Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Deacon in Lincoln, NE The Rev. Mr. Liam O’Shea-Creal reaches penultimate milestone in formational journey toward priesthood

The Rev. Mr. Liam O’Shea-Creal, a prospective U.S. Navy chaplain, was ordained a transitional deacon on May 28, 2021, in Lincoln, NE. He is on track to be ordained a priest in 2022. Photo by Natalie Bender.

LINCOLN, NE – The Reverend Mr. Liam O’Shea-Creal, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and United States Military chaplaincy, was ordained a transitional deacon on Friday, May 28, in Lincoln, NE. He plans eventually to serve as a Catholic chaplain in the U.S. Navy with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). The new deacon is on track to be ordained a priest next year. His intention is to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Diocese of Lincoln under a co-sponsorship agreement between the Diocese and the AMS.

The Rev. Mr. O’Shea-Creal, 26, is participating the program for priestly formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. His diaconal ordination was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Bishop James D. Conley, D.D., S.T.L., Bishop of Lincoln. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, concelebrated the 7:00 p.m. ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were the new deacon’s parents, Corporal Robert Creal, USMC (HD) and Mrs. Mary O’Shea-Creal, along with extended family including his grandmother, Ms. Mary I. O’Shea, four siblings, eight nieces and nephews, two uncles and an aunt. The prospective Navy chaplain is a 2013 graduate of Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln and a 2018 graduate of St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, NE, where he earned of Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy.

Commenting on his diaconal ordination, the Rev. Mr. O’Shea-Creal said, “I was told that a man is never 100% certain that he is called to be a priest or deacon until his name is called in the Rite of Ordination and he freely stands and says ‘Present.’ Reaching that moment was the most meaningful event of my life and wrought more fruit than I could understand at that time. I look forward to reflecting on this ordination in the year to come and to allow God to show me all that His hand was doing throughout.”

The eventual service of the Rev. Mr. O’Shea-Creal 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, the Navy has only 45 priests on active duty, serving a large Catholic population of SailorsMarinesCoast Guardsmen, 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 at, or may contact the AMS Vocations Office by email at

Gifts in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at