Saint Joseph’s College alum Kevin Upham ’05 continued his path toward priesthood through an ordination ceremony held during Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on Sunday, June 18. Deacon Kevin’s journey to priesthood began back when he was a teenager. “As a young person, the lives of the saints were a major draw for me. Their stories were so fascinating and I was inspired to be like them…I am an only child, but my parents, grandparents, and other relatives helped me develop my Catholic faith.”
Deacon Kevin graduated from Saint Joseph’s College, Maine’s only Catholic liberal arts college, with a degree in Communications. “In college, I was very active in campus ministry and participated twice in the Spring Break Workfest program, serving at the Passamaquoddy Indian Township Reservation. That was a wonderful experience,” he said. Workfest programs offered by the College provide students with opportunities to serve disadvantaged communities.
Following his time at Saint Joseph’s College, Deacon Kevin worked for a bank for six years while continuing to lector at Church. He also provided communion services through jail ministry and led communion services at the Veterans’ Home in Scarborough. In 2012, Deacon Kevin entered St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore (the nation’s first and oldest seminary) before continuing his clerical studies in August 2016 at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.
He has completed summer assignments at parishes in Augusta, Old Town, Bangor, and Rumford. In addition, Kevin participated in the clinical pastoral education program at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley ordained Upham to the “transitional diaconate,” which means he will be able to celebrate the sacrament of baptism, witness marriages, preside at funeral rituals outside of Mass, proclaim the Gospel, and preach homilies. “I look forward to spending my life delivering the message of God’s love,” said Deacon Kevin. “I anticipate the joys and challenges of this vocation.”
Deacon Kevin’s parents, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, former roommates, and former co-workers gathered at the ordination to support him and celebrate this special milestone. “It was a transformative experience,” he said about the ordination.
Deacon Kevin was born in Portland but grew up in to Holliston, Massachusetts. He will serve in the Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes this summer. “I look forward to my remaining time in seminary, formation, and my ministry. It’s really just begun. It’s not the end. This is really just the beginning,” he said.