SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson will ordain four priests for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw during a special Mass at 1 p.m. on Friday at Holy Spirit Parish in Shields.
The men to be ordained to the priesthood include:
- Deacon Nicholas F. Coffaro, 27, of Garfield Heights, Ohio. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, and Borromeo College Seminary in Cleveland. As a transitional deacon, Coffaro has served the faith community of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Bay City.
- Deacon Christopher M. Coman, 34, of Saginaw. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He also holds degrees from Northwood University in Midland and the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. Before discerning the path to priesthood, Comen was employed for about five year in the secular business world as a salesman and operations manager for an automotive company, working both in the Detroit Area and Portland, Ore. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Beal City.
- Deacon Denis M. Heames, 35, of Chula Vista, Calif. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colo., and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Before discerning the path to priesthood, Heames found success as a Hollywood actor. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of St. Mary University Parish in Mount Pleasant.
- Deacon Daniel E. Roa, 28, of Caracas, Venezuela. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., and Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo. Roa began his studies for the priesthood as a teenager and immigrated to the United States in 1999 at the encouragement of his pastor. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of the St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw.
This is the first time since 1982 that at least four priest have been ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. Four men were ordained that year by Bishop Kenneth E. Untener, however, those ordinations did not take place on the same day. June 7, 1969 was the last day in which at least four priests were ordained for Saginaw on the same day by Bishop Francis F. Reh at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw.
With the addition of these four new priests, the Diocese of Saginaw currently has a total of 62 active priests in its ranks. Many of the diocese’s 36 senior (retired) priests, and 17 priests from other dioceses or religious orders also serve to celebrate the sacraments for the people of 106 parishes across the 11-county region of the Roman Catholic Church.
Bishop Carlson also is set to ordain two transitional deacons during a 10 a.m. Mass on Saturday at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Midland.
Transitional deacons include seminarians in their final stages of priestly formation. They will most likely be ordained to the priesthood in the next year.
Those men to be ordained to the transitional diaconate include:
- Prentice A. Tipton, 54, of Detroit. He is enrolled at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He holds a bachelor’s degree for education from the University of Michigan and is a convert to the Catholic faith tradition.
- José G. Parra, 31, of Colombia. He is enrolled at Saginaw Valley State University and comes to the Diocese of Saginaw following priestly formation with the Messengers of Peace religious institute at the Pacem in Terris Mission, established by Bishop Carlson in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, in 2005.
The Diocese of Saginaw was established in 1938 and includes an estimated 132,000 faithful worshiping in 106 parishes across Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.