Tony Galati
Tony Galati
" Somehow, even at my age, there must be something in my years, in my experience, that the Lord wants to use. " Tony Galati To be ordained a transitional deacon June 13 in Portland
Tony Galati has been appreciating every minute of his seminary formation, so waiting an extra month to become a transitional deacon has left him unperturbed.

“I have been so blessed at this time,” Galati said.

Galati, now serving happily as a seminarian intern at St. Paul Parish in Eugene, will be ordained to the diaconate Saturday, June 13, 11 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. The Archdiocese of Portland put off the rite, originally planned for last month, until a small congregation could attend.

The hardest part of the situation for Galati is deciding whom to invite since no more than 25 people can be in the cathedral at one time because of coronavirus regulations. He comes from a big family based at Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland. And at 63, he has two grown sons and a young granddaughter who will want to be on hand.

Galati hopes that next year, God willing, the cathedral can be full for his priesthood ordination.

For now, he seems more intent on the present moment, a stance that emerged from a life of spiritual openness.

He attended Holy Redeemer School and then Central Catholic High School, graduating in 1975. He went on to the University of Portland where he earned a degree in philosophy.

During 27 years of marriage, he raised a family and had a long career in international shipping. Almost 25 years ago, he became a lay Dominican and consecrated himself to the Blessed Mother. He says she began to “reintroduce” him to her son.

“I think maybe Jesus had said, ‘I can’t do anything with him. You try, Mom,’” jokes Galati, who attended Holy Redeemer and then moved with family to Beaverton and joined St. Cecilia Parish.

He stepped into more Catholic activities and organizations, including Portland’s Catholic radio station. The other members of the Mater Dei Radio board convinced him to become executive director. His marriage had ended and a priest suggested that he might have a vocation.

He did not think so himself, but started asking around. Other priests and family concurred. So he began to pray often and take advantage of the sacraments more.

Eventually it led to Mount Angel Seminary.

“Somehow, even at my age, there must be something in my years, in my experience, that the Lord wants to use,” Galati said. “God is so good.”

His seminary classmates tend to be the age of his sons or younger. But he has felt accepted.

After deacon ordination, Galati will return to Eugene and then in the fall take up more studies and service at another parish.

Seminary has improved his spiritual life greatly, he said. His days are built around Mass and other prayer. And theology has led him deeper into devotion to Jesus and love of neighbor. That, combined with the mentorship of pastors with whom he’s served, will make him ready for parish life, he said.

In addition to Mary, his spiritual heroes include Padre Pio and St. Dominic.