Bishop Barry C. Knestout will ordain five transitional deacons, Saturday, May 19, 10:30 a.m., at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond. The transitional diaconate is their final year of formation before ordination to the priesthood.
Those to be ordained are:
M. Tochi Iwuji. A native of Nigeria who came to the United States in 2014, Iwuji, 38, was raised in a Catholic family. Both in Nigeria and the United States, he has been involved in activities that promote the Catholic faith. Following high school, he served as the coordinator of Young Catholic Students in the Archdiocese of Owerri. Iwuji was involved in campus ministry through his home parish, St. Thomas More, Lynchburg.
He holds a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Liberty University and a master’s degree in theology from Duquesne University. He is receiving his seminary formation at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore.
Christopher Masla. As the son of a Navy commander, he has moved, in his words, “up and down the East coast six times,” but he spent most of his life in Williamsburg, where he considers St. Bede Parish his home parish.
Masla, 26, an alumnus of Virginia Tech, where he majored in business management, is receiving his seminary formation at the Theological College, Washington, DC.
Daniel Molochko. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Molochko, 31, earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio). Following college, he studied to become a paramedic, which he has been since 2009, having worked as a paramedic contractor domestically for the Air Force and in the Middle East for the Army. He is receiving his formation for priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary and University.
Kyle O’Connor. A Lowell, Massachusetts native, O’Connor, 27, grew up in Roanoke, where his family were members of St. Andrew Parish. He was a government major for two years at the College of William & Mary. However, by the end of his second year, discernment for a calling to priesthood led him to continue his studies at the Theological College, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2013. He is completing his third year of theology studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
Cassidy Stinson. Stinson, 26, was born a Southern Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky, but grew up in Farmville. In his words, “My family and I were committed Southern Baptists until, by the grace of God, we converted to the Catholic Church early in my middle school years.” They are members of St. Theresa Parish. After being homeschooled, he attended Southside Virginia Community College and the College of William & Mary — studying classical culture and literature at the latter. He is receiving his seminary formation at the Theological College.