WHEELING, W.Va.—Seminarian Martin Smay will be ordained a transitional deacon by Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling at 11 a.m. June 3.
Priests, deacons and religious of the diocese as well as Smay’s family and friends will gather for the ordination where he will promise obedience to the bishop and his successors and take on the vow of celibacy. As a transitional deacon, Smay will then spend a year preaching the Gospel preparing for ordination to the priesthood. He will also receive a summer assignment, which will be announced at the end of the ordination Mass.
During his ordination, Smay will be vested with the stole and dalmatic—the symbols worn by deacons during liturgies. Smay will be vested by Rev. Mr. Joseph J. Prentiss, Ph. D., deacon at St. John University Parish in Morgantown.
The bishop will then present Smay with the Book of the Gospels, so that they may proclaim the Good News and model their lives after Christ. As he presents the Book of the Gospels, the bishop will say to both of them, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”
Smay, 28, 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. 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, W.Va. 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.
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, Smay studied philosophy at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., for two years and theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.