Archdiocese experiences extra ‘ordain-ary’ summer


Archbishop Gregory Aymond ordained five men to the Roman Catholic priesthood for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on June 1.

The five men were Colin Braud, Travis Clark, Gary Copping, Daniel Green and Jonathan Hemelt.

According to the archdiocese office, it was the largest ordination class for the archdiocese in nearly 10 years.

Sarah McDonald, director of communications for the archdiocese, said the journey for the deacons to become priests started years before their ordination mass.

“There is a process to enter seminary and several years of education and discernment that goes into becoming a priest,” McDonald said.

The reason each man entered the priesthood varies. Each priest has been assigned to their first duties

Most of the ordained began their work for the church in early July. Braud started at St. Margaret Mary Church in Slidell, and Clark began at St. Ann Church in Metairie. Both of the men took their positions on July 1.

The other priests held their first mass just a few days following their ordination. Copping held his first mass on June 2 at St. Anselm Church in Madisonville

“Each man chooses to become a priest for different reasons, but the one thing they all have in common is that they have answered ‘yes’ to God’s call to give their lives to love and serve God and his people,” McDonald said.

McDonald said that is something difficult to answer what qualities are significant in potential priests.

“Ordination is bestowing the sacrament of Holy Orders on a man and cannot be summed up in a step-by-step process,” McDonald said.

Shamara King can be reached at [email protected]

Jessica DeBold contributed to this story.