Three new Catholic priests ordained in Providence

(AP/Michael Dwyer)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Three men were ordained to the Catholic priesthood Saturday morning in Providence.

Bishop Thomas Tobin presided over the ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.

Deacons Stephem Battey, Brian Morris and Jean Joseph Brice will celebrate their first Masses as priests Sunday afternoon in Wakefield, East Greenwich and Providence, respectively.

There has been a shortage of Catholic priests in Rhode Island for years, an issue which the Diocese has tracked carefully. As of 2015, the Diocese said that there would be 19 new priests ordained by 2023, but over the same period of time, 63 would be eligible for retirement.