Diocesan News

Franciscan from Queens Ordained to Priesthood

Father Aherne

Franciscan friar Brother John Aherne, O.F.M., a member of the Holy Name Province, was ordained to the priesthood on June 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez, O.F.M., of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was the ordaining prelate at the 11 a.m. Mass.

Born in Queens, Brother Aherne 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, Tampa, Fla., and at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass.

He also has worked with various communities – including veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center, persons with intellectual disabilities, and the poor.

Before joining the Franciscans, Brother Aherne – a certified Irish dance teacher – worked at several publishing companies and ran a small dance school. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University, and a master of divinity degree from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Ill. He was selected to be the student speaker during commencement.

He was ordained a transitional deacon in Cincinnati, Ohio, last summer after having professed his solemn – or final – vows as a friar in August 2016.

“I have always felt called to the priesthood,” said Brother Aherne. “The parish where I grew up – Transfiguration Church in Maspeth, – 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 Brother Aherne. “Being able to celebrate the sacraments with people strikes me as a tremendous privilege.”

He has been assigned to serve at St. Mary’s parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J.