The five men being ordained to the priesthood, from left to right: Roberto Julio Moreno Andrión, Matthew Gonzalez, Ashton Ignacio Francisco Wong, David Hinojosa, and Peter Jacob Volz (Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Newark)
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., archbishop of Newark, will ordain five men to the priesthood during the Rite of Ordination on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Tobin will also ordain four transitional deacons during a separate ordination at the Cathedral on Sunday, May 22, at noon.
All are invited to attend both ordinations, which will give Archdiocese of Newark parishioners the chance to pray for the new priests and deacons before they are assigned to parishes in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, or Union counties. The ordinations will additionally be livestreamed on the Archdiocese’s YouTube and Facebook pages as well as the Cathedral’s YouTube and Facebook pages for those who cannot make it in-person.
This year’s group of soon-to-be-priests come to the Archdiocese from all over the world, where they each led very different lives. Despite their contrasting backgrounds, the five men share one thing in common — their lives have been made whole by God. They are as follows:
- Roberto Julio Moreno Andrión, 37: Father Andrión was born and raised in Panama, where he worked as a physics teacher and researcher for many years before a friend reintroduced him to the Church. Inspired to share God’s love, he entered the seminary in 2013 and earned M.A. and M.Div degrees from Seton Hall University. Father Andrión will celebrate his first Mass at St. Benedict Church in Newark on May 29 at 11 a.m.
- Matthew Gonzalez, 28: After first experiencing the call to the priesthood as an eight-year-old, Father Gonzalez fully embraced his passion for the Gospel in high school while serving as a youth minister at St. John the Evangelist Church in Bergenfield. He entered the seminary in 2015 and now has three degrees from Seton Hall. Father Gonzalez will celebrate his first Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Bergenfield on May 29 at 3 p.m.
- David Hinojosa, 29: While working as a missionary in Houston, Father Hinojosa realized his calling in life was not to get married and start a family of his own — it was to help other families strengthen their relationships with God. And after earning three degrees from Seton Hall, he is eager to share the good news of Christ as a priest. Father Hinojosa will celebrate his first Mass at St. Peter Church in Belleville on May 29 at 11:30 a.m.
- Peter Jacob Volz, 30: Father Volz was working at a coffee shop while attending community college when he realized he felt as if his life had no direction. So, he turned to missionary work with the Neocatechumenal Way and, after entering the seminary in 2012, went on to earn three degrees from Seton Hall. Father Volz will celebrate his first Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Midland Park on May 29 at noon.
- Ashton Ignacio Francisco Wong, 30: Father Wong experienced much success and popularity as a star student athlete growing up in Guam — but he was never truly happy. It was only after turning to God upon entering the seminary in 2009 that he found fulfillment, leading to a better relationship with his parents and an enlightened perspective on his life. Father Wong will celebrate his first Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Bergenfield on May 29 at 10:30 a.m.
The four men who will be ordained as transitional deacons — Robert Burkot, Bernardo Garcia, Frenel Phanord, and JuHyun Andrew Lee — are current seminarians who will each spend the next year serving an archdiocesan parish by performing charitable works, proclaiming God’s Word, and assisting in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. This will culminate in their own ordinations to the priesthood one year from now.
Any man interested in exploring a life in the priesthood is encouraged to contact the Archdiocese of Newark’s Office of Priestly Vocations, which fosters a culture of vocations through prayer, recruitment, and accompaniment. To learn more, visit www.newarkpriest.com.
About the Archdiocese of Newark
The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes and 73 schools throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit www.rcan.org.