Hyannis and a 2017 graduate of St. Joseph College’s in Maine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Santos is 25 years old and the son of Sergio Santana Santos and the late Laura Teles Menezes Santos. Born and raised in Aracaju, Brazil, he was involved in catechetical and evangelization programs in his home parish there. He began his preparation for the priesthood at the Our Lady of Conception Major Seminary in Aracaju. He was asked by Bishop da Cunha to consider serving as a priest in the United States in the Diocese of Fall River. He accepted the invitation and transferred to the Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey to complete his theological studies.
The Ordination on Saturday will be livestreamed on the Fall River Diocesan Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fallriverdiocese