Two East Valley men ordained as priests in Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Two East Valley men ordained as priests in Chandler

June 15th, 2018 development
Two East Valley men ordained as priests in Chandler

SanTan Sun News Staff


Two East Valley residents were among three men who were to be ordained today as priests by the Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, at a special ceremony in Chandler.

Scheduled to be ordained at 10 a.m. June 16 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, 3450 W. Ray Road, were Deacons Frankie Cicero, 33, of Mesa, and Vinhson Nguyen, 29, of Gilbert. They are among nearly 430 others who will become Catholic priests this year throughout the United States.

“What our people need now more than ever before are priests who are confident of the mercy of God, and joyful messengers of the Good News of Jesus,” Bishop Olmsted said. “I give thanks to God for the families of Fr. Cicero, Fr. Nahrgang and Fr. Nguyen, who encouraged their faith and their vocation to the priesthood.”

Ordination is the sacramental ceremony in which Holy Orders will be conferred, enabling them to minister to Catholics.

Growing up, Cicero said he never thought about becoming a priest until one day nine years ago, describing his calling to the priesthood “one that was a radical revelation of (Christ’s) love and mercy.”

He credits this “merciful love for giving him the strength and the courage to respond to God’s call to say ‘yes’ to the priesthood,” a diocese spokesman said.

Cicero grew up in the East Valley and is a parishioner at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa. He will be assigned to Queen of Peace Church, also in Mesa.

Nguyen said, “I wanted to become a priest in the same way a lot of kids wanted to be astronauts and firefighters.”

“He realized he needed to listen more closely to what God wanted for him,” the spokesman said. “Prayer and participating in the sacraments is ultimately what helped him discern his priestly vocation.”

The Gilbert native, a member of Resurrection Parish in Tempe, will be assigned to a Scottsdale parish.

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate’s annual national survey, 86 percent of the 2018 class of men ordained to the priesthood were encouraged by about four people in their lives including parish priests, friends or other parishioners. The report also says that the men were, on average, 17 years old when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood.

The survey also found that between 39 and 47 percent of the new priests attended a Catholic school for at least some part of their schooling. Half participated in a religious education program in their parish for seven years.

Nearly half report that they completed college or university undergraduate degree before entering the seminary. The most common fields of study before entering the seminary are social science, theology or philosophy, business, or liberal arts.

About 64 percent worked full-time before entering the seminary. One in five worked in education.