Deacon Golna Reflects on His Upcoming Priesthood Ordination

The Catholic Spirit Photo
Deacon Justin Golna is pictured in an interview for The Roch-umentary video series.

By Colleen Rowan
WHEELING—Ordination to priesthood cannot come soon enough for Deacon Justin Golna. “I can’t wait!” he said in a recent interview for The Roch-umentary video series by St. James the Greater Parish in Charles Town.
Deacon Golna will be ordained to priesthood by Bishop Mark Brennan at 11 a.m. June 27 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling. The ordination will be livestreamed on the diocese’s website (www. and Facebook page.
The 30-year-old Washington, Pa., native came to West Virginia by way of Wheeling Jesuit University. After being away from the faith for many years, he shared with The Roch-umentary, that he went to confession one day while on a spring break trip.
“A priest heard my confession, and that changed my life,” he said.
Upon his return from the trip, Deacon Golna would visit different Wheeling parishes to receive the sacrament of penance. And it was then that he met Very Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., V.E., who was pastor at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Wheeling at the time. He then joined the parish.
Deacon Golna also spoke of “the great love I experience from the priests” in the diocese as one of the reasons he wanted to serve in West Virginia. The need for priests was another reason that he felt called to West Virginia.
“I wasn’t made for comfort. I was made to labor,” he said in The Roch-umentary interview. “The harvest is plentiful, and the laborers are few, and I want to do my part in this mission field to draw souls to Christ.”
Deacon Golna has three godchildren in this diocese. “Two of them are older than me,” he said. “There are a lot of unbaptized people out there that want and yearn to know Jesus.” And he is more than ready to introduce them to our Lord.
Deacon Golna is the son of John and Deborah Golna. He received a bachelor of arts from Wheeling Jesuit University and a master’s in philosophy from Duquesne University. His home parish is Our Lady of Peace in Wheeling.
Following his ordination, he will be assigned to St. Joseph the Worker and Sacred Heart of Mary parishes in Weirton for the summer before he returns to Rome to continue his advanced studies in canon law at the Gregorian University.
During the ordination, Deacon Golna will stand before Bishop Brennan and promise to serve the people of God as a priest. As he kneels before the altar, the bishop will lay his hands upon Deacon Golna’s head, calling upon the Holy Spirit to ordain him a priest. The bishop will then pray the prayer of ordination.
Vesting him with the stole and chasuble at his ordination to priesthood  will be Father Schuelkens, who is now vicar for clergy and pastor of the Parishes of St. Joseph the Worker and Sacred Heart of Mary in Weirton, and Msgr. Kevin M. Quirk, pastor of the Parishes of St. Vincent de Paul in New Martinsville and Mater Dolorosa in Paden City and the Missions of St. Joseph in Proctor and Holy Rosary in Sistersville.
All are invited to attend a holy hour at 3 p.m. June 26 at the cathedral to pray for Deacon Golna on the eve of his ordination. Msgr. Quirk will be preaching.
Last fall, Deacon Golna was among 32 men ordained to the diaconate at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City by Bishop Robert Deeley of Portland, Maine. Recalling that memorable day, Deacon Golna told The Roch-umentary that as he lay prostrate at his diaconate ordination his prayer was for the people of God in West Virginia, for people who are influential in his life, but ultimately that he never gives up in the vocation to which the Lord has called him. “And that I become a good, holy priest for you,” he said to the Catholic people of West Virginia as he spoke, looking into the camera, “because that is what you deserve.”