By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — The Archdiocese of Mobile will celebrate four ordinations at 10 a.m. May 30 as Deacons Gabriel V. Mills, Connor R. Plessala and Peyton J. Plessala will be ordained to the priesthood and Alexander M. Crow will be ordained to the diaconate.
While the joyous occasion at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is normally open to the public, this year’s Ordination will be a private Mass. Priests, deacons and laypeople are asked not to attend unless invited.
However, all are encouraged to watch a livestream at Facebook.com/TheCatholicWeek.
While it’s not how the seminarians pictured Ordination to look like, they are taking it in stride.
“This is definitely not how we all envisioned May 30 to look, but at the same time, the important thing is (we’re) still being ordained,” Deacon Connor Plessala said. “Fortunately, priesthood is a lifetime, so we’ll be able to celebrate the priesthood for many years to come.”
Deacon Gabriel V. Mills
Deacon Mills will be ordained at the age of 44. The son of Billy and the late Lejeune Mills was baptized and received first Communion at Little Flower Catholic Church in Mobile, his grandparents’ parish.
He spent many years away from the Church and when he returned as an adult, he became a parishioner at Our Savior Parish in Mobile.
Deacon Mills was confirmed at Our Savior Parish and this spring marks the 10th anniversary for his return to the Church.
Before entering seminary, he worked 16 years as a driver for UPS. He graduated from St. Joseph Seminary College and received his Master of Arts degree from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana this month.
He previously served summer assignments at St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Montgomery, St. Dominic Parish in Mobile, St. Agatha Parish in Bay Minette, St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Auburn and Christ the King Parish in Daphne.
Deacon Connor R. Plessala
Deacon Connor Plessala, 25, is the son of Drs. Kirby and Deneen Plessala.
He was raised in St. Ignatius Parish, Mobile, graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in 2012 and attended seminary immediately after high school. He graduated from St. Joseph in 2016 and received his Master of Divinity Degree from St. Meinrad this month.
Deacon Plessala worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Ozark in the summers of 2013 and 2014, and also served summer assignments at Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery, Holy Redeemer Parish in Eufaula and St. Pius X in Union Springs and St. Michael in Auburn.
“I can’t wait to be part of the presbyterate in the Archdiocese,” Deacon Connor Plessala said. “We have an amazing group of men who give their lives to the People of God. I love the people of the Archdiocese and I can’t wait to serve them as a priest. Ordination day will look very different, but what comes after that day is what we’re all excited about.”
Deacon Peyton J. Plessala
Deacon Peyton Plessala will be ordained alongside younger brother Deacon Connor Plessala on May 30.
Deacon Peyton Plessala, 27, also attended St. Ignatius and McGill-Toolen, where he graduated in 2011. He then attended LSU from 2011-14 before deciding to discern.
He graduated from St. Joseph in 2016 and received his Master of Divinity Degree this year. Deacon Plessala previously served summer assignments at St. Bede, Christ the King Parish in Andalusia, St. Elizabeth Parish in Greenville and St. Columba Parish in Dothan.
“My primary emotion leading up to May 30 is gratitude,” Deacon Peyton Plessala said. “I am so remarkably grateful for everyone who has supported me in my journey to priesthood.
“On the other side, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little disappointed. This is a weird time and unfortunately the ordinations have to be done in a much more private manner than any year before. I am disappointed because there are so many people with whom I would like to celebrate this festivity, but it is simply not allowed.”
But having his brother alongside at Ordination and throughout priesthood is a gift.
“It is an incredible blessing to be ordained with my brother,” Deacon Peyton Plessala said. “He will be incredible support for me as we journey together through priesthood and I hope that I will be a solid support for him as well. The priesthood is truly a fraternity of brother priests, and I look forward to how Connor and I will enter that fraternity.”
Deacon Connor Plessala added: “Every time I answer this question, I am reminded how great a blessing it is to have my brother next to me as we go through seminary and enter priesthood. A healthy priesthood requires good friendships with brother priests, and to have my brother as a priest with me, I can’t thank God enough for this.”
Alexander M. Crow
Alexander Crow will be ordained a transitional deacon at the age of 27. The Semmes native is the son of Duncan and Louise Crow and he was a parishioner at St. Ignatius Parish.
He attended Holy Family and St. Dominic Catholic Schools before attending McGill-Toolen from 2007-11. Crow then attended Spring Hill College from 2011-12 before dropping out to become a musician.
But Crow then began discerning a call to the priesthood. He attended St. Joseph from 2014-18 and is scheduled to receive his Master of Divinity degree from St. Meinrad in 2021.
Crow will serve a summer assignment at St. Patrick Parish in Robertsdale this year. He has previously served at St. Vincent de Paul in Tillman’s Corner, Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Enterprise.
Upon reflecting on this year’s Ordination, Crow said: “This is an unprecedented time. It is certainly startling that something invisible to the naked eye can bring the world, including the Church, to its knees. I share in people’s anxiety, fear, sadness,and frustration. I must admit though that in spite of all that is happening in the world, I feel a remarkable amount of peace and certitude that God has created me to be a priest. Therefore, I look forward to ordination with great joy and confidence, knowing that God has called me to serve His people during this particular time in our Archdiocese. I am ready to serve.”