The press release just landed in my in-box:

Ordination to the priesthood and diaconate for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany were originally scheduled to take place in May and June but, due to COVID-19, the events were postponed and combined into a single celebration that will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 125 Eagle St., Albany. At that time Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger will ordain 14 men: one to the priesthood, five transitional deacons, and eight permanent deacons.

This year’s ordination and the vespers service that will be held the night before are ticketed events to ensure compliance with COVID safety guidelines and make sure the families of those who will be ordained can attend safely. All are welcome to watch the livestream of the event on the diocesan website at


Deacon Charles Onyeneke

I envisage myself as one who will humbly bring the Word of God to His people. The Word that gives life, restores hope to the hopeless, and bring healing to the sick,” says Deacon Charles Onyeneke, who was born in Nigeria, the youngest of seven, and raised by his parents to believe in the love of Christ in the Eucharist. His parents always told him that this love could, “annihilate difficulties,” which led him to become involved with the church at an early age.

He began his path to the priesthood at St. Peter Claver Seminary, Okpala, Nigeria in 1998, and went on to receive degrees in philosophy from both Imo State University, Owerri, and the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. After working as a teacher and Dean of Student Affairs at Father Cloonan Memorial Secondary School, he returned to his own studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Imo State University, Owerri, and a Bachelor of Divinity in Theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. He completed a Master of Arts in Theology at St. Leo University, Florida, and is currently working toward a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a concentration in Moral Theology at Saint Marys Seminary and University, Baltimore.

Transitional Diaconate:

Matthew Duclos, attended Pontifical North American College, Rome

Kyle Gorenski, attended St. Marys Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland

Daniel McHale, attended Pope St. John XXIII Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts

Nathaniel Resila, attended St. Marys of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois

Stephen Yusko, attended Pontifical North American College, Rome 

Transitional deacons are those men who are preparing for ordination to the priesthood. The five men who will be ordained to the diaconate on Sept. 5 will spend one year as deacons before their ordination to the priesthood.

Permanent Diaconate:

Nicholas Ascioti and his wife, Emily, are members St. Jude the Apostle Church, Wynantskill

Ramon Bonifacio, and his wife, Elaine Escobales, are members of Our Lady of the Americas Church, Albany

Paul Cerosaletti, and his wife, Amy, are members of St. Marys Church, Oneonta

Martin Dinan, and his wife, Katrina, are members of St. Jude the Apostle Church, Wynantskill

Ronald Dombrowski, and his wife, Patricia, are members of Sacred Heart/Immaculate Conception, Palenville and Haines Falls

Paul LeBlanc, and his wife, Debra, are members of St. Edward the Confessor Church, Clifton Park

Bernard McConaghy, and his wife, Rebecca, are members St. Marys Church, Clinton Heights

Aaron Tremblay, and his wife, Gail, are members of Church of the Holy Spirit, East Greenbush

Permanent deacons, with the cooperation and collaboration of their wives, are ordained to serve in parish and diocesan ministry. They may preach, baptize, witness the sacrament of marriage and assist in various other ministries.

Stay tuned: more to come after the event!

Meantime, pray for all involved. Albany is facing a serious vocation crisis, and needs all the help it can get!

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