By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor
Moments after the June 2 Mass of Ordination in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, had concluded, Christian Brother Frank Byrne, president of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, and Christian Brother Ralph Montedoro happily reflected on the blessing of having three CBA graduates receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
“It’s great for the school to know that three of our [former] students were ordained today,” said Brother Frank, noting that he knew Father Nicholas Dolan when he was a student at CBA, but Father Christopher Dayton and Father Michael De Saye had already graduated by the time he arrived to the school nine years ago.
“It’s special for our school,” Brother Frank said. “It speaks well of Catholic education in general that the school helped plant the seed in the young men along with their families to nurture and grow into ordination today.”
Brother Ralph, the school’s executive vice president, said it was a privilege to be present for the ordination and that he was honored knowing that the CBA community had played a part in the men’s priestly journeys.
“They were typical CBA young boys who we helped to nurture,” he said.
“Who would have known they would have gone on to pursue the seminary? [God] touched their lives and called them, and they said ‘yes’ to the call,” he said.
Father DeSaye also remarked on how his CBA education helped inspire his vocation, saying, “They laid a good foundation in
Catholic morals and Catholic culture, which I think is fundamental to anyone who is going to discern a priestly vocation.”
A wide smile came crossed Brother Frank’s face as he reflected on the number of graduates from the all-male school who went on to become priests.
With the ordinations of Father Dayton, Father DeSaye and Father Dolan, “we now have nine,” said Brother Frank, who then proceeded to name other priest alumni, especially those who are currently serving in the Trenton Diocese – Father Robert Holtz, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton; Father Joseph Farrell, pastor of Assumption Parish, New Egypt and St. Andrew Parish, Jobstown; Father Jarlath Quinn, parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Pennington, St. George Parish, Titusville, and St. Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell; and Father Kenneth Ekdahl, pastor of Jesus the Lord Parish, Keyport.
“We keep praying for vocations to continue to the priesthood and religious life,” including vocations to the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the community which staffs CBA,” he said.