The Diocese of Venice relies on dedicated men who have committed their lives to serving God. One such man will be ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 10, 2024, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.
Transitional Deacon Alan J. Baldarelli Jr. has completed his priestly formation and has been called to ordination by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who will be the ordaining prelate. The ordination will be at 11 a.m., at the Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice.
In addition to Bishop Dewane, the Mass will include a number of priests, deacons, religious, family and friends from across the Diocese.
“This is one of the most beautiful and rarely seen Sacraments in the Church,” Bishop Dewane explained. “It is a public response to the Call to Holiness, which comes with great responsibility and accountability. The Diocese of Venice is blessed that, year after year, men are hearing the call of the Lord, and responding.”
All are welcome and encouraged to attend the Ordination, said Bishop Dewane. “It is important the faithful support each Ordination as the Priest is a future link to the continuation of the Sacraments. This is a life-changing, lifelong, commitment, and Priests, especially new Priests, need the support and encouragement of the faithful.”
During Ordination to the Priesthood, Deacon Baldarelli will freely present himself to serve God, the Church and the Bishop of the Diocese of Venice and his successors. He will also make a renewed commitment to celibacy and promise obedience.
Deacon Baldarelli, 41, is originally from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and is the oldest of four children. His parent, Alan Joseph Baldarelli Sr. and Holly Louise Baldarelli, will be celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary on Feb. 14, Ash Wednesday, which falls on Valentine’s Day this year, just a few days after the ordination of their son. Deacon Baldarelli’s siblings are Jenna Lynn Peltz, Matthew J. Baldarelli, and Rita Marie Hartenstein.
Upon graduating high school, Deacon Baldarelli earned an international business degree from John Carroll University and worked in sales and marketing in various corporate jobs. Not satisfied with the path his life was on, a stray comment from a family friend that he should consider becoming a priest began his path to the priesthood and while working at a university job, he began taking courses on Sacred Scripture.
An annual visitor to Southwest Florida with his family from a young age, Deacon Baldarelli sought to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Venice. His formation took place at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami and then at St. Vincent de Paul regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. He was ordained as a Transitional Deacon in 2022.
As a seminarian, Deacon Baldarelli served pastoral assignments at Holy Cross in Palmetto, St. Paul in Arcadia, St. William in Naples, Our Lady Queen of Heaven in Labelle, and Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Most recently, he has been serving at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte.
When asked about his upcoming ordination, Deacon Baldarelli said, “There is a healthy mix of excitement, nervousness, and contentment in knowing that the call received from the Lord is being answered.”
While Deacon Baldarelli will be ordained on Feb. 10, there are men in the Diocese of Venice who are at various stages in their priestly formation, either in college or at a seminary where they continue their studies toward the ordained priesthood. The Diocese of Venice asks that the faithful remember Deacon Baldarelli, and all those discerning priesthood, in their prayers.
Parishioners are encouraged to help support Diocesan seminarians in their studies and choice of vocation. To contribute to the education of seminarians, send a check to the Diocese of Venice, Office of Vocations, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285 or visit the website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/ways-to-give.
For those considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, please contact the Diocesan Director of Vocations, Father Sean Roser, at email@example.com.