WELLSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A married father of three will be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church by Buffalo's Bishop on Saturday, January 26.
Deacon John Cornelius, 64, grew up in Bolivar and attended Allegany College and SUNY Fredonia before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He received a masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Seminary at Northwestern University and served as an Episcopal priest for 20 years at parishes in Florida, New York, Rhode Island and Texas.
Two years ago, he and his wife Sharyl converted to Catholicism and John was ordained a transitional deacon last November. Currently he is serving as a pastoral associate at SS. Brendan and Jude Parish in Almond.
Now, Deacon Cornelius will be ordained a Catholic priest on Saturday, January 26 at 5p.m. by Bishop Richard Malone at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. To prepare for the priesthood, Deacon Cornelius spent every Saturday for 20 weeks taking a distance learning course from the University of Houston.
"Even as a kid, I remember my Irish Catholic friends in Bolivar let me go into St. Mary's Church with them, teach my how to genuflect and light candles and pray before the saints," Deacon Cornelius said.
After his ordination, Deacon Cornelius will lead the Fellowship of St. Alban in Henrietta, a small community of former Anglicans who have joined the Catholic Church.
Deacon Cornelius and his wife Sharyl have three children together.
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