Three new Priests ordained today for the Archdiocese of New Orleans (2024)

Three new Priests ordained today for the Archdiocese of New Orleans (1)

Archbishop Gregory Aymond will ordain three men as priests for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on June 1 at a 10 a.m. Mass of Ordination at St. Louis Cathedral. The three transitional deacons are, from left, Deacon Austin Barr, Deacon Jorge Gomez and Deacon Cuong Minh Tran. The Clarion Herald spoke to each man about his hopes and dreams as a priest.

Deacon Austin Barr

Masses of Thanksgiving:June 2, 1 p.m. at St. Anselm; June 23, 10:30 a.m. at St. Dominic
Assigned parish:Divine Mercy

Thank you, Lord, for choosing me

By Beth Donze
Clarion Herald

Deacon Austin Barr said he knew he would feel the internal changes – the graces that filled his heart after his ordination to the transitional diaconate last May – but what surprised him was the sudden shift in how others perceived him externally.

“I wasn’t ‘just Austin’ anymore to people; I was ‘Deacon Austin,’” he said. “It was challenging to get into that new role.”

A graduate of Mandeville High School and a lifelong parishioner of St. Anselm Parish in Madisonville, Deacon Barr said his vocation was sparked during a silent retreat while studying kinesiology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. He assumed he was destined to follow his mother’s lead and pursue a career in occupational therapy.

“It was personal prayer, adoration and just an experience of God’s love – just the divine feeling of really being loved,” he recalled.

Deacon Barr said he learned a lot during his diaconate internship at St. Dominic, the bustling New Orleans parish of 3,400 families, 14 weekly Masses, nearly 40 ministries and 24/7 eucharistic adoration.

“There’s all kinds of stuff going on – and the school is huge, so going over there brought so much joy,” said Deacon Barr, who made a point of visiting students during lunchtime, so as not to interrupt classes.

“I would sometimes walk through the halls, but then the kids would freak out,” he said, smiling. “They all wanted me to guess their names. I would tell them, ‘I’m not a prophet. I can’t read minds!’ They’re just awesome!”

Deacon Barr administered baptisms, assisted at weddings and delivered homilies at daily, weekend and funeral Masses.

“Preaching was easier than I thought it would be – I thought I would be a little bit nervous,” he said, praising Father Wayne Paysse, St. Dominic’s pastor, for being a role model of grace under pressure as a diocesan priest leading a parish that previously had been administered by the Dominicans.

To take the pulse of the parish, Father Paysse conducted a series of coffee visits.

“He wanted to know not only what parishioners liked and didn’t like, but what their dreams for their parish were – I’m going to steal that (idea)!’’ Deacon Barr said. “He really showed what it means to be not only a leader but a servant – someone who listens and really cares.”

Deacon Barr said visiting the St. Dominic’s homebound was an especially sacred time for him. One particular woman who was at the end of her life “taught me that (the homebound) minister to you just as much as you minister to them,” he said. “She lit up, not because I was there, but because I brought the Blessed Sacrament. She just wanted to see Jesus’ face and experience him. I think we all get so caught up in everything else that’s going on in our lives – myself included – that we forget that the only thing that really matters, at the end of the day, is being with the Lord.”

At his ordination, Deacon Barr will be vested by Father Jeffrey Montz, his spiritual director for the past five years. His chalice, featuring fleurs-de-lis, thorns and roses, was previously owned by a French priest known only by the inscription “J.O.V., Paris, 1914.”

As the new parochial vicar at Divine Mercy Church in Kenner, Deacon Barr said he’s looking forward to celebrating Mass and administering the sacrament of reconciliation.

“There’s also some nervousness (about the latter),” he said. “But all the priests I know tell me that God provides so much to (the priest) who’s hearing the confession on behalf of Christ. People assume the priest is going to remember this or that, but a lot of them forget the sins (confessed to them); there’s an amnesia. I think it’s a sign of what is really happening in the mind of God – forgetting the sin.”

For vocational affirmation, Deacon Barr looks to the “humanness” displayed by Peter at the end of John’s Gospel. After answering “yes,” three times, to Jesus’ question – “Do you love me?” – Peter hears Jesus list the criteria for discipleship, immediately points to John, and says to Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

“I really understand where Peter was coming from, because it can be strange to a lot of men – and to women called to consecrated life – to wonder, ‘Why amIbeing called?’ when there are so many seemingly holier people,” Deacon Barr said. “Rather than doing what Simon Peter did – asking, ‘What about that other guy?’ – I’m trying to turn it around and say: ‘Thank you for that, Lord,’ instead of, ‘You should have pickedthem!’”

Deacon Jorge Gomez

Mass of Thanksgiving:June 1, 6 p.m. at St. Margaret Mary
Assigned parish:St. Margaret Mary

Priests are there for every moment of life

By Kim Roberts
Clarion Herald

Deacon Jorge Gomez feels blessed to have had so many spiritual father figures guiding him through the seminary and life. He credits them with challenging, mentoring and encouraging him “like a good father would.”

“Father Geraldo Diaz is someone I admire so much,” Deacon Gomez said. “I was his parish secretary when I started the seminary in Florida (before coming to Notre Dame Seminary). He looked after me and took care of me. I am honored that he will vest me during my ordination.”

Over the last year, Deacon Gomez has learned that communication is crucial when it comes to serving parishioners. During his parish internship last year at St. Margaret Mary in Slidell, he developed a greater sense of tenacity and learned to take more initiative. Also, he received helpful feedback from parishioners, which he said will enable him to serve future parishioners better.

“Father Dan (Darmanin, pastor of St. MargaretMary) has been great,” he said. “He gave me the resources and tools to fulfill my visions and put me in positions for the greatest successes. I was challenged in so many ways. Sometimes it was baptism by fire, but that is where I learned the most. He wanted me to stumble and learn from my mistakes.”

St. Margaret Mary has been Deacon Gomez’s home parish since moving to New Orleans from Miami eight years ago. He served as a transitional deacon and completed his internship in the parish and is glad to be going back there for his first assignment as a parochial vicar on July 1.

“Sometimes, I think the parishioners are more excited than I am that I am coming back to St. Margaret Mary,” he said. “I am so humbled by their excitement and enthusiasm. I plan to serve them as well as I can as one of their faithful priests. I feel at home there.”

Deacon Gomez added that parishioners are looking at him differently now. They always saw him as a spiritual leader, but now they are eager to see him as an ordained priest who will minister to them. He feels very fortunate that he will be able to serve them in different capacities.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and being present and immersed in the Mass,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to being a spiritual father and affirming and encouraging the community through their joys and sufferings.

“There’s a saying, ‘What a person goes through in a lifetime, a priest can go through in a day,’ and if you think about it, that’s true. In one day, a priest can have a baptism, first Communion, wedding, death of a loved one and a burial,” Deacon Gomez said. “It can be exhausting spiritually and physically, but it’s worth it and something I look forward to – being an instrument of God’s mercy.”

Deacon Gomez has gathered strength over the past year through his prayer life and credits Archbishop Emeritus Alfred Hughes for encouraging the seminarians to be spiritual priests.

“My prayer life has gotten me through for sure,” he said. “Archbishop Hughes told us that a good priest talks to the Lord and serves as his tool. I am supposed to be a man of prayer and faith, and for me, it is one of my responsibilities to help others develop their relationship with God every day.”

Deacon Gomez said his Florida entourage will be in attendance for the June 1 ordination – his brothers (Miguel and Elbertt), cousins, friends and clergy. He’s grateful so many people will be able to make the trip to New Orleans.

“My journey, to this point, has been fulfilling and arduous,” he said. “I’ve spent eight years at Notre Dame Seminary and a total of nine in formation, but everything was at God’s pace so I could grow. I am blessed to be where I am today and have so many family and friends that support me.”

The ordination card that Deacon Gomez chose is a print of the painting “Calvario,” depicting the crucifixion of Christ, by Spanish artist Raul Berzosa, whom he met in Florida while doing work at a Jesuit school.

“The ‘Calvario’ is one of my favorite paintings because you see the crucifix and our Lady,” he said. “It is a reminder of the sacrifice our Lord has made for us, his infinite love and mercy and how he laid down his life for us. That is what is expected from me as a priest, to lay down my life for the people I serve in the archdiocese.”

Deacon Cuong Minh Tran

Masses of Thanksgiving:June 2, 3 p.m. at St. Agnes Le Thi Thanh; June 23, noon at St. Francis Xavier
Assigned parish:Mary Queen of Peace

Prayer, Jesus’ example will be priestly anchors

By Macie Capote
Clarion Herald

With just a few days left before his priestly ordination, Deacon Cuong Minh Tran said prayer was the main thing getting him through all the changes.

“I’ve been praying a lot through the Scriptures, and focusing on the Last Supper in John,” Deacon Tran said. “Reading those words that Christ told his apostles in the Last Supper and just putting myself in there; that’s really what priesthood is.”

Deacon Tran spent five months as a deacon intern at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, where he shadowed the parish’s pastor, Father Timothy Hedrick. From June to October of last year, Deacon Tran’s time was spent doing everything a pastor does. From preaching to celebrating baptisms and funerals, he got to see what true priesthood would be like.

“Father Tim’s schedule is so jam-packed; he’s a force of nature really,” Deacon Tran said, recallingbeing out with Father Hedrick from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. some days. “Getting to know what a pastor does and all of their extra responsibilities was very good for me.”

Deacon Tran added that during his internship, he was evaluated by a committee composed of 15 people, eight chosen by Father Hedrick and seven by Deacon Tran, after every homily he delivered.

“It was a rigorous process,” Deacon Tran said. “I learned pretty fast what people like and what they don’t like.”

Deacon Tran said while adjusting to parish life was interesting, it was even stranger to go back to Notre Dame Seminary and focus on finishing his studies.

“It’s a whole different mindset,” he said.

But Deacon Tran said he’s extremely excited about getting back into parish life as a priest. Specifically, he is looking forward to being able to hear confessions.

“It’s a very beautiful thing, having confession readily available,” said Deacon Tran, whose assigned parish, Mary Queen of Peace in Mandeville, makes confession available for 30 minutes before each Mass.

Deacon Tran added that he is also looking forward to having a school in his parish. He recalled a time when he visited Mary Queen of Peace School, and he was giving out candy to kindergartners who could name all of the stations of the cross.

“The kids there are so knowledgeable,” he said. “They had all of them memorized.”

Deacon Tran will be vested at his priestly ordination by his uncle, Father John Tran, who was his inspiration for becoming a priest. His chalice features many scenes from Jesus’ life, including his birth, death and resurrection and more, with the hope that during Mass, the congregation could focus on those sacred images.

Deacon Tran’s prayer card depicts the famous image of Jesus on the cross; however, it also shows the Blessed Mother at the cross with him.

“It’s very beautiful to have a devotion to Mary as well, because at the cross, even though she wasn’t a priest, she offered her son,” Deacon Tran said. “And so, hopefully in my priesthood, with her intercession, I can be a good priest and offer the sacrifice.”

St. John Vianney, the French priest known as the Curé d’Ars who died in 1859, is Deacon Tran’s favorite saint. St. John Vianney grew his parish fromthe ground up and was able to reach the community through creating relationships and prayer.

“His story is really encouraging to me,” he said. “Wherever you’re assigned, as long as you live out your priestly life, then you are going to be a good priest there.”

Part of living out the priestly life has a lot to do with prayer and remembering what Jesus went through leading up to his passion. Deacon Tran said he identifies a lot with Jesus’ moment of intense prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, especially during very tragic moments.

“A large part about the priesthood is praying in those moments of difficulty,” he said. “It’s comforting knowing that Jesus had all of us in mind while he was praying.”

Three new Priests ordained today for the Archdiocese of New Orleans (2024)


Three new Priests ordained today for the Archdiocese of New Orleans? ›

Archbishop Gregory Aymond will ordain three men as priests for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on June 1 at a 10 a.m. Mass of Ordination at St. Louis Cathedral. The three transitional deacons are, from left, Deacon Austin Barr, Deacon Jorge Gomez and Deacon Cuong Minh Tran.

Who are the priest assignments in New Orleans 2024? ›

Reverend Luke Nguyen as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Folsom, effective July 1, 2024. Reverend Thien Nguyen as Pastor of Mary, Queen of Vietnam Parish, New Orleans, effective July 1, 2024. Reverend Vincent Nguyen as Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Luling, effective July 1, 2024.

How many priests are in the Archdiocese of New Orleans? ›

Archdiocesan Statistics 2023
Archdiocesan priests206
Campus Ministry Centers2
23 more rows

Who are the Archdiocese of New Orleans priest abuse list? ›

The archdiocese list includes the following clergy: George Brignac, Paul Calamari, Michael Farino, Michael Fraser, Llod Glapion, Thomas Gaspard Glasgow, Lawrence Galpion, Thomas Gaspard Glasgow, Lawrence Hecker, Henry Brian Highfill, Gerard Howell, Patrick Keane, James Kilgour, Gerard Kinane, James Lockwood, Gerald ...

Who is the head of the Archdiocese of New Orleans? ›

The 14th Archbishop of New Orleans, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, is the first New Orleans native to serve as archbishop in the 216-year history of the archdiocese.

What actor wanted to be a priest? ›

Before acting, James McAvoy wanted to be a priest.

Is Jeffrey Burrill still a priest? ›

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill has returned to active ministry as a priest in his home diocese, after he resigned last year from his post with the U.S. bishops ahead of reports alleging inappropriate behavior, including his use of an LGBTQ dating and “hookup” app.

What is the largest Catholic church in New Orleans? ›

Basilica of St. Stephen (New Orleans)
The Basilica of St. Stephen
Nave length216 feet (66 m)
Width across transepts110 feet (34 m)
Spire height200 feet (61 m)
23 more rows

Where is the largest Catholic Diocese in the United States? ›

With over five million professing members and weekly liturgies celebrated in 32 languages, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is numerically the single largest and most ethnically diverse archdiocese in the United States.

Who are the highest ranking Catholic priests? ›

  • Pope (Bishop of Rome) Main article: Pope. ...
  • Eastern patriarchs. The heads of some autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) particular churches consisting of several local churches (dioceses) have the title of Patriarch. ...
  • Major archbishops. ...
  • Latin patriarchs. ...
  • Cardinals. ...
  • Primates. ...
  • Metropolitan bishops. ...
  • Archbishops.

What is the New Orleans Catholic Church scandal? ›

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities have expanded an investigation of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans to include senior church officials suspected of shielding predatory priests for decades and failing to report their crimes to law enforcement.

What were the three priests accused of? ›

The three priests were judged guilty of treason as the leaders of the mutiny by the Spanish court on the evening of February 15, 1872. Early the next morning, the verdict was announced at Fort Santiago. An estimated 40,000 Filipinos gathered around the execution platforms on February 17, 1872.

What is the name of the Catholic archbishop who was murdered? ›

Monsignor Oscar Romero y Galdamez, fourth archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated while presiding at a memorial Mass in the Carmelite chapel of the Hospital de la Divina Providencia on March 24, 1980.

How many priests does the Archdiocese of New Orleans have? ›

The archdiocese has 137 church parishes administered by 387 priests (including those belonging to religious institutes), 187 permanent deacons, 84 brothers, and 432 sisters.

Who is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New Orleans? ›

Our Lady of Prompt Succor is the patroness of the state of Louisiana, and of the city of New Orleans. Pious believers of New Orleans pray before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, asking for her intercession whenever a hurricane threatens the city.

Why is New Orleans so Catholic? ›

As part of the colonial empires of France and Spain, the settlers of Louisiana were to be Catholic if they were to be faithful subjects.

Who is the recent Defrocked priest? ›

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop who repeatedly told him to stop his partisan activism for Donald Trump.

What group of Catholic nuns ran schools in New Orleans? ›

The Sisters of Saint Joseph (CSJ) ran St. Joseph Academy High School and had their main convent on the 2100 block of Ursuline Avenue in New Orleans.

What is the name of the special school where priests are educated? ›

Seminaries are graduate schools that offer theological education with a special focus on preparing people spiritually, professionally, and academically for ministry.

Who are church leaders who serve as pastors of parishes? ›

For a majority of parishes in the U.S., bishops assign priests to serve as pastors, spiritual leaders, and oversee operations.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated:

Views: 6401

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.