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Society of Jesus Ordains New Deacons

December 6, 2019 — This year, U.S. and Canadian Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate at several different Masses in both countries. For a Jesuit in formation, ordination to the diaconate is the final step in preparation for priestly ordination in the Society of Jesus.

Two American Jesuits were among five men ordained as deacons on May 11 by the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa, at St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto: Kevin Hughes, SJ, and Gregory Celio, SJ. Canadian Jesuits Adam Hincks, SJ, and Ted Penton, SJ, were also ordained to the priesthood at the Mass.

Five Jesuits were ordained deacons on May 11 in Toronto, along with two Jesuits who were ordained to the priesthood.

Both Hughes and Celio are currently studying theology at Regis College in Toronto, and they will be ordained to the priesthood in 2020, along with the rest of the Jesuits ordained as deacons this year.

Eight Jesuits were ordained deacons on Sept. 21 at the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at Boston College by the Most Reverend Peter J. Uglietto, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. The new deacons, seven Americans and one Australian, are all studying theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. The Jesuits ordained in Boston were: Thomas Biegler, SJ; Jason Downer, SJ; James Ferus, SJ; David Lugo, SJ; Douglas Ray, SJ; Phillip Romero, SJ; Matthew Stewart, SJ; and Eka Tanaya, SJ.

Eight Jesuits were ordained deacons on Sept. 21 in Boston.

On Oct. 19, four U.S. Jesuits and one Mexican Jesuit were ordained as deacons by the Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland, at Saint Mary’s College Chapel in Moraga, California: Victor Ramos, SJ; Perry Petrich, SJ; Justin Claravall, SJ; San Mai, SJ; and Joshua Peters, SJ. These new deacons are currently studying theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.

Five Jesuits were ordained deacons Oct. 19 in Moraga, California.

Canadian Jesuit Kevin Kelly, SJ, was ordained to the diaconate in Perth, Ontario, on Oct. 26 by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ. The Mass took place at the Kelly family’s home parish of St. John the Baptist.

Kevin Kelly, SJ, with his parents and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast on Oct. 26.

The new deacons were ordained as part of their formation to become priests, and they are authorized to proclaim the Word of God, to preach and to preside at the sacraments of baptism and marriage and at the rite of Christian burial. Learn more about the stages of Jesuit formation at

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