Eight men are completing preparation for ordination to the priesthood, which will take place at a special liturgy celebrated by Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland, at 7 p.m. on May 19 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Members of this year’s ordination class, their home parishes and parents are:
- Deacon Soohyun (Peter) Bang, Namsan Church, Archdiocese of Daegu, South Korea, son of Yongjoon Bang and Taesoon Park;
- Deacon Jacob B. Bearer, St. Mary Parish, Painesville, son of Brian and Kelly Bearer;
- Deacon James M. Cosgrove, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Parma, son of Michael and Mary Cosgrove;
- Deacon Eric S. Garris, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Wickliffe, son of Jennifer Garris and the late Robert Garris;
- Deacon Matthew W. Jordan, Francis De Sales Parish, Akron, son of Walter and Sharon Jordan;
- Deacon Robert D. McWilliams, Immaculate Conception Parish, Akron, son of Sharon Berube and the late Walter McWilliams;
- Deacon Peter A. Morris, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Elyria, son of Alex Morris and the late Mary Lou Morris; and
- Deacon Anthony J. Simone, St. Mary Parish, Hudson, son of Kathy Ann Simone and the late Anthony Simone, Sr.
“They are engaged in finishing their academic program and spiritually preparing for the priesthood,” said Father Mark Latcovich, president-rector of Borromeo Seminary and St. Mary Seminary. “This is a lifelong commitment. They are excited and at peace.”
Father Latcovich said seven of the eight candidates are for service to the Diocese of Cleveland, while one is from the Archdiocese of Daegu, South Korea. The Archdiocese of Daegu has had a long relationship with St. Mary Seminary and has sent nine men to be trained to study. Currently, along with Deacon Peter Soohyun Bang, there are two other South Korean seminarians in our formation program, he added.
“Our relationship with the Archdiocese of Daegu goes back 20 years,” Father Latcovich said. “It is a rich blessing for our seminary to have these men in formation sharing with us their culture and their faith.”
When a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Daegu is ordained, Father Latcovich said he remains in Cleveland for his first four-year assignment as a priest.
The men preparing for ordination are serving as deacons in parishes throughout the diocese, where they minister from Saturday through Monday evening in parish ministry. They have completed a rigorous program of pastoral formation each semester, including a year (or two summer internships) in parishes. Deacon Bang is assigned to St. Charles Borromeo, Parma; his internship was at St. John Vianney, Mentor and St. Charles Borromeo, Parma. Deacon Bearer is assigned to St. John Vianney, Mentor; his internship was at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cuyahoga Falls. Deacon Cosgrove is assigned to Holy Family, Stow; his internship was at Church of the Holy Angels, Chagrin Falls. Deacon Garris is assigned to St. Adalbert, Berea; his internship was at St. Hilary, Akron. Deacon Jordan is assigned to St. Ambrose, Brunswick; his internship was at St. Anselm, Chesterland. Deacon McWilliams is assigned to Our Lady of Angels in Cleveland; his internship was at St. Helen, Newbury. Deacon Morris is assigned to St. Thomas More, Brooklyn; his internship was at SS. Robert and William, Euclid. Deacon Simone is assigned to Church of the Holy Angels, Bainbridge; his internship was at St. Augustine, Tremont and at Church of the Holy Angels, Bainbridge.
“All of these men will be awarded two graduate degrees: a master of arts in theology and master of divinity on May 11,” Father Latcovich said.
The candidates were interviewed by Bishop Thomas in late March and met with him again in late April to receive their first assignment as parochial vicars and attend an afternoon workshop with their pastors.
“The first parish assignment plays a significant role in the life of a priest. It allows him to be mentored by his first pastor and staff and establishes a pastoral bond with the people to whom he ministers,” Father Latcovich said.