John Aherne to be Ordained a Priest

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

NEW YORK ­— This summer, John Aherne, OFM, will be ordained to the priesthood not far from where he grew up. Roberto González, OFM, archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will celebrate the 11 a.m. Mass on June 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street. All are welcome.

John, a native of Queens, N.Y., joined Holy Name Province’s postulancy program in 2010 and professed his first vows in 2012. Over the last few years, he has ministered at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla., and at St. Anthony Shrine, in Boston, and he has worked with various communities — veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center, persons with intellectual disabilities and the poor. He professed solemn vows in August 2016 and in June 2017, he was ordained a transitional deacon.

Before joining Holy Name Province, he worked at several publishing companies and also ran a small dancing school. John, who earned a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and is a certified Irish dance teacher, lives in Chicago, where he is finishing studies at Catholic Theological Union for a Master of Divinity degree.

“I have always felt called to the priesthood,” said John. “The parish where I grew up – Transfiguration Church in Maspeth, Queens – was staffed by kind, generous, prayerful men who were terrific role models. They also sparked within me a love for the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church, a love that has been kindled by the many Holy Name friar-priests I’ve gotten to know. I have experienced the healing that the Eucharist, the liturgy of the word, and reconciliation can bring; I well up with tears at baptisms and marriages; I have been humbled while sitting at the bedsides of dying people.

“I can think of no better way to serve God than to be present with people at these moments of life and share the sacraments with them,” said John, adding that “being able to celebrate the sacraments with people strikes me as a tremendous privilege.”

John became acquainted with the friars by attending daily Mass and serving as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Francis of Assisi Church. He said when he entered the Province’s formation program that he wanted to “use all my gifts to be of as much service to God and to others as possible.”

Last year in Silver Spring, Md., two Holy Name Province friars – Mario Gómez, OFM and Edgardo Jara, OFM – were ordained to the priesthood.

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