By Colleen Rowan CHARLES TOWN—Tomorrow, May 29, will be a great day for the Church in West Virginia as Deacon Phillip Szabo is ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Mark E. Brennan at 11 a.m. at St. James the Greater Church in Charles Town. This joyful day is one the faithful will not want to miss. And they don’t have to. Those who cannot be there in person are reminded to tune into the livestream of the ordination on the diocese’s website at “We’re blessed to be able to livestream the Ordination Mass so that all those who are unable to attend in person can partici- pate prayerfully through their computers and phones,” said Father Brian Crenwelge, vocations director for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. “I hope many people can tune in for this beautiful event in the life of the diocese.” As a seminarian, Deacon Szabo has made many friends in the places he has visited and served, especially in his summer assignments at Sacred Heart parishes in Bluefield and Princeton and at St. Thomas Parish in Thomas and Our Lady of Mercy Mission in Parsons. The people of these faith communities will watch as the seminarian they came to know becomes a priest. “Those who cannot travel are so pleased to have the ability to watch this holy ceremony virtually,” Gina Boggess, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Princeton, said in a story in the May 14 issue of The Catholic Spirit. Boggess, who is also a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, went on to say, “It is a blessing and honor for the faithful to be present in spirit witnessing Brother Phillip accepting God’s call to love and serve His people.” Deacon Szabo will be vested with the stole and chasuble by Father Timothy Grassi and Father Giles LeVasseur, two priests of the diocese who have played important roles in his vocation discernment. Father LeVasseur has been a spiritual mentor to him since he was in college. “Without him, I would never have had the tools or encouragement that I needed to pursue my vocation to the priesthood,” Deacon Szabo said. “He helped me recognize God’s call in the very beginning and protected me from many of the pitfalls that can deter a man from entering seminary.” It was during his summer assignment in Thomas that he got to know Father Grassi. “His example and words of wisdom have also been a very important part of my journey towards the priesthood,” Deacon Szabo said. “After spending a summer with him in Thomas and Parsons, he too became an important spiritual mentor for me.” At his ordination, Deacon Szabo will stand before Bishop Brennan and make the promise to serve the people of God as a priest. As he kneels before the altar, the bishop will lay his hands upon Deacon Szabo’s head, calling upon the Holy Spirit to ordain him a priest. The bishop will then pray the prayer of ordination. Deacon Szabo is the son of Joseph Szabo and Theresa Michael, and hails from Augusta in the Eastern Panhandle’s Hampshire County. His home parish is Our Lady of Grace in Romney. He attended St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He is also a registered nurse and attended Fairmont State University. Deacon Szabo’s first assignment as a newly ordained priest is forthcoming.