In the course of the next three weeks, there are two new opportunities for young people to discern God’s will for their lives away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. The first of these opportunities if for young women seeking direction in their discernment of the religious life.
The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, whose motherhouse is located in St. Louis, Missouri, are hosting a three-day discernment retreat for young women ages 17-29 on June 4-7. The retreat is focused on the theme, “A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving” and there is small requested donation for participation in the retreat. Obviously, time is running out to sign up for such a retreat, but to do so, please contact Sr. Mary Michael at email@example.com.
The second opportunity is for young men who have recently attended an Andrew Dinner here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. On Saturday, June 13th, for the first time ever, the vocation office is hosting an Andrew Dinner retreat day as a follow up to the Andrew Dinner experience. At the dinner, young men were first introduced to the seminary and were able share a meal with the Archbishop and pray evening prayer with him. At this retreat, men will be introduced to ways to help them in their discernment and their parents, who are also invited to attend, will have the opportunity to learn more about seminary life and how to support their sons as they discern this call. The retreat day runs from 1-4 pm with drinks and snacks provided. For more information, or to sign up for the Andrew Dinner retreat, contact Fr. Dan Schmitmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Saturday, April 25th at 11:00am, Bishop Joseph Binzer will ordain to the diaconate seven men who will serve the Archdiocese as transitional deacons. It is with great pleasure and excitement I present them to you. Please keep these men in your prayers as they continue their studies and formation to become priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 2016.
Mr. Tim Fahey
Our Lady of Good Hope, Miamisburg
Tim is the son of Thomas and Helen Fahey and comes from a family of four boys. He and his twin brother are the oldest in the family. Tim came to the seminary after spending two years with the United States Air Force Academy. He loves the outdoors. He enjoys camping, hiking, rock climbing, fishing and photography.
It was his experience with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at the Air Force Academy that ultimately helped him to discern his call to the seminary.
Mr. Matthew Feist
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anderson Township/St. Thomas More, Withamsville
Matt is the son of Steven and Debra Feist and comes from a family of 4 children. He is the oldest with a younger sister and two younger brothers. Matt studied at Franciscan University in Steubenville and worked for four years before entering the seminary. He enjoys sports, cooking and traveling.
Matt discerned his vocation through Eucharistic adoration and spiritual direction.
Mr. Christopher Geiger
St. Susanna, Mason
Chris is the son of Timothy and Theresa Geiger and is the oldest of 7 children with 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Chris studied at the University of Cincinnati before entering the seminary. He loves playing all manner of sports and reading.
Chris discerned the priesthood through personal prayer in Eucharistic adoration and through the encouragement of several people in his life to think about it.
Mr. Alex McCullough
Sacred Heart, Cincinnati
Alex is the son of Daniel and Kelly McCullough and is the middle child of three. He has an older sister and a younger brother. Alex studied at Christendom College and taught in a small, Catholic school for two years before entering seminary. Alex enjoys playing music, reading and sports.
It was the example of joyful priests that first made him want to be a priest and he discerned his call to the priesthood through study of the Catholic faith, prayer and the encouragement of his parents.
Mr. Eric Roush
St. Monica-St. George, Cincinnati
Eric is the son of Philip and Susan Roush and is 3 of 4 boys. He and his younger brother are the only Catholics in his family and Eric came into the Church in 1999 while studying at Miami University in Oxford. After graduation, Eric earned his Masters of Theology degree at Xavier University and worked in admissions there before entering the seminary. Eric enjoys reading and playing frisbee golf.
Eric discerned his call to the priesthood through much prayer in Eucharistic adoration and through the example of many holy and joyful priests.
Mr. Jason Williams
St. William, Cincinnati
Jason is the son of William and Theresa Williams and is a native of Massillon, OH. He is the second child of 6 (one miscarriage) with one older and one younger brother, and two younger sisters. After graduation from high school, Jason entered the Navy and went on to join the Legionnaires of Christ with whom he began his formation toward becoming a priest. Upon the completion of his philosophical studies, Jason discerned that he was called to diocesan priesthood and entered studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary the following Fall. Jason enjoys running, music, playing piano and organ, hiking, fishing, rock climbing and reading.
Jason began discerning his vocation to the priesthood during his time with the Navy after he made a personal commitment to his faith. Through this commitment and the encouragement of others, he has pursued his vocation.
Mr. Sean Wilson
Sean is the son of Mark and Margaret Wilson. He is the middle son of three boys and is a graduate of Bishop Simon Brute College Seminary at Marian University in Indianapolis, IN. Before entering seminary, Sean spent one year at the University of Dayton studying Mechanical Engineering. Sean enjoys reading and playing all sports, especially soccer.
Sean first began thinking about his call to the priesthood during his experience at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany and during his trip to Rome and Assisi following his Senior year of high school. Through daily prayer of the rosary and the liturgy of the hours, Sean has come to know more clearly his vocation.
In the Gospel from Palm Sunday Jesus directs his apostles:
“Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should say to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ reply, ‘The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.’” (Mark 11:2-3)
Perhaps this isn’t the most important detail in this story, but did you notice the details included about the animal Jesus chooses to be his ride into Jerusalem? Here is a young animal that has never been ridden. From what I have seen about donkeys, they aren’t exactly the most cooperative animals and a young one that has yet to be “broken” would be especially uncooperative I would think. In fact, I just learned that donkeys won’t do anything unless they know that what they are doing is safe. They are “stubborn” out of an extreme sense of self-preservation.
It sounds a lot like us doesn’t it? Stubborn out of an extreme sense of self-preservation. And “yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever (1 John 2:17).”
Perhaps it is that in the presence of Jesus, this colt realized that there was no harm in this man and he willingly offered his back to our Savior without trouble. Perhaps, like me, he offered resistance at first, but, in accepting the role he was meant to play, this colt made Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem one of great fanfare. The most important part, I think is that he was never spoken of again.
That is what we are called to do, especially as we enter into the great mysteries of this Holy Week. We must find the way that we are meant to share Jesus with the world and allow only him to be seen. We are just fulfilling the role God has made us to play. May we be courageous in responding like that colt. Denying our sense of self-preservation and giving our lives over entirely to His care.
This past weekend, we in the vocation office got sort of busy with events in three different locations all on the same two day stretch. We were invited to join in the Contagiously Catholic workshop put on by the Office of the New Evangelization where we were able to talk to men about building up men’s discipleship in their parishes and taking on big hairy audacious goals as a group of disciples that would be real game changers in their parishes and in their communities. The response to that conversation was very positive and I’m excited to see just where that goes as the men head back to their parishes.
On Friday and Saturday, we also participated in Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West here in Cincinnati where the largest group of men we’ve seen in years, 15 to be exact, came to explore further what it means to live as a seminarian. Please pray for the men who attended this weekend. The Lord is at work on their hearts, may they be filled with the grace to respond generously to His invitation.
Finally, on Saturday evening we also took part in the Run for the Call spaghetti dinner fundraiser in the Northern part of the Archdiocese where the Serra Club of Sidney/St. Mary’s prepared a delicious spaghetti dinner and raised nearly $1800 for the support of our seminarians! It was a beautiful witness by the people up in “God’s Country” of the desire they have to see more and more young men truly explore their call to the priesthood and more young women generously respond to the invitation to become a religious sister.
So, all in all, the weekend was one full of excitement and left us with a great sense of hope for the future of this Archdiocese. May our efforts continue to bear great fruit through the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit.
On Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the most recent Encounter Cincinnati event, Fr. Dan Schmitmeyer was honored to be the keynote speaker and took the opportunity to remind the teens about the universal call to holiness that God has placed on every human heart.
Take some time today and enjoy:
This Saturday, March 14th, hundreds of teens from all over the greater Cincinnati area will be coming to the Underground to experience Jesus Christ in a whole new way at the Encounter Springfest. The event, which begins at 7:00 (doors open at 6:30) will feature live praise-and worship music led by Brad Bursa and a keynote talk by Fr. Dan Schmitmeyer which will center on the theme from 1 Peter 1:13-16, “Be holy because I am holy.”
Participants will then have the opportunity to experience the sacrament of reconciliation and to adore our Eucharistic Lord on the altar and in procession. As the event comes to a close, teens will have the opportunity to share in small groups their experience and how the Lord touched their hearts and challenged them to be holy in all aspects of their lives.
Every Encounter event is free and open to all teens. For more information, testimonials and permission forms, visit www.encountercincinnati.org and click on Encounter Springfest.
I just discovered a great post over at NYpriest.com (and quite honestly, it would be worth your time to check out several of the great articles they have over there). This particular post was about things you might not know about Catholic priests. Here are just a couple of the highlights:
10. They are not obligated to celebrate mass every day.
It is a common assumption that priests are obligated, or promise at ordination, to celebrate mass every day. What priests promise at ordination is to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day.
And later in the list:
4. Have to go to confession to another priest.
A priest cannot look in the mirror, while making the sign of the cross, and absolve himself saying “I absolve you in the name of the Father…” A priest must go to confession to another priest. One of the benefits is that this makes the priest much more conscious of what it is like on the other side of the sacrament.
Here are a couple I would add to the list:
Priests have hobbies (as is made clear in another great article at NYpriest.com). A priest is a normal man with normal interests. While these men have been called to an extraordinary vocation, the personalities, skills, talents and interests did not get wiped away the day they entered the seminary or the day they were ordained. You’d be surprised how many priests are avid beer brewers, runners, cyclists, weight lifters, professional-level chefs, authors, hunters, mechanics, landscapers, etc.
The commitment to prayer is not always easy for priests. The truth of the matter is that, like many in the Catholic Church see day in and day out, the life of a priest is very busy and, like many of us, it is difficult for a priest to find the time to pray. So, for many priests, they have to schedule times in their day that they will stop and pray the prayers they promised to pray at their ordination. These prayers ultimately keep the priest grounded in his relationship with Christ which continues to supply him with the energy and right vision for his ministry to the people God has called him to serve. Additionally, most priests schedule at least one retreat every year during which they can focus solely on deepening their relationship with Christ.
Go and read the rest of this excellent article and share what you would add to this list.