Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | Attendance will still be limited, but Archbishop Thomas Wenski will confer holy orders on Deacons Andrew Tomonto and Ryan Saunders on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at St. Mary Cathedral. The ordination ceremony of these two South Florida natives was initially set for early May but had to be postponed due to the restrictions on in-person gatherings caused by the coronavirus. It will be livestreamed on the archdiocesan website, miamiarch.org, at 10 a.m.
Deacon Tomonto, the oldest of three brothers, was born in Miami and attended St. Louis Covenant School in Pinecrest and Christopher Columbus High School in Miami. He graduated from the University of Miami in 2013 with a business degree and entered St. John Vianney College Seminary that same year. He continued his formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. During his years in the seminary, he served summers at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables and Immaculate Conception in Hialeah; did a summer of chaplaincy at Jackson Memorial Hospital and a pastoral year at St. Andrew Church in Coral Springs; and served his diaconate year at St. Coleman Church in Pompano Beach.
He will celebrate his first Mass Sunday, June 28, at 1 p.m. at his home parish, St. Louis, 7270 S.W. 120 St., Pinecrest.
Deacon Saunders was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, the youngest of three brothers (both of his siblings are deceased). He graduated from St. Anthony School and Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale and obtained a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in public relations from Barry University in Miami Shores. After college, he worked for five years as assistant director in the archdiocesan Office of Worship and director of liturgy at St. Mary Cathedral. He then entered the political world, becoming chief of staff to Chip LaMarca, then a Broward County commissioner, while consulting and advising on other local, statewide and national campaigns. He entered St. John Vianney Seminary in 2013 and completed his formation at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary. His pastoral assignments have included summers at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Key West and St. Timothy in Miami; a pastoral year at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Doral; and a diaconate year at St. Bernadette Parish in Hollywood.
He will celebrate his first Mass Sunday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m. at his home parish, St. Anthony, 901 N.E. Second St., Fort Lauderdale.