Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Transitional Deacon in Washington, DC The Reverend Brother Matthew Tomeny reaches penultimate milestone in formational journey toward priesthood

Left to right: Auxiliary Bishop Roy Campbell, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, and the Rev. Brother Matthew Tomeny at the latter’s diaconal ordination Mass on Jan. 2, 2021, in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Reverend Brother Matthew Tomeny, MIC, ENS, USNR, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and chaplaincy in the United States Navy, was ordained a transitional deacon on Saturday, Jan. 2, in Washington, DC. The Navy reservist plans to go on active duty with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) following three years of pastoral service in his religious congregation after priestly ordination next year.

The Rev. Brother Tomeny (right in photo) belongs to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin MaryMother of Mercy Province, based in Stockbridge, MA. He is participating in the program for priestly formation at the Marian Scholasticate while studying theology at  Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, housed at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, where he is completing a Master of Divinity Degree in Theological Studies.

His diaconal ordination was celebrated, along with that of another Marian, in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Auxiliary Bishop Roy Campbell of Washington. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, assisted in choir at the 10:00 a.m. ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were the new deacon’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Patrick Tomeny of Hanceville, AL, and four of his nine siblings: Ms. Mary Tomeny, Mr. Joseph Tomeny, Mr. Mark Tomeny, and Mr. Joshua Tomeny.

The prospective Navy chaplain is a 2012 high school graduate of Holy Family Academy in Florida, and a 2017 graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Humanities and Catholic Culture. Commenting on his diaconal ordination, the Rev. Brother Tomeny said he is “at peace and excited to serve the church in the diaconate and eventually, as a priest and chaplain in the Navy.”

The eventual service of the Rev. Brother Tomeny 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 50 Catholic priests on active duty, serving a Catholic population of more than 135,000 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel spread worldwide, not counting their families, whom they also serve.

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 by email at vocations@milarch.org.

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