Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Deacon in Denver The Rev. Mr. Anthony Davis reaches penultimate milestone in formational journey toward priesthood

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila ordains the Reverend Mr. Anthony Davis a transitional deacon on Feb. 22, 2020, in Denver. Photo courtesy of Dan Petty | Archdiocese of Denver.

DENVER – The Reverend Mr. Anthony Davis, ENS, USN, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and United States Military chaplaincy, was ordained a transitional deacon on Saturday, Feb. 22, in Denver, CO. He hopes eventually to serve as a Catholic chaplain in the United States Navy with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). The new deacon is tentatively scheduled to be ordained a priest next year and hopes to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Archdiocese of Denver.

Deacon Davis, 26, is participating in the program for priestly formation at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. His diaconal ordination was celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, JCD, Archbishop for the Military Services, concelebrated the 10:00 a.m. ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were the new deacon’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Davis; his brother, Brother Frassati Davis, OP; his sister, Sister Kara Davis, DC; and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Don Maxwell and Ms. Theresa Davis.

Raised in a military family—his father is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who retired at the rank of Master Sergeant—the Rev. Mr. Davis is a 2012 graduate of Belleville East Township High School in Belleville, ILL. He attended Colorado State University for two years before entering seminary. Deacon Davis said it was at Colorado State where he first discerned a vocation through discussions with his spiritual director there, Father Rocco Porter, VF.

Commenting on his diaconal ordination, the Rev. Mr. Davis said, “Words cannot describe the humbling experience of being called to serve God’s Church with an undivided heart. He has transformed my life in such a radical way, and I am extremely blessed and excited to continue to follow Him wherever He leads. I am thankful to all of my family, friends, and the Archdiocese of Denver and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, which have supported me and mentored me over the past six years.”

The eventual service of Deacon Davis and other Catholic chaplain candidates is greatly anticipated by the Navy, which, like all other branches of the U.S. Military, continues to suffer a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains. Currently, only 48 priests are on active duty in the U.S. Navy, serving a globally dispersed Catholic population of approximately 140,000 sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen, not counting their families.

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 at www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact Father Logan by email at vocations@milarch.org.