New Priests Come in All Ages, From All Backgrounds

In the U.S., the total number of potential ordinands for the priesthood in 2017 is 590, including 10 from the Diocese of Brooklyn. This year’s number of ordinands is slightly up from 548 in 2016 and down from 595 in 2015.

Father Nicholas Apollonio

Italian-born Father Nicholas Apollonio, 33, gave up on God after a family tragedy, but God never gave up on him.

Father Kamil Bober

Though it was not a straightforward path to the priesthood for Polish-born Father Kamil Bober, 27, he believes God himself guided him.

Father Szymon Galazyn

Polish-born Father Szymon Galazyn, 35, did not expect to end up in the United States.

Father Pil-Koo John Hwang

For Korean-born Father Pil-koo John Hwang, 36, priesthood is an important answer in his quest to find the meaning of life.

Father Willy Kingsley Ndi

When Father Willy Kingsley Ndi, 31, was a child in Cameroon, Africa, he fell in love with sacred things.

Father Robert Mema

Growing up as a nominal Catholic, Father Robert H.C. Mema, 28, never thought about becoming a priest until he journeyed through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Father Ikenna Okagbue

Seeing the holiness and humanity of his parish priests as a child inspired Father Ikenna Okagbue, 35, to consider priesthood for himself.

Father Michael Panicali

When Michael William Panicali, 42, was in sixth grade at St. Athanasius School, Bensonhurst, his class was asked a very important question: “Who here is thinking about becoming a priest?”