RICHMOND, VA – The Reverend Mr. Armando Herrera (1LT), USAR, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and United States Military chaplaincy, was ordained a transitional deacon on Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Richmond, VA. He hopes eventually to serve as a U.S. Army chaplain with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). The new deacon is on track to be ordained a priest in December and hopes to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Diocese of Richmond under a co-sponsorship agreement between the diocese and the AMS.
The Rev. Mr. Herrera, 28, has completed the program for priestly formation at Theological College in Washington, DC, where he recently earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and a Master of Divinity from The Catholic University of America. His diaconal ordination was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Bishop Barry C. Knestout, D.D., of Richmond. AMS Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey concelebrated the 10:30 a.m. ordination Mass. Among those in attendance were the new deacon’s parents, Armando and Lizette Herrera, and sisters Bianca Tan and Ariana Herrera.
The Rev. Mr. Herrera is a 2012 graduate of Roanoke Catholic High School and a 2016 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he matriculated on an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. The new deacon says he discerned his vocation in college. “At VMI,” he says, “I had a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ on a retreat that changed my life forever. I began to live a life of serious discipleship and prayer. I began to surrender more and more of my will and my life over to Him and it was then that he began calling me to be His priest.”
Commenting on his diaconal ordination, the Rev. Mr. Herrera said, “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of God. I feel so blessed to have received this gift of ordination to the Diaconate. I’m excited for the more the Lord wants to give me!”
The eventual priestly service of the Rev. Mr. Herrera and other Catholic chaplain candidates is greatly anticipated by the Army, which, like all other branches of the U.S. Military, continues to suffer a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains. Currently, only 89 priests are on active duty in the Army, serving more than 120,000 Catholic soldiers 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 milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the AMS Office of Vocations directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at milarch.org/donate.