Ordinations to the Priesthood and Transitional Diaconate

The ordination of men to the priesthood and diaconate is a very exciting event for our diocese. Properly called Holy Orders, ordination is the means by which a Catholic baptized male becomes a deacon, priest or bishop. Every year the Diocese of Arlington celebrates Masses of Ordination to the priesthood, the transitional diaconate (seminarians en route to priesthood) and permanent diaconate at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, and all the faithful are normally invited to attend. (This year these events are closed to the public due to COVID-19 occupancy restrictions, but they will be live-streamed from the Cathedral so all can participate.)


We the faithful celebrate these ordinations because these new priests and deacons make Christ present and the sacraments more available. The ordinations show us that the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts and minds of the people of the diocese, stirring up in men's hearts the desire to follow and imitate Christ. An ordination may mark the end of formation, but it is also the beginning of life as a priest or deacon: a life of generous service to the faithful of the diocese.

Learn more below about the candidates for ordination, the path they've followed to this point, as well as all that goes into these ceremonies. Come join in these celebrations (at least virtually) and give thanks to God!

Ordination Events 2021

Transitional Diaconate Ordination: Saturday April 10, 11:00 a.m.

Bishop Burbidge ordained Deacons Philip D. Briggs, Peter J. Clem, John F. O'Farrell, Robert C. Renner, Daniel S. Reuwer, Daniel A. Rice and Peter J. St. George to the Transitional Diaconate at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Watch the recording below.

See the Arlington Catholic Herald Coverage.

Download the program for the liturgy.

CDA Live Stream Mass

Priesthood Ordination: Scheduled for Saturday June 5, 11:00 a.m.

Bishop Burbidge will ordain Reverend Mr. Jonathan Fioramonti, Reverend Mr. John Paul Heisler, Reverend Mr. Jonathan Smith and Reverend Mr. Joe Townsend to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

There is normally a Holy Hour on the eve of Priestly Ordinations to pray for these men about to become priests of Jesus Christ. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we ask that the faithful of the diocese pray for them from their homes or parishes on the evening of June 4See Ordination Coverage from last year.

Meet our new Deacons

Philip D. Briggs

Rev. Mr. Philip D. Briggs

St. John the Baptist Parish

Peter J. Clem, YA

Rev. Mr. Peter J. Clem, YA

All Saints Parish 

John F. O'Farrell

Rev. Mr. John F. O'Farrell

The Basilica of St. Mary Parish 

Robert C. Renner

Rev. Mr. Robert C. Renner

Holy Spirit Parish 

Daniel S. Reuwer

Rev. Mr. Daniel S. Reuwer

St. William of York Parish

Daniel A. Rice

Rev. Mr. Daniel A. Rice

St. Timothy Parish 


Meet our soon-to-be-ordained Priests

Reverend Mr. John Paul Heisler

Reverend Mr. John Paul Heisler

St. John the Baptist Parish 

Reverend Mr. Jonathan Smith

Reverend Mr. Jonathan Smith

Basilica of St. Mary Parish 

Reverend Mr. Joe Townsend

Reverend Mr. Joe Townsend

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish 

Ordinations 2019 priests FC

Ordination Archives

See coverage
Ordination laying of hands new vestments

What happens at an ordination?

The Rites of Ordination to the priesthood and diaconate are rich and meaningful. Read about the different elements.

Learn more
StCharles sems FrKoehr

Stages of Priestly Formation

Formation, as the Church understands it, is not equivalent to a secular sense of schooling or, even less, job training. Formation is first and foremost cooperation with the grace of God.

Read more