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. More ... Friday, June 15, 2018
Father James R. Smith, ordained June 2 by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., hadn’t seen the glimmers of life as a priest during his childhood – but others had.
As his mother worked in the rectory of their home parish, Incarnation in Ewing, other parishioners surmised he might join the ranks of these men of God.
“Being raised in a Catholic family, I was well-rooted in my faith,” said the 39-year-old Father Smith, one of four children born to Deborah and Robert Smith Sr. He attended Trenton’s Parkway Elementary, then graduated in 1993 from Incarnation Parish School, Ewing. (Incarnation Parish is now Incarnation-St. James.)
Following his graduation from Ewing High School in 1997, the young Smith worked in a number of jobs for more than 10 years, including as a jeweler and a bassist who produced and performed music with numerous area bands.
Ask newly ordained Father Christopher James Dayton what he’s looking forward to as he begins priestly life in Belmar’s St. Rose Parish, and he quickly answers: being part of people’s lives in good times and bad, in the sacred and the every day.
In doing so, Father Dayton said he hopes to follow the examples of his family and the priests who nourished his faith formation from kindergarten to ordination.
In the weeks leading up to his June 2 ordination as a priest by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Father Dayton reflected on how much the support of his family and priest mentors meant to him as he discerned his vocation. Father Dayton is one of four boys and four girls born to Chip and Melissa Dayton.
“The family played a huge role in the whole process that led to becoming a priest,” Father Dayton said. “The love of my mom and dad held me to an ideal. I wanted the happiness they have had through their self-giving to eight kids.”
Michael G. DeSaye looks at the priesthood as a family, which is no wonder considering he grew up with devoutly religious parents, three siblings and years of Catholic education.
“There’s something to be said for the word ‘father’ as used for priests,” said Father DeSaye, who was ordained a priest June 2 by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. “It’s interesting that you should call them father and not ‘sir’ or something like that. A father is someone who gave up what he was doing to be a model, a self-sacrificing person, for others because he loves them. More ... Friday, June 15, 2018
Not long after Father Nicholas Dolan was ordained as a transitional deacon last year, he returned to his seminary studies, sharing with a priest friend that he had never before experienced God in such a unique way.
“He said to me, ‘Well you’re right. When we receive the Sacraments, it is a new experience of God. You’re coming to know him in a way that you’ve never known him before, and he’s revealing himself to you in a way he has never revealed himself to you before.’
“I think that will be even more the case with the priesthood,” said Father Dolan, who was ordained a priest June 2 by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
While most priests begin their journey at a new parish, Father Dolan returns to St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank, where he has served for the past five years with pastor Father Alberto Tamayo as a brother and most recently a deacon. The parish is the home of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, who was known for his great humor and joy. As an Oratorian, Father Dolan lives and prays with his fellow priests and brothers, as the Oratory is the community’s permanent residence.
The diocesan Department of Multimedia Production has made available two video presentations of the 2018 ordination during which Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. elevated four men to the Order of Priesthood June 2 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. More ... Thursday, June 7, 2018
“It’s an interesting coincidence that directly behind the Bishop’s chair is a depiction of the bishop ordaining,” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., said June 2, gesturing to the stained-glass window behind him in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
“Between this window, and that window,” he said, pointing to the one above the Diocese’s four newly ordained priests on the opposite side of the Cathedral, “which pictures a priest doing his work and preaching, what do we have? We have these four men – Father Smith, Father Dolan, Father DeSaye and Father Dayton – and we all say congratulations to you.”