HONESDALE – As a young boy, William Asinari can clearly recall many of the formative moments that were forged in his home parish – the faith community of Saint John the Evangelist in Wayne County.

“I remember sitting in Saint John the Evangelist Church, looking up from the pews, and seeing one of the priests at the time approaching the altar and there was this unexplainable desire that just shot through me,” he said. “I said, ‘I want to do that, I don’t know why, but I want to do that.’”

It took him years to realize that God was calling him to the priesthood.

“It’s a feeling that I have not felt with anything else,” Asinari said. “I just associated the priesthood with that feeling and then as I developed more spiritually, I realized that God was pointing me in a direction.”

When his parish priest would give homilies on vocations to the priesthood, Asinari also found encouragement from the “little old ladies” of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, who would turn to him and say “you, you!”

“God has written this amazing story and allowed me to play in it and I’m profoundly grateful,” he explained.

On Saturday, June 29, 2024, Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will ordain Reverend Mr. William A. Asinari to the Order of the Priesthood for service in the Diocese of Scranton.

Saint John the Evangelist Church, 150 Terrace Street, Honesdale, will be the setting for the Ordination Mass at 10:00 a.m.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the Ordination Mass.

“It is special to be here with the people who have seen me grow up. A lot of these people were here with my parents before I was born. They have seen me since I was a baby and they have watched me grow. They’ve watched me grow in faith. They’ve been examples to me, teaching me how to pray, learn how to live a Christian life, so having these same people who are older and might be unable to make the trip to Scranton, knowing that they can just go to the same church that they go to for Sunday Mass and having them here, is overwhelming,” he said.

Asinari, a native of Honesdale, was ordained a transitional deacon in 2023. He says he is ready to take his final steps toward priestly ordination.

“Looking back now and seeing the path that God has taken me on, it is beautiful. Everything connects and the more I look back at those experiences that might have been bad, God brought so much good out of it. I can look back and see what used to be thorns are now roses,” he said. “My whole life is a gift that I’m happy to give, I’m humbled to give, especially when looking at the People of God.”

Asinari, 25, is the son of Robert and Cathleen Asinari, and he attended Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.

“I loved my time at Saint Mary’s. It has forced me to stretch myself and grow in ways that I haven’t really tried before,” Asinari reflected. “I exceeded the limits that I thought I had. I haven’t had moments of prayer quite as deep as when I was there.”

Asinari said he is also thankful for the many priests and parish communities that he has served in over the years, including Clarks Summit and Carbondale.

Asinari said he has also been touched by the generosity of the faithful, not only in his home parish, but the entire diocese.

“The people of my parish donated a chalice to me; they bought a cassock for me when I needed it. Everything has been taken care of by the People of God,” he explained. “At the diocese, there is an intense investment in us, and we don’t forget it and we don’t not notice it. It’s humbling that people would give that to us, people that they might not have ever met.”

Asinari says he will be forever grateful to all those who have supported him on this journey.

“I’ve been thinking about this (Priestly Ordination) ever since I was a little kid, and I can’t put it into words. It feels like all my life has been working to this one point and I have to constantly remind myself that as much as this is the wonderful thing that I’ve been looking forward to so long, it is part of the next step of lifelong service,” he said. “I’m overjoyed that God would call me to this and give me this gift!”

CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton will broadcast the Ordination Mass live and provide livestreaming on the Diocese of Scranton’s website, YouTube channel and social media platforms.