Graduates head home for ordination
Meet five from Toledo, Louisville, and Fathers of Mercy
Five men from outside the archdiocese who have been preparing for the priesthood at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary will be ordained in their dioceses or religious orders this spring. With Cincinnati’s four graduates, they make up the ordination class of 2018.
Deacon Victor-Antonio Moratin will be ordained June 2 by the Fathers of Mercy, an order of priests founded after the French Revolution to re-evangelize Catholics by preaching missions and retreats about God’s mercy available to all through the sacraments. Their community is now based in Auburn, Kentucky.
Three men from Toledo, Deacons Kyle Gase, Scott Perry, and Andrew Wellmann, will be ordained May 26 at the city’s Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral by Bishop Daniel Thomas.
Deacon Robert Barnell will also be ordained May 26, in Louisville’s Cathedral of the Assumption, by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz.
Deacon Barnell said he first felt the call to the priesthood in eighth grade. With age came a deeper understanding of “how Christ’s power could save us from our sinfulness and lead us to peace, joy and true love of God and our neighbor,” he said.
He attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Louisville and holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. He cites volunteering in the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, and a priest who befriended him in college, Father Rick Nagel, with affirming his discernment of a vocation.
He is the son of Thom and Joan Barnell and has a brother and a sister.
Deacon Kyle Gase of Fostoria (Diocese of Toledo) said a family conversion back to practicing the faith that took place when he was in high school resulted in his dis-cernment. “During the following years I came to fall in love with the Catholic faith, and the seed of a vocation to the priesthood was planted,” he said.
“Be open to the Lord’s will for your life. No matter the vocation to which you are called, as long as you remain open to His grace and promptings of the Holy Spirit, He will take care of you.”
He did his undergraduate work in philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus.
Deacon Scott Perry, Tiffin, (Diocese of Toledo) holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University, but his mother, Jane, suspected he had a vocation at his high school graduation. “In his valedictorian speech, he spoke of faith and hope in God, and was very comfortable doing so,” she said. She and his father, Roger, “asked him before and during college if he thought he might have a calling. He said, ‘No, I don’t think so,” but eventually he would see what we all saw early on.”
When he decided to explore the idea that he might have a vocation to priesthood, Deacon Perry said, “I experienced a deep sense of peace that has never left and has only grown stronger over my time in the seminary.” He has three siblings.
Deacon Andrew Wellmann, son of Jim and Jean Wellmann, hails from Delphos (Diocese of Toledo). He attended Ohio Northern University and Pontifical College Josephinum.
“The thought of being a priest appealed to me at an early age,” he said. “I always saw it as a possibility, and from there the desire grew.
“It is most important to be open to the Lord,” he said. “Talk to Him daily about His plan for your life and trust that He will help you as you discern your vocation. Be courageous! Do not be afraid of the Lord and what He asks of you.”
Brother Victor-Antonio Moratin (Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy) said he was reluctant when he first felt a nudge towards the priesthood, but “I began to grow in my relationship with Him and He began to nudge me to say yes to His call to be a priest.”
He holds a degree in engineering from Montgomery College in his native Maryland, and in philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut.
Archdiocese of Louisville:
May 26, 11 a.m., Cathedral of
Diocese of Toledo:
May 26, 11 a.m., Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral
Fathers of Mercy:
June 2, 10 a.m. CDT, Chapel of Divine Mercy, Auburn, Kentucky