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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: July 24, 2020
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will ordain five new transitional deacons and two new priests in one week in August for the Diocese of Little Rock. These ordinations are invitation only to safeguard against COVID-19. However, all will be livestreamed on the Arkansas Catholic Facebook page and the diocesan YouTube channel for anyone to watch online. Follow Arkansas Catholic on Facebook and/or subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notifications when the livestreams begin. These events were originally scheduled for May, but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alex Smith will be ordained a deacon at St. Jude Church in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. Smith, 25, attends Assumption Seminary in San Antonio in preparation for ordination to the priesthood in 2021. He is the son of Jesus and Gilda Elizondo of Beebe.
Omar Galván will be ordained a deacon at Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. Galvan, 27, attends St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana in preparation for ordination to the priesthood in 2021. He is the son of Baltazar Galvan and Florina Gonzalez of Fort Smith.
Emmanuel Torres will be ordained a deacon at St. Edward Church in Little Rock on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. Torres, 33, attends St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana in preparation for ordination to the priesthood in 2021. He is the son of Juan and Maria Torres of North Little Rock.
Ben Riley and Brian Cundall will be ordained deacons at Christ the King Church in Little Rock on Friday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. Riley and Cundall attend St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana in preparation for ordination to the priesthood in 2021. Riley, 26, is the son of Dr. Richard and Melanie Riley of Little Rock. Cundall, 25, is the son of Yancy and Rose Cundall of Little Rock.
Deacons Joseph Friend and Daniel Velasco will be ordained to the priesthood at Christ the King Church in Little Rock on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. This event was moved from its original location to Christ the King Church because of the threat of COVID-19. Both men earned master of divinity degrees from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana after the spring 2020 semester.
Friend, 26, is the son of Dr. Jerry and Dona Friend and the late Betty Friend. On Sept. 1 he will become associate pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Morrilton and St. Joseph Church in Center Ridge. He remains associate campus minister of Catholic Campus Ministry in Conway.
Velasco, 46, is the son of Ismael Velasco Miguel and María del Carmen Pérez Vargas. On Sept. 1 he will become associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith and chaplain of Trinity Junior High School in Fort Smith.
To learn more, see a complete schedule of events or contact the Vocations and Seminarians Office. There are 30 seminarians discerning priesthood for the Diocese of Little Rock, which includes six new seminarians beginning in August. To learn how they experience this calling, read their vocation stories. If you or someone you know thinks they might be called to priesthood, email Msgr. Scott Friend, vocations director, or call him at (501) 664-0340, ext. 331.