June 1, 2011, WORCESTER, MA -- The Office for Vocations for the Diocese of Worcester announced that Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, will ordain five men to the priesthood on Saturday, June 4 at 10 am at the Cathedral of St. Paul, corner of Chatham and High Streets in Worcester. The public is welcome to attend this liturgical celebration. The ceremony can also be seen on the internet as a live webstream at www.worcesterdiocese.org.
The five men to be ordained are Deacon Juan Echavarria, Deacon Edwin Montaña, Deacon Marcin Nowicki, Deacon Guillermo Ochoa, and Deacon Nelson Rivera.
Deacon Juan Echavarria was born on March 30, 1984 and began his seminary education in Colombia at Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellin, Colombia. Following studies at Clark University, Worcester, he completed his seminary studies at St. John Seminary, Brighton, MA, where he received his Masters in Divinity. His pastoral assignments during his seminary years included St. Patrick in Whitinsville, St. Peter in Northbridge and St. Louis in Webster.
Deacon Edwin Montaña was born on August 31, 1984. Following initial seminary studies at Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellin, Colombia, he resided at Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies, Worcester while completing initial studies at Clark University and Boston University. He completed his Masters in Divinity at St. John Seminary, Brighton. His pastoral assignments have included St. Patrick in Whitinsville, St. Roch in Oxford, and St. Brigid in Millbury.
Deacon Marcin Nowicki was born August 11, 1976 and began his seminary studies in Poland at Papieski Wydzial Teologiczny and at Uniwersytet Kardynala Wyszynskiego. He studied at Worcester State College before entering St. Mary Seminary & University, Baltimore, from which he received his Masters in Divinity. His pastoral assignments have included St. Joseph in Auburn, Our Lady Immaculate in Athol, Good Shepherd in Linwood, St. Joseph Basilica in Webster and St. Paul in Blackstone
Deacon Guillermo Ochoa was born on March 28, 1982 in Colombia and studied at Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellin, Colombia. He studied at Clark University and Boston University while residing at the Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies in Worcester. He completed his seminary studies at St. John Seminary, Brighton and received his Masters in Divinity. His pastoral assignments include St. Mark in Sutton, St. Anthony di Padua in Fitchburg, and St. Mary in Uxbridge.
Deacon Nelson Rivera was born August 29, 1978 and began his seminary studies at Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellin, Colombia. Following initial studies at Clark University, Worcester, he completed seminary studies at St. John Seminary in Brighton, where he received his Masters in Divinity. His pastoral assignments include St. Peter in Northbridge and St. Mary in Southbridge.
A diocesan priest belongs to a body of priests who are members of the same diocese and, therefore, under the leadership of the same bishop. The Diocese of Worcester serves over 320,000 Catholics from 67 towns and cities.
A religious order priest belongs to a specific congregation or community that is bound together by a common mission rather than a geographic location. Unlike diocesan priests, religious order priests take a vow of poverty and do not own items individually.
Most often, religious order priests specialize in a certain type of ministry, such as education, social services, health care or foreign missions.
In the Diocese of Worcester, all applicants for the diocesan priesthood undergo a rigorous and ongoing assessment of their character and behavior. Along with application for entrance to a seminary, they must have a series of interviews with the diocesan director of vocations, and an interview by the diocesan bishop. The process for applications also includes a psychological evaluation by a competent and licensed psychologist with profiles including but not limited to: Clergy Applicant Screening Questionnaire; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-II (MMPI-2); Sixteen Personality Factor Inventory (16PF); State Trait Anger Inventory (STAXI); Beck Depression Inventory (Beck); Erickson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development; Measures of Psycho-Social Development (MPD); a state CORI check; and a federal criminal background investigation. An applicant must also receive the testimony of his pastor, past employers, and colleagues.
If the candidate is accepted as a diocesan seminarian, all results are shared with the administrators of the seminary that the candidate attends. The character and behavior of seminarians are continually monitored by the diocese as well as by seminary throughout their years in the priestly formation program.
More information is available at the diocesan website on vocations, www.worcestervocations.com, or by contacting the Director of Vocations, Fr. Jim Mazzone at 508-340-5788 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also hear interviews with local priests about their road to the priesthood by watching a locally produced series online called Come Follow Me at worcestercatholictv.org.