Ordination Class of 2024: Deacon Jeremy Wagner

This is the eleventh article in a series profiling the 11 men who will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 25, 2024.

BRIGHTON -- Like many seniors in college, Deacon Jeremy Wagner was figuring out his future.

Deacon Wagner attended Brown University, studying classics and material science. He grew up in a devout Baptist family in rural Connecticut, but when he went to college, he became a Presbyterian.

"I was a committed Christian," Deacon Wagner, 32, said, "but I didn't have a strong denominational self-identity."

During college, he worked odd jobs and was unsure what he wanted to do after he graduated. It was his senior year when a friend asked him: "Jeremy, what do you want to do with your life?"

"I want to worship God," Deacon Wagner replied.

It was around that time that he became "drawn to" the Catholic Mass.

"I loved it so much that I just went every day," he said. "I just loved being there."

In 2015, when he was 24, he officially became Catholic. When he was received into the church, "it felt like everything happened at once."

"It felt like it was coming in many different ways at the same time," he said. "From different sources, different parts of my life."

He entered St. John's Seminary in 2017.

"I've really enjoyed the experience," he said. "It's a good community. The priests here are very good to us, and it's a beautiful place."

Deacon Wagner currently serves as a transitional deacon at St. Agnes and St. Rose of Lima Parishes, serving the towns of Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield. In his spare time, he enjoys literature, studying German language and culture, and horseback riding. He discovered the latter while on assignment at a parish on the South Shore and believes that it has helped him grow closer to God.

"They're actually very sensitive animals," he said. "They're less intelligent than dogs, but they're extremely sensitive, and so I think you do learn a kind of respect and almost a courtesy, like a noblesse oblige, working with a horse. A kind of reverence, almost, because it is such a sensitive animal."