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Two Men to be Ordained to the Priesthood this Saturday | People

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Two Men to be Ordained to the Priesthood this Saturday
People

Two men will receive the sacrament of holy orders when Bishop Edward U. Kmiec ordains them to the priesthood Saturday morning.

Rev. Mr. David Richards and Rev. Mr. Thomas Roman, who were ordained transitional deacons in February, will be surrounded by family, friends and brother priests at the special 10 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., Buffalo.

Deacon Richards, the son of Margaret Mary and the late Daniel Richards, didn’t start out with an intention to become a priest. He attended Canisius College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He worked in sales and was even engaged before he turned his world 180 degrees by quitting his job, calling off his engagement and moving back to Buffalo from California.

He entered the seminary and found there was a piece of his life that was being fulfilled like never before. "I have finally been put in a place where I was supposed to be," he said in January as he reflected on his upcoming ordination as a transitional deacon.

Since becoming a transitional deacon Deacon Richards has served at Immaculate Conception Parish in East Aurora. "The people of the parish have been so positive, supportive, and affirming for me in the interim period as a transitional deacon," he said. "And, I’ve been privileged to learn from the pastor, Father Robert Wardenski."

When asked about his priest ordination, Deacon Richards admitted, "I’m quite excited. To quote our bishop when he describes his feeling of ordaining men to the priesthood, ‘I’m pumped.’’’ He added, "I look forward to bringing the message of the Gospel to the people as a priest. Much of the identity of priests revolves around love and hope. I want to be that sign of love and hope for others as they experience God."

Deacon Richards’s first Mass will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, at Our Lady of Charity Parish, Holy Family worship site, 1901 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The church has special meaning to Deacon Richards and his family.

"My great, great uncle, Msgr. John Nash, was the founding pastor of Holy Family Parish," said Deacon Richards. "He built the church and served as pastor for over 50 years. Recently, I was given a chalice of his that was given to him in 1903. I felt it appropriate to go back to the roots of my mother’s and father’s families to celebrate the faith they learned about from their parish which they then passed on to me," he added.

Michigan native Deacon Roman earned a degree in English from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, then returned to his home state to work in the food service industry before deciding to become a priest. After enrolling in Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, Deacon Roman worked at Buffalo General Hospital, VIVE Rescue Mission, Buffalo, as well as Our Lady of Czestochowa, North Tonawanda, Blessed Sacrament, Buffalo, Queen of Heaven, West Seneca, St. Vincent de Paul, Niagara Falls, and St. Mary of the Assumption, Lancaster.

Prior to his ordination as a transitional deacon, the son of Walter and the late Priscilla Roman, reflected on the priesthood. "Being a priest is about responding to God’s call, if that is what your call is. God, who is infinite love, knows more than I do what will make me the happiest."

As a transitional deacon, he enjoyed performing baptisms. "Also, I have been able to work with the youth which has been very invigorating as well." As for becoming a priest, Deacon Roman is honest, "I am excited for the priesthood, but nervous, too. I think priesthood is about sacrificial love, breaking out of yourself and helping others. I have a long way to grow in this area, but look forward to the challenge."

Deacon Roman’s first Mass as a priest will be at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Prince of Peace worship site, 1040 Cayuga Drive, Niagara Falls.

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