Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Priest in Denver Father Anthony Davis crosses finish line in formational journey toward priesthood

Newly ordained Father Anthony Davis celebrates Mass in Denver, CO, on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

DENVER – Father Anthony Davis, ENS, USN, a candidate for service as a Catholic chaplain in the United States Military, was ordained a priest on Saturday, May 15, 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 priest hopes to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Archdiocese of Denver under a co-sponsorship agreement between the Archdiocese of Denver and the AMS.

Father Davis, 27, completed the program for priestly formation at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. His 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. AMS Auxiliary Bishop Neal J. Buckon concelebrated the 10:00 a.m. ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were the new priest’s parents, Tony and Mary Davis; his brother, the Reverend Brother Frassati Davis, OP; and his sister, Sister Kara Davis, DC.

Father Davis celebrated his “first” Masses on Sunday, May 16, at St. Cajetan Catholic Church, presiding at a 10:30 a.m. Mass in English and a 4:30 p.m. Mass in Spanish.

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—Father Davis is a 2012 graduate of Belleville East Township High School in Belleville, IL. He attended Colorado State University for two years before entering seminary. Father 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 priestly ordination, Father Davis said, “I am humbled and overjoyed to be called and ordained by the Church. I am excited to serve the people of God wherever the Lord may lead me.”

The eventual service of Father 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 50 priests are on active duty in the Navy, serving a large population of Catholics 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 www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the AMS Vocations Office at vocations@milarch.org.

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