Two Alumni Called to Transitional Diaconate

Ordination Images


Two O'Connell graduates, Robert (Robby) Renner '12 and Peter St. George '12, were ordained as transitional deacons by Bishop Burbidge on April 10. The transitional diaconate is the next step in their journey toward the priesthood.

Both young men are excited to be ordained and credit their time at O'Connell for providing them with a strong Catholic community. The two met even before high school, when their older brothers played soccer for Bishop O'Connell. Robby and Peter went on to play soccer together at O'Connell as well. Their friendship further developed as they worked together on Superdance planning committees, and continued on through college and into seminary.

Peter St. George

Peter St. George

Peter is a University of Notre Dame graduate who was commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate in the Navy upon his graduation in May 2016. Midway through his time at Notre Dame, he discovered that the Lord was calling him to be a priest and that Mary was leading him to respond, "Yes," to this call. 

"Hearing the Lord calling me to be his deacon, and hopefully soon his priest, is first and foremost the fruit of prayer, and this life of prayer in many ways began in the chapel at Bishop O'Connell," said Peter. "What a grace it was to be able to make a quick visit with Jesus during my lunch period."

Robby Renner

Robby Renner

Robby is a graduate of Mary Washington University. Reflecting on this upcoming event, he said, "It is such a great joy to begin service to the People of God as a deacon and then God willing as a priest, and it is a special grace to be ordained next to my good friend Peter St. George." 
"O'Connell not only provided the intellectual understanding of how to live the Christian life, but also provided the experiences to live it in a strong community," Robby added. "I am so thankful for the time and effort of the staff that helped me to become a man that is ready and eager to live a life of service. The witness and mentorship of staff has made such an impact that I try to come back to visit every year."
Please continue to pray for these deacons. For the next year, Peter will be serving at St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn and Robby will be at Holy Spirit Parish in Annandale.

PLEASE NOTE - The ordination was closed to the public due to COVID-19 occupancy restrictions, but it was live-streamed from the Cathedral so all could participate. Find out more at


Diocese of Arlington - Ordination Information (including program for the liturgy)

"Seminarians become transitional deacons" (Arlington Catholic Herald)