SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Reverend Mr. Carlos A. Warfield, (1LT), USAR, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and United States Military chaplaincy, was ordained a transitional deacon on Saturday, May 21, in his home Diocese of Monterey. The new deacon is on track to be ordained a priest next year and hopes eventually to serve as an active-duty Catholic chaplain in the U.S. Army providing pastoral care to Catholic soldiers and their families with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS).
The Rev. Mr. Warfield’s diaconal ordination was celebrated at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, CA, through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey. Retired Monterey Bishop Sylvester D. Ryan and AMS Auxiliary Bishop Neal J. Buckon concelebrated the 10:30 a.m. ordination Mass. Among those in attendance were the new deacon’s parents, Darwin and Deborah Warfield, brother and sister-in-law Robert and Lynette Warfield, Uncle Patrick Alva, and religious friends Brother Michael Winslow, CSC; Sister Rachael Gleason, SDSH; and Sister Teresa Liu, SDSH.
“Even after years of discernment,” the new deacon said, “I was surprised at the emotions and grace I experienced on this day. I am blessed to have the support from my family and so many friends. The journey continues with one more year of seminary formation and service in the parish communities.”
The Rev. Mr. Warfield, 37, is a 2002 graduate of Desert High School at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), CA, and a 2015 graduate of Wayland Baptist University in San Antonio, TX, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Math Studies. A U.S. Army combat veteran who rose to the rank of staff sergeant while serving eight years as a preventive medicine specialist, the new deacon said he discerned his vocation while on deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2011 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012.
The Rev. Mr. Warfield is currently enrolled at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA, where he is working toward a Master of Divinity degree. He is on track to be ordained a priest next year, after which time he will serve in his home Diocese of Monterey for three years before entering active duty under the co-sponsored seminarian agreement with the AMS.
The eventual service of the Rev. Mr. Warfield and other Catholic chaplain candidates is greatly anticipated by the Army, which, like all other branches of the U.S. Military, continues to suffer a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains. Currently, the Army has only 86 Catholic priests on active duty, serving more than 120,000 Catholic soldiers and their families spread worldwide.
Young men interested in discerning a priestly vocation, and the vocation within a vocation to serve those who serve in the U.S. military, can find more information milarch.org/vocations, or may contact AMS Vocations Director Father S. Matthew Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 719-3600.
Gifts in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at milarch.org/donate.