Every man’s journey in becoming a priest is unique and inspiring in its own way. But few men have followed the extraordinary path that Deacon Stephen Sansevere has taken on the way to his priestly ordination.
Sansevere, who will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Trenton June 27 by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was a long-time husband and now widower, a now-retired Jersey City cop and a deacon serving in parish ministry for 20 years. A small group of loved ones will be in attendance in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, to witness the culmination of his journey during a Mass and ceremony that will be closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions, but livestreamed on the Diocese’s YouTube channel beginning at 10 a.m.
A Jersey City native, Deacon Sansevere was born in 1953, the son of the late John and Joan Sansevere. His younger brother, Lawrence, is his only sibling. His family worshiped in the city’s St. Nicholas Parish, and he is a product of Catholic education, graduating from St. Nicholas Grammar School and St. Anthony High School.
It was in St. Francis Hospital, Jersey City, where he met his future wife, Susanne. He was a security guard, and she was a nursing supervisor. The couple were married for nearly 40 years before Susanne’s death on Christmas Day in 2017.
In 1979, Deacon Sansevere followed his father, uncle and cousins into the Jersey City Police Department, where he served for 25 years, eventually becoming a sergeant.
He and Susanne moved to Monmouth County and joined St. Gabriel Parish in Marlboro, where he discovered his calling to be a permanent deacon. After his formation, he was ordained a deacon in 2000 and was assigned to the Marlboro parish, where he served as a pastoral administrator and business manager. His wife supported his vocation and was also involved in parish ministry.
Deacon Sansevere also pursued his education, earning an associate’s degree in criminal justice in 1997 from Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. He earned a bachelor’s degree in adult religious education in 2008 and a master of arts degree in pastoral theology in 2014, both from St. Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, Maine. In retirement, he earned a doctor of ministry degree in pastoral care and counseling in 2018 from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Oklahoma.
After his wife’s death, Deacon Sansevere began to consider a vocation to the priesthood. He has spent the past year serving as a transitional deacon in St. Theresa Parish, Little Egg Harbor. Following his priestly Ordination, he will be assigned as parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Pennington; St. George Parish, Titusville, and St. Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell.
Click here to read more about Rev. Mr. Sansevere’s journey to priesthood.
All are invited to view the Ordination livestream HERE.