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Deacon Noel was born Oct. 24, 1969. He is the son of William and Kathleen Noel, who are retired and living out of state, although they grew up in Pittsburgh. Deacon Noel is their only child.
As the child of a U.S. Air Force officer, Deacon Noel moved a number of times. He attended Stevens Forest Elementary in Dayton, Ohio; St. Peter Elementary in Huber Heights, Ohio; Gosnell Middle School in Gosnell, Ariz.; and Eisenhower Middle School and Winston Churchill High School, both in San Antonio, Texas.
Deacon Noel also attended Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh; San Antonio College in San Antonio; the University of Texas at San Antonio; Austin Community College in Austin, Texas; the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. He earned an associate’s degree in mathematics from Austin Community College and a bachelor’s in computer and information science from the University of Maryland.
His past employment has included work as a purchaser at Ginny’s Printing and Copying in Austin, Texas; assistant office manager at Catholic Charities USA in Alexandria, Va.; teaching at Atonement Academy in San Antonio; and database coordinator at the Texas State Historical Association in Austin. Most recently, he was employed as a software engineer at CTR Systems in Pittsburgh.
In fall 2004, Deacon Noel was accepted into the priestly formation program and began studies at St. Paul Seminary and Duquesne University. He completed the pre-theology program and graduated with a master’s in philosophy in May 2006. He began theological studies at the North American College in Rome in fall 2006 and is in his fourth year.
He spent summer 2006 at St. Alexis Parish in Wexford. In summer 2008, Deacon Noel was assigned to SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Beaver, and he returned there for summer 2009. He was ordained a deacon Oct. 8, 2009, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Deacon Noel’s first Mass of Thanksgiving will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at St. Paul Cathedral. The homilist will be Father Christopher Phillips, pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Parish in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Father Phillips was Deacon Noel’s pastor in high school and first got him thinking about the priesthood.