CINCINNATI — The faithful of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati rejoiced May 20, 2023, as Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr ordained seven men to the priesthood. The ordination Mass took place at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Downtown Cincinnati. The seven men are Patrick Blenman, Isaiah Callan, Alex Dugas, Stephen Hughes, Jonathan Jergens, Jeff Stephens and David Duy Tran.
“As Jesus did with Peter, He invites the seven deacons being ordained to the priesthood today, to follow him, in a deep and intimate way,” said Schnurr in his homily. “My dear brothers, Jesus invites you to grow in your love for him. But in so doing, Jesus reminds you – and all of us – that our love of God is hardly revealed through pious expressions or in vague concepts. It is measured neither by the intensity of our participation in rituals nor by our assertions of personal righteousness. Rather, true love of God is something much more profound and humbling.”
He continued, “God has led you here; He has created you for this moment. Your ordination is the culmination of years of careful discernment, fervent prayer, hard work, and–of course – the generous outpouring of God’s grace.”
The seven men expressed great excitement and humility for their long-awaited ordination day.
“I am so excited to serve the faithful of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati,” said Dugas. “I want to grow in my love of the Lord throughout my life and I pray earnestly that I can help many souls to love him more, too.”
Stephens echoed his sentiments saying, “Every soul is on its own unique profound adventure, beginning here and ending in eternity. What a gift the priest is given to be a part of so many people’s adventures.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has seen a significant increase in vocations over the last several years. This increase has been a top priority for Schnurr, and one he has encouraged the faithful of this archdiocese to join him in. Specifically, he has asked everyone to pray the Prayer for Vocations often.
“The archdiocesan prayer for vocations works – it’s why I’m here,” said Jergens. “I would encourage everyone to pray it every time they go to Mass.”
At the end of Mass, the assignments for the seven new priests were announced. They are:
• The Rev. Patrick Blenman is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at Mary Help of Christians, Fairborn; Sacred Heart, New Carlisle; St. Augustine, Jamestown; St. Brigid, Xenia; St. Luke, Beavercreek; and St. Paul, Yellow Springs. He said his first Mass Sunday, May 21, at his home church, Holy Angels Church in Sidney.
• The Rev. Isaiah Callan is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Boniface, Piqua; St. Mary, Piqua; St. Patrick, Troy; St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus, Covington; and Transfiguration, West Milton.
• The Rev. Alex Dugas is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Anthony, Madisonville; St. Cecilia, Oakely; St. Margaret-Saint John, Madisonville; and St. Mary, Hyde Park. He said his first Mass on Sunday, May 21, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Wapakoneta.
• The Rev. Stephen Hughes is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Columban, Loveland and St. Margaret of York, Loveland.
• The Rev. Jonathan Jergens is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Susanna, Mason.
• The Rev. Jeffrey Stephens is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at Annunciation, Clifton; St. Monica-Saint George, Clifton; and Holy Name, Mount Auburn.
• The Rev. David Tran is assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Ignatius of Loyola, Monfort Heights.
A priest’s first Mass is often a widely advertised Mass. All of the newly ordained priests will be celebrating Masses throughout the archdiocese for the next 5-6 weeks before settling into their assignments that begin on July 1.