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"Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy than to celebrate Mass each day
and to serve Godís people in the Church. That has been true ever since the day of
my ordination as a priest. Nothing has ever changed this, not even becoming Pope."
ó Saint John Paul II

new priests

Nine men were ordained as priests on July 26 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. This is the largest number of men to be ordained at a single Mass in the Diocese of Nashville's history. The following bios were written July 18, 2014 just before the deacons' ordination. Click here to read full articles.


Father Michael Fye
Completing graduate studies in Rome

Deacon Fye trusted God 'would take care of me'

When Deacon Michael Fye left his home in Dickson County to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Nashville at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, he put his trust in the Lord. "My presumption was God would not lead me wrong … he would take care of me if I would just simply let him," Deacon Fye said. Read more...

Father Phillip Halladay

Completing graduate studies in Rome

Deacon Halladay's happiness comes from helping others

When Deacon Phillip Halladay worked as a firefighter and paramedic and later as an insurance company claims investigator he often found himself helping people pick up the pieces in the wake of tragedy and natural disasters. "I've always been around death, destruction and devastation," Deacon Halladay said. "I found in my life it was my faith that allowed me to handle this and help others get through these events. Read more....

Father John Hammond
Associate Pastor, Christ the King Church, Nashville

'Deeper questions' lead John Hammond to the priesthood

Deacon John Hammond shares a name with a famed blues musician and knows his way around a Deacon Hammond B-3 organ; he studied, plays, and appreciates music, and knows it will continue to be an important part of his life. In fact, music was one of the things that led him to his vocation as a priest. "One of the gifts of music is that it touches people on a deep level," he said. Those who share a passion for music, he said, often have a "sensitivity to beauty and are inclined to ask deeper questions." Studying sacred music in college, Deacon Hammond began to ask himself some deeper questions about his calling. In that sense, "music prepared me for the priesthood," he said. Read more...

Father Gervan Menezes
Chaplain, Father Ryan High School, Nashville

Deacon Gervan Menezes finds a spiritual path from Brazil to Nashville

Deacon Gervan Menezes grew up in a Catholic family in the most Catholic country in the world, but as a young student, he was not active in the church. Spiritually, "I was considered kind of a lost cause in my family. They thought I would never do anything for the church," he said. But much has changed since Deacon Menezes' early days, and on July 26, he will defy all his family's expectations by being ordained a priest for the Diocese of Nashville. While the "path was a little bit crazy," Deacon Menezes feels certain he has now found his way. "I have the sense that I'm ready for this," he said. "It's God's call. You answer." Read more... 

Father Delphinus "Delly" Mutajuka
Associate Pastor, St. Rose Church, Murfreesboro

Vocation carries seminarian from Tanzania to Tennessee

Deacon Delphinus Mutajuka's long journey from Tanzania to Tennessee will reach a milestone on Saturday, July 26, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, when he and eight other men will be ordained as priests of the Diocese of Nashville. "It's what I've been waiting for, what I've been longing for, and now God is leading me to where he wants me to be," Deacon Mutajuka said. Deacon Mutajuka, who goes by the name "Delly," began his journey as a 7-year-old altar server in his native Tanzania. Read more...

Father Anthony Mutuku
Associate Pastor, St. Henry Church, Nashville

Deacon Mutuku brings a sense of adventure, compassion to ministry

On July 26, Deacon Anthony Mutuku and Deacon Delly Mutajuka will be the first two priests from Africa ever ordained to serve the Diocese of Nashville, adding to the vibrant, multicultural nature of the Catholic Church in Middle Tennessee. Hailing from Kenya, Deacon Mutuku hopes to bring the "the spirituality and the values acquired from my own society, joy, hospitality and openness" to his new life as a priest. Growing up in a small Catholic family in Kenya, Deacon Mutuku was first drawn to the priesthood through the missionary priests from India who served his diocese. "They really loved what they did and I developed a desire to minister as they did," he said. Read more...

Father Paul Nguyen
Associate Pastor, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Cookeville

Deacon Mutuku brings a sense of adventure, compassion to ministry

Deacon Paul Nguyen grew up in post-Vietnam War Saigon, surrounded by his large, extended, Catholic family. His father, however, was tragically absent from his life. An officer in the South Vietnamese army, he became a political prisoner in 1975 when Deacon Nguyen was still a baby, and died in prison two years later. "My mother and my grandmother raised me," Deacon Nguyen said. "And I was very blessed to have aunts as mothers and uncles as fathers. That's how God loved me." Read more...

Father Christiano Nunes da Silva
Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, Clarksville

Christiano Nunes da Silva wants to offer 'ministry of presence'

One of Deacon Christiano Nunes da Silva's guiding principles is to "blossom where you are planted." Fluent in four languages, he has been planted, and blossomed, in different countries and in different settings over the years, but in Nashville, he says, "I have a sense of peace and happiness that I got to my port." Originally from Fortaleza, Brazil, Deacon Nunes grew up in a small, "Christmas and Easter only" Catholic family. Although they were less-than-devout, Deacon Nunes da Silva's parents made sure their five children received their sacraments. Read more...

Father Dan Reehil
Associate Pastor, St. Edward Church, Nashville

'This is where I'm supposed to be,' says soon-to-be priest

A pilgrimage to Medjugorie, where a group of teens said they were visited by the Virgin Mary, changed the course of Deacon Daniel Reehil's life. He quit his job on Wall Street, delved deeply into his Catholic faith, began to discern a call to the priesthood, and ended up in Nebraska as a brother with the Intercessors of the Lamb community, leading retreats and parish missions. When problems with the community led to the local bishop suppressing the group, Deacon Reehil decided to follow a call he had felt to the priesthood. Eventually, he came to Middle Tennessee, and on Saturday, July 26, he will be one of nine men who are ordained as priests for the Diocese of Nashville. Read more...


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