Friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., ordained to the priesthood

Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., archbishop of Atlanta, Friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., and Our Lady of the Angels Province Minister Provincial Friar Michael Heine, OFM Conv.

Our Lady of the Angels Province’s newest priest is Friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., who was ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Baltimore, Md. The Most Reverend Gregory John Hartmayer, OFM Conv., archbishop of Atlanta, presided. This followed his ordination to the Order of Deacon on Oct. 6, 2023, at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Md. In May 2024, he completed his Master of Divinity at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“As a Franciscan bishop, it is a unique privilege to ordain a Franciscan priest,” Archbishop Hartmayer said. “When I called down the Holy Spirit upon Richard Rome, laid my hands upon his head, and anointed his hands with sacred Chrism it was an extraordinary and humbling moment.  It is during this ancient rite, that the Catholic Church and the Franciscan Order will proudly welcome a new priest. He is called to serve and not to be served. He will be forever changed. It is truly an honor for me to ordain a brother friar to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. This special event is a precious gift from God to the Mystical Body of Christ.”

Friar Rome’s first assignment will be at St. Casimir in Baltimore where he has served as a friar-deacon.

Friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., in front of his parents, Sharone and Kenneth Rome.

“After spending a year ministering to God’s people as a friar deacon, Friar Rich is well prepared to continue his servant ministry as a friar priest,” said Minister Provincial Friar Michael Heine, OFM Conv. “Friar Rich’s gentle ways and deep love of the Lord will serve him well as a friar-priest. A gifted homilist, he will touch the hearts of his listeners and lead them closer to Jesus.”

Friar Rome spent his postulancy year in Chicago followed by his novitiate at Arroyo Grande, Calif. His post-novitiate studies were performed in Silver Spring, Md., followed by an apostolic year in Shamokin, Penn, and post-novitiate studies in Silver Spring.

“After I was ordained a deacon, I saw Holy Orders as being given the grace and mission to serve the Church in a particular way: to proclaim the Gospel, to teach, to preach, to baptize,” Friar Richard said. “It was a calling to be ‘for them’ in a special way. Now, as I receive Holy Orders as a priest, the meaning is still the same, but the mission’s scope is broadening. I will still be called to proclaim the Gospel, teach, preach, and baptize. But added to that will be the grace and mission to feed the Church through the Eucharist, and to heal it through reconciliation and anointing.”

His assignments since joining Our Lady of the Angels Province included:

Postulancy: Chicago, Ill.(2016-17)
Novitiate: Arroyo Grande, Calif. (2017-18)
Post-Novitiate Studies: Silver Spring, Md. (2018-20)
Apostolic Year – Shamokin, Penn. (2020-21)
Post-Novitiate Studies – Silver Spring, Md. (2021-2024)
Following Diaconate Ordination: St. Casimir’s, Baltimore Md. (2023-2024)

Born in Norfolk, Va., Friar Rome is the son of  Sharon and Kenneth Rome, Captain U.S. Navy (Retired). He has a brother, Jim. He grew up in the Military Archdiocese, moving every two years. He lived in Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Italy. Friar Richard graduated from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Classics. He also has a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management at Towson University in Towson, Md. Before entering the Franciscan Friars Conventual, Friar Richard spent eight years as a United States Army Civil Servant working in logistics.

Friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., with his brother friars following his ordination to the priesthood.