EXCLUSIVE: Four New Priests for the Diocese of Monterey

MONTEREY (11 June 2021 10:13am PT) – The sacrament of Holy Orders will soon be celebrated in the Diocese of Monterey in California with the ordination of four deacons to the priesthood.

According to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sacrament of Holy Orders “is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to His apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time” (n. 322).

The Church teaches that “only validly ordained bishops, as successors of the apostles, can confer the sacrament of Holy Orders” (n. 332), which is composed of three degrees (bishops, priests, and deacons) that are “irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church” (n. 325).

The Most Rev. Daniel E. Garcia, 5th Bishop of Monterey in California, is scheduled to ordain Rev. Messrs. Abraham Barrera, Reynaldo Esquivel, Jason Taganahan, and David Allen to the priesthood on Saturday, 19 June 2021 at the parish of Madonna del Sasso in Salinas.

Photo Credit: Diocese of Monterey in California; https://www.facebook.com/MRYVocations

Mr. Terrence O’Connell, president of the Serra Club of the Monterey Peninsula, said in the most recent club newsletter that “many of us might not realize the arduous path that our Seminarians have had to travel in the discernment and formation of their vocation, and only Jesus really does, because He has been with them all the way”.

The Serra Club of the Monterey Peninsula is club #47 of the USA Council of Serra International, a global lay apostolate for vocations in the Church. Members of the Serra Club foster, promote, encourage, and affirm vocations to the priesthood and consecrated religious life.

The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred “by means of the imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand by the Bishop who pronounces the solemn prayer of consecration. With this prayer he asks God on behalf of the ordinand for the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of the Spirit proper to the ministry to which he is being ordained” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 331).

“The anointing of the Spirit seals the priest with an indelible, spiritual character that configures him to Christ the priest and enables him to act in the name of Christ the Head. As a co-worker of the order of bishops he is consecrated to preach the Gospel, to celebrate divine worship, especially the Eucharist from which his ministry draws its strength, and to be a shepherd of the faithful”.

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 328

The sacrament of Holy Orders “yields a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit which configures the recipient to Christ in his triple office as Priest, Prophet, and King, according to the respective degrees of the sacrament. Ordination confers an indelible spiritual character and therefore cannot be repeated or conferred for a limited time” (n. 335).

“What a sweet victory ordination is for the faithful people who are given hope for the future of the Church and its Sacraments”, says Mr. O’Connell. “But how doubly sweet it is for the Seminarians who finally reach the goal for which they have striven. But then again, for them, it is only a new beginning”.

While attendance at the 12pm Mass of ordination is by invitation only, it will be live-streamed on the diocesan website and on the Facebook page of the diocesan Vocations Office.

First Masses of the Newly Ordained

Following their ordination to the priesthood on 19 June 2021, the newly ordained will be celebrating their first Masses in various parishes of the central coast.

Fr. Abraham E. Barrera Pelayo

  • 10:30am on Sunday, 20 June 2021 at Saint Patrick in Arroyo Grande
  • 12:15pm on Sunday, 20 June 2021 at Saint Patrick in Arroyo Grande

Fr. Reynaldo Esquivel

  • 12:30pm on Sunday, 20 June 2021 at Saint Benedict in Hollister (Spanish and English)

Fr. Jason Taganahan

  • 10:30am on Sunday, 20 June 2021 at Saint Jude in Marina

There is currently no information on the first Mass of Fr. David Allen.

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly assist at a priest’s first Mass (cf. Manual of Indulgences, 27), assuming that all the conditions are met.