U.S. Army Chaplain Candidate Ordained a Transitional Deacon in New Mexico Diaconal ordination marks penultimate step toward priesthood for Rev. Mr. Joseph Baltz

Archbishop John C. Wester ordains the Rev. Mr. Joseph Baltz a transitional deacon on June 6, 2019, in Rio Rancho, NM.

RIO RANCHO, NM – The Reverend Mr. Joseph Baltz, a candidate for the Catholic priesthood and United States military chaplaincy, was ordained a transitional Deacon on Thursday, June 6, in his home Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM. He hopes eventually to serve as a Catholic chaplain in the United States Army with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). Deacon Baltz’s diaconal ordination was celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Rio Rancho, NM, through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe. AMS Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey, CHC, CAPT (Sel), USN, concelebrated the ordination Mass.

Rev. Mr. Baltz, 26, is a 2011 graduate of Rio Rancho High School. He graduated from the University of Dallas in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, OR. He is set to be ordained a priest next year, after which he will serve in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe for three years while preparing to go on active duty as an Army chaplain.

“It feels surreal,” Deacon Baltz commented after Thursday’s ordination Mass. “A day ago I was a layman, today I am a cleric. I’ve promised my life away in service to Christ and His Church. That’s it! My life is sealed!”

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 AMS Vocations Director Father Aidan Logan, O.C.S.O., at vocations@milarch.org or (202) 719-3600.