My dear people of St. Mary’s,
On Saturday, June 23, at 11:00 am at St. Agnes Cathedral, Bishop Barres will ordain Transitional Deacon Leo Song a priest for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
Deacon Song was born in Seoul, South Korea, and came to the United States when he was six. His parents emigrated because they were looking for a better life for Leo and his younger sister, Jina. They lived first in Whitestone and then in Bayside, Queens, where St. Robert Bellarmine became their home parish. His family were always religious and active in church: his father, Han, has sung in the choir for more than twenty years; and his mother, Liz, has served the parish on various councils, committees and in a number of ministries. Deacon Song said: “Seeing my parents’ faith in action during my childhood made a profound impact on my own faith. I am deeply grateful to them for teaching and passing on the faith to my sister and me.”
Deacon Song attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his degree in economics in 2004. Following college, after several years working in business in the city, he enrolled at CUNY Graduate Center, earning a doctorate with honors in physical therapy in 2011. He then worked with oncology patients at New York Presbyterian Weil Cornell Medical Center
During this time, he was also involved in his parish as a catechist, served as a youth minister, and was involved in the young adult ministry. He would later say, “Eventually it was God’s grace that opened my heart to listen to His call.” Despite being so involved with parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn, Deacon Song said: “I heard God tell me, ‘Leo, be a priest on Long Island.’”
For the next two years he was sent to study philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Following that experience, the diocese then sent him to study in Rome. He received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University last year, and will receive a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, both in Rome.
His “adopted” Long Island parish is the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Woodbury (where Msgr. Bauhoff is pastor) and which has a large and active Korean community. He will celebrate his first Mass there on Sunday, June 24th, at 12:15 pm.
The ordination will be broadcast live on our diocesan television station, Telecare, which can be viewed on Cablevision channel 29/137, Verizon FiOS TV channel 296, & Time Warner Cable channel 471.ordination can also be viewed on the diocesan website: www.drvc.org.
Let us pray for Deacon Song as he prepares for his ordination to the Holy Priesthood and readies himself to begin his pastoral ministry to the people of God in our diocese.