PORTLAND — Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a Mass of Priestly Ordination for Deacon Edward Clifford at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Portland, at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 14.

Clifford, 51, a native of Shawmut, attended Yarmouth High School but graduated from high school in Milford, Ohio, in 1981. He received his bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Dayton Ohio and a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Maine in Orono. This spring, he earned a second master’s degree, this one in divinity, from Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass.

“I definitely have that feeling of calmness, a sense of peace that says this is the right thing that God is calling me to,” said Clifford, when asked about his upcoming ordination.

Clifford considered the priesthood as far back as his college days, but he went on to have a successful career in business and management. He served as Biddeford city manager and then as director of Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit.

While attending Mass one weekend, Clifford heard the Rev. Renald Labarre talk about vocations and says he felt like Labarre was talking directly to him. On another occasion, Clifford felt a chill go up his spine as he watched a visiting priest process up the aisle during a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Joseph Church in Biddeford. Feeling it was time to act, he contacted the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Vocations.

“I was a single man with a love for the Church, and I thought God was calling me, so I had to step up.”

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