On the path to priesthood

Seminarian Tom Kadlick with Bishop Zubik at Mary, Mother of the Church.

Two seminarians have taken the important step of becoming candidates for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Tom Kadlick and Dan D’Antonio were granted admission to candidacy during Masses celebrated by Bishop David Zubik on April 25 and May 2.

“Until now they have been discerning their call to the priesthood, doing academic work and spending time in formation,” said Father Tom Sparacino, rector of Saint Paul Seminary. “This is the last step before their ordination to the transitional diaconate next year.”

Kadlick, 26, has spent his pastoral year at Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish in Monongahela, Charleroi and Donora. He’s assisted at daily Mass, brought communion to the sick, taught Spanish at Madonna Regional Catholic School and run an adult education class.

“Tom has just clicked with everyone,” said parishioner Bruno Pappasergi. “Spiritually he has made a big difference in my life.”

“I have been discerning a calling to the priesthood for five years,” Kadlick said, “and the Church has also been discerning me. During the last year I’ve gotten a good sense of what it’s like to be a parish priest. It’s been a fantastic experience.”

D’Antonio, 43, is assigned to Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Duquesne, Homestead, Munhall, West Mifflin and Whitaker. He describes admission to candidacy like “becoming engaged to the Church.

“I fell in love with the people,” D’Antonio said. “They’ve been so welcoming—supporting and encouraging me as I work side-by-side with them.”

He assists at weddings, blessing services, Scripture studies, Vacation Bible School, fundraising events and many other parish activities.

“Seminarian Dan has been a true blessing,” said pastoral associate Lori Ellis. “As Bishop Zubik said at Mass, he enjoys being with people of all ages.”

“This pastoral year has been critical to my discernment to becoming a priest in the diocese,” D’Antonio said. “I’m taking what I’ve learned in theology and applying it to different age groups.

“Father Dan (Sweeney) also has taught me a lot, especially that this is a ministry of presence—being there for others.”

“It’s great for the people to see the steps that these men take,” Father Sparacino said. “The parishioners have embraced the seminarians and lifted them up. They are a witness for them, and a gift to them.”

Bishop Zubk with seminarian Dan D’Antonio at St. Therese of Lisieux Church.