Deacon Tony Cecil

Hello! My name is Deacon Tony, and I am very excited to have been appointed to serve at Epiphany for this summer, and to return again during the next academic year through Saint Meinrad. Since I will be here for a while, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself a little more fully.

I am 25 years old, and was born in Elizabethtown to two very loving parents, Anthony and Violet. My parents were each other’s second marriage, and between the both of them, I have seven older siblings—five older half-brothers and two older half-sisters. By the time I was born, I was already an uncle, and now have eight nieces and nephews, and eight great nieces and nephews. When I was about one year old, my parents divorced, and I was raised primarily by my father. Thankfully, though, my parents were, and to this day are, the very best of friends, and were both present throughout my life.

I was baptized at Saint Benedict Catholic Church in Lebanon Junction, and attended that parish with my family for several years, where I also received my first Holy Communion and prepared for the sacrament of Confirmation. I also attended the parish school until it closed, before I moved to another Catholic school, and eventually attended public schools in Hardin County for four years. Thanks to some generous benefactors and sacrifice on the part of my parents, I was able to return to Catholic education for high school. I attended Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, and graduated in 2011. During my time in high school, my dad and I moved into Elizabethtown, and joined Saint James Catholic Church, where I am still a member today.

I initially thought about priesthood when I was very young—I don’t remember doing so, but my dad says that I used to “play Mass” with my stuffed animals when I was a child. Thoughts of priesthood quickly faded, though, when I realized it was not “cool” to my friends. Instead, I set my heart on becoming a teacher. When I returned to Catholic education for high school, though, I realized how much I loved learning about our faith, and sought out ways to become as engaged with my faith as I could be. When I was in high school, Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States, and it was all over the news. Although I was not able to travel to see him, knowing that he was in America amazed me, and gave me a new and deeper appreciation for the universality of our Church. This brought those earlier thoughts of priesthood right back to the front of my mind. Thankfully, I was now in a place where it was okay, and even encouraged, to think about our vocations, and to not be afraid to explore them. After a lot of thought, prayer, and talking with my family, my friends, and my high school’s chaplain, I decided to give seminary a try, although I had no clue if I was going to stick it out or not.

I entered seminary for the Archdiocese in 2011, the fall after I graduated from high school. I was assigned to Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary at Marian University in Indianapolis, and graduated from Marian in May, 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies, with a concentration in Pre-Theology Philosophical Studies and a minor in German language, history, and culture. Archbishop then assigned me to Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Southern Indiana to continue my formation. I have just finished my third year of theology, and have one more year of school. I am working on obtaining a Masters of Divinity from Saint Meinrad, as well as a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology with a concentration in liturgical theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm in Rome. I was ordained as a transitional deacon on March 24, 2018 at the Basilica of Saint Joseph in Bardstown (which was also my father’s birthday!), and will be ordained to the priesthood in 2019.

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