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Four new priests to be ordained this week, to serve across Fall River Diocese



FALL RIVER — Four men will be ordained priests for service in the Diocese of Fall River in two ordinations to take place in June.

On Saturday, June 3, at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will ordain to the priesthood Deacon Brian P. Connors of Taunton; Deacon John Garabedian of Mansfield; and Deacon Christopher D. Hughes of Sandwich.

The second ordination will take place outside the diocese, in Brazil, where Bishop da Cunha will ordain Deacon Thiago Menezes Santos a priest on Friday, June 9, in the deacon’s home parish church, St. Pius X, in the city of Aracaju. The bishop decided to travel to Brazil to celebrate the ordination there after learning that the family of Deacon Santos would not be able to come to Fall River to be present for the joyous event because of visa restrictions.

Bishop da Cunha recently said the ordination of four new priests for the Diocese of Fall River “is a moment of Thanksgiving, great joy and a hope for the future of our Church.”

The bishop ordained all four men transitional deacons in St. Mary’s Cathedral last May.

Deacon Connors, who is 32, is the son of Michael and Janice Connors and he has two brothers. He is a 2009 graduate of Dighton-Rehoboth High School. Experiencing a conversion of faith while in his 20s, he received the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church in 2015 and began seeking opportunities to deepen his faith through retreats, witness sharing, and involvement in his home parish, Holy Family in East Taunton. He entered the Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, New Jersey, in 2017. As a seminarian, he served summer assignments at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Westport, and St. Mary’s Cathedral and Holy Name Parish, both in Fall River.

He will celebrate his first Mass at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 4, in Holy Family Church, East Taunton.

Deacon Garabedian, 32, is from Mansfield, Mass. and is a parishioner of St. Mary Parish in that town. He is the son of John and Claire Garabedian and has two sisters. A 2009 graduate of Mansfield High School, he went on to Bridgewater State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design. He worked as a graphic artist and baseball coach for a few years as he explored his faith more deeply and discerned a vocation to the priesthood. He studied theology and prepared for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey. His summer assignments have included St. Ann Parish, Raynham; St. Anthony, East Falmouth; Our Lady of Grace, Westport; Holy Name, Fall River; and Holy Family, East Taunton.

He will celebrate his first Mass at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, June 4, in St. Mary’s Church in Mansfield.

Deacon Hughes, 27, is the son of Daniel and Joanna Hughes. He has a brother and a sister. A parishioner of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee, he has been active throughout his life there as a server, lector, and sacristan, in faith formation and in youth ministry. He is a 2013 graduate of St. John Paul II High School in Hyannis and a 2017 graduate of St. Joseph College’s in Maine with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In the fall of that year, he began studies for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary, New Jersey. Over the summers, he has served at St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown; Christ the King, Mashpee; St. Francis Xavier, Acushnet; and St. Mary, South Dartmouth.

He will celebrate his first Mass at 3 p.m., June 4, in Christ the King Church in Mashpee.

Deacon Santos, soon to be 27 years old, is the son of Sergio Santana Santos and the late Laura Teles Menezes Santos. He has one sister. Born and raised in Aracaju, Brazil, he was involved in catechetical and evangelization programs in his home parish there. He began his preparation for the priesthood at the Our Lady of Conception Major Seminary in Aracaju. He was asked by Bishop da Cunha to consider serving as a priest in the United States in the Diocese of Fall River. He accepted the invitation and transferred to the Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey to complete his theological studies. As a seminarian in this diocese, he has served at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River and at St. Anthony, St. Jude, and St. Mary Parishes in Taunton.

He will celebrate his first Mass in the Diocese of Fall River at 11:15 a.m., Sunday, June 18, in St. Anthony Church in Taunton.

The June 3rd ordination in St. Mary’s Cathedral will be livestreamed on the Fall River Diocesan Facebook page at

The ordination of Deacon Santos in Brazil will be livestreamed at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 9, via the YouTube channel of his home parish, Paróquia São Pio X- Aracaju

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