Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Priest in Arlington, VA Father Peter St. George completes formational journey to priesthood

Left to right: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, VA, Father Peter St. George, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, on June 4, 2022, in Arlington, VA.

ARLINGTON, VA – Father Peter J. St. George, LTJG, USNR, a candidate for the United States Military chaplaincy, was ordained a priest on Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Arlington, VA. He hopes 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 priest plans to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Diocese of Arlington under a co-sponsorship agreement with the AMS. In his first assignment, he will serve as parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria.

Father St. George, 28, completed the program for priestly formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD where he excelled in his studies and earned three top awards announced at the graduation ceremonies.  His presbyteral ordination was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. AMS Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey concelebrated the 11:00 a.m. ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were the new priest’s parents, Jodi and Chris St. George, Lt. Col, USMC (Ret.), and his siblings and their families: sister Becky, her husband Micah, and their children Claire, Jonah, and Lucy; brother Tom, LCDR, USNR, his wife Masha, and their children Noelle, Maximilian, and Siena; sister Julie, her husband Connor, LT, USN, and their daughter Rose; sister Megan, and brothers Chris and Joe.”

Father St. George is a 2012 graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences before entering Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and University where he has since earned a Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology with a concentration on church history, and a Master of Divinity. He also holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.

The new priest said it was during his undergraduate years at Notre Dame that he began seriously considering a vocation. “Midway through college,” he said, “I grew a great deal in my Catholic faith. After consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary, I discovered that the desire to be a priest which had first moved my heart as a young boy returned with a newness and depth that I had never experienced before. It quickly became clear that the Lord was calling me to be his priest and that Mary was leading me to respond, ‘Yes,’ to this call.”

Commenting on his priestly ordination, Father St. George said, “The Lord has so deeply blessed me in these past years of formation towards the priesthood, and I rejoice that he has consecrated me to pour out blessing on his people.” The new priest celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA.

The eventual priestly service of Father St. George 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 severe shortage of Catholic chaplains. Currently, only 39 priests are on active duty in the Navy, serving a Catholic population of more than 135,000 based worldwide in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as, 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 milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the AMS Office of Vocations directly by email at vocations@milarch.org.

Gifts in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at milarch.org/donate.