The Rev. Mr. Martin Smay will be ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 30. Priests, deacons and religious of the diocese will gather for the ordination along with Deacon Smay’s family and friends.
“I’m sure that it is an exciting time in his life,” said the Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens Jr., director of Vocations for the diocese. “On the day of his ordination, the church confirms that, after careful inquiry, the candidate has been found worthy.”
During the ordination, Deacon Smay will stand before the bishop and promise to serve the people of God as a priest. As he kneels before the altar, the bishop will lay his hands on Deacon Smay’s head and call upon the Holy Spirit to make him ordained a priest. The bishop will then pray the prayer of ordination.
His fellow priests will then vest the newly ordained with the stole and chasuble. Deacon Smay will be vested by Father Schuelkens. “I have known Martin and his family for 23 years. It’s been a privilege for me to walk with him through the various stages of discernment and formation. He will be an excellent priest,” Father Schuelkens added.
Deacon Smay will then kneel before the bishop, who will anoint his palms with holy chrism. The bishop will then present the paten of bread and chalice of wine to him.
Deacon Smay, 29, is a member of Corpus Christi Parish in Wheeling. He is the son of Jeffrey and Carole Smay, who have four other sons and a daughter, also members of Corpus Christi. Deacon Smay was baptized and confirmed at Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in Weirton. He attended grade school at Sacred Heart of Mary School and St. Paul School, both in Weirton. He is a 2007 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, where he served on the bishop’s pontifical crew. Smay was an active Boy Scout in Weirton and Wheeling and earned Eagle Scout status in 2007.
Deacon Smay received a degree in mining engineering from West Virginia University in 2011. He was formerly employed by CONSOL Energy at McElroy Mine in Marshall County.
As a seminarian, Deacon Smay studied philosophy at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., for two years and theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Bransfield at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling on June 3, 2017.
Deacon Smay currently resides at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and earned a degree in theology (STB) from the Angelicum in 2017. He is studying for a degree in Canon Law at the Gregorian University.
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