Father John Christopher De Celles was born in 1960, in San Antonio, Texas. One of five children, he is the son of devout Catholic parents, Dan (a Marine in WWII, a retired cartographer for the DOD, and an artist) and Barbara (homemaker and teacher, now deceased). After attending St. Mary Magdalene Grade School and Central Catholic High School he graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.
After college he worked as a Certified Public Accountant for 10½ years, most of that time as a tax specialist with the San Antonio office of the international accounting firm Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young).
In 1991 he entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, earning a Master in Divinity and a Master in Arts (Moral Theology) in 1996. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Arlington on May 18, 1996, by the Most Rev. John R. Keating, Bishop of Arlington.
In May, 2005, he earned a Sacred Theology Licentiate from the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in Washington, DC (2005).Father has served as Parochial Vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria (1996-99), St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Clifton (1999-2002), St. Michael Parish in Annandale (2002-06), St. James Parish in Falls Church (2006-07), and St. Mary Parish in Alexandria (2007-10). He was appointed Parochial Administrator of St. Raymond’s in July of 2010, and as Pastor in July of 2012.
He also currently serves as Chaplain to the Women’s Apostolate to Youth (WAY), a lay Association of Christ’s Faithful in the Diocese of Arlington, and as Chaplain for Angelus Academy. He is also confessor to the Dominican Nuns of the cloistered St. Dominic’s Monastery in Linden, Virginia.