METUCHEN, NJ – Three seminarians, including a 2011 graduate of Hillsborough High School, will be be ordained as deacons by Diocese of Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio during a Mass of the Rite of Ordination on Saturday, May 19 at the Cathedral of St Francis of Assisi, 548 Main St.
A second seminarian will be assigned to Mary, Mother of God Parish in Hillsborough, while in his final year of seminary in preparation for priesthood ordination.
All three men are natives of the Diocese of Metuchen which includes parishes in five central New Jersey counties.
They are expected to be ordained as priests in June, 2019 and are among the 20 seminarians preparing for service in the priesthood – the largest number of seminarians the Diocese of Metuchen has had in 25 years.
The faithful are also asked to pray for an increase of vocations, so that the Church in Metuchen may be shepherded by good and holy servants.
“All of the candidates have been truly committed to their seminary formation, and most importantly, are men of prayer,” said Father Jason Pavich, director of the Office for Vocations. “They have diverse backgrounds and the gifts that they have will be of great service to the Diocese of Metuchen.”
Michael Tabernero, 25, is at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa. Tabernero, born in Summit, is a graduate of Hillsborough High School. His home parish is St. Joseph in Hillsborough. He graduated from Seton Hall University in South Orange, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Catholic theology and philosophy. Upon his ordination as a deacon, he will serve at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Bernardsville, while in his final year of seminary in preparation for priesthood ordination.
He said that the nighttime prayers taught to him by his parents played a big role in his initial discernment. “It was in those nightly prayers that the seeds of my vocation took root.”
Reflecting on the highlights of his time in seminary, Tabernero mentioned that the process of formation, growing in prayer, cultivating a life of virtue and becoming more comfortable with people in pastoral settings has strengthened his vocation.
Joseph Illes, 27, is studying at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. Illes, who was born in Phillipsburg, is a graduate of Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown. His home parish is St. Philip and St. James in Phillipsburg. He graduated from the University of Richmond, Va., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Upon his ordination as a deacon, he will serve at Mary, Mother of God Parish in Hillsborough, while in his final year of seminary in preparation for priesthood ordination.
In his freshman year, Illes spent a prayerful weekend at a Benedictine monastery. The spiritual and prayerful experiences that weekend ultimately led to his discernment and entrance into seminary.
“Virtually every day, in the parish or at my ministry sites, has confirmed my sense of a priestly vocation,” said Illes. “Each day builds the anticipation of the day when I can serve the people of God as a priest.”
Matthew Marinelli, 27, is also studying at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa. Marinelli, also born in Phillipsburg, is a graduate of Phillipsburg High School. His home parish is St. Philip and St. James in Phillipsburg. He graduated from Seton Hall University in South Orange, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophical theology. Upon his ordination as a deacon, he will serve at Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Perth Amboy, while in his final year of seminary in preparation for priesthood ordination.
He said some of his favorite moments as a seminarian have been being with and ministering to the people of God at his various parish assignments.
“Their support and encouragement have been a huge part of my vocational journey and has granted me numerous beautiful experiences on my path to the Priesthood.”
Following their ordination, the deacons will assist the bishop and his priests in the ministry of the word, of the altar and of charity. As ministers of the altar, deacons proclaim the Gospel, prepare the altar and distribute the Lord’s Body and Blood to the faithful. Deacons preside over public prayer, administer baptism, assist at and bless marriages, bring viaticum to the dying and conduct funeral rites.
All are welcome to attend the Diaconate Ordination and pray for the vocations of Joseph Illes, Matthew Marinelli and Michael Tabernero. For those unable to be present in person, the Ordination will also be livestreamed at: https://www.stfranciscathedral.org.