The Vocation Office is proud to present a brand new video on life in college seminary! This video features many of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati seminarians who are discerning their call to the priesthood in college seminary at Bishop Simon Brute in Indianapolis and the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus. The men tell of the joys and struggles of college seminary life while the video artfully shows moments of everyday life. It is a beautiful testament to the formation a young man receives in the seminary while he is discerning God’s will for his life.
Featured in the video are the following seminarians. Please keep them and all our college seminarians in your prayers:
Come check out the college seminary with us:
We thank USDigital Partners once again for the production of this wonderful video.
The theme for this year’s Fornight for Freedom is “Freedom to Bear Witness” and what a perfect theme it is! This is now the 4th day of the Fortnight for Freedom called for by the United States Bishops and already we are celebrating a third powerful witness to Christ, St. John the Baptist (the first two were St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher). All of these men were put to death for opposing the actions of the rulers of the kingdoms in which they lived. All of them chose to die rather than betray the Truth. And while it is true that each of is called to be willing to die for our Faith and to stand so staunchly in witness to the Gospel, we cannot forget the reason for the strength of each of these men in the face of death. That reason is their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
While it is true that each of us is entitled at the moment of our conception to the freedom to bear witness, the question quickly arises, “To what are we bearing witness?” In other words, what has impacted our lives in such a way that we cannot help but “preach” it with every fiber of our being: in the way we act, the way we dress, the way we speak and interact with our neighbors, the way we vote, the way we work, the way we worship, etc? Why are we making such a big fuss about having the freedom to witness? If we don’t have an answer to that question, perhaps its time to find one now.
St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher and St. John the Baptist (and all the other saints in heaven) could answer that question in one word: Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth. He is the Way, he is the Life and he is the source and summit of all that we do. It is time that each one of us takes seriously our call to be in relationship with Him and to the point that we can say like St. Paul, “It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me.” It is only from this foundation that we can truly express our freedom to bear witness.
In the meantime, as we develop that personal relationship with Jesus, we like all the saints before us, need to fight for our freedoms through prayer, repentance and sacrifice. What that will look like in your own life is up to you to determine, but let us all make a commitment to not let pass this opportunity to join as a nation in prayer.
Tomorrow, for the first time, the vocation office in conjunction with seminarians of the Archdiocese is offering a retreat opportunity for young men who have recently attended an Andrew Dinner and are still seeking more direction as they discern the vocation to which God is calling them. The afternoon retreat will be held at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and includes prayer and adoration with seminarians, a keynote talk by the vocation director and the opportunity for recreation and a Q & A session with the seminarians as well. Additionally, the parents of these young men are invited to join in the prayer and adoration and will have their own session with parents of current seminarians who will be there to help answer any questions parents of discerning young men may have.
Responding to this opportunity are 10 men and each of them will be bringing at least one of their parents! This is a fantastic response and we are excited about the enthusiasm for doing the will of God that is found in each of these families!
Please pray for them tomorrow and for the retreat team. May we all be inspired and directed by the movement of the Holy Spirit.
The Office of Religious has just passed along some good news from many of the religious communities who are serving here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Through the continued prayer of the people of the Archdiocese and the grace of our Lord, many women are responding to the Lord’s invitation to serve His Church as consecrated women:
The Provincial Council of the Marianist Sisters is happy to announce that they have approved the applications for Novitiate for Gabrielle Bibeau and Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch. Both are University of Dayton graduates. Gabby, 26, from Indianapolis, IN graduated in 2011. Caitlin, 25, is a 2012 graduate from Columbus, OH. Their first year novitiate will begin on August 15, 2015 in The Pillar Community in San Antonio. Laura Leming, FMI on sabbatical from UD, will serve as novice director. Congratulations, Gabby and Caitlin!
Tracy Kemme and Andrea Koverman, Apostolic Novices with the Sisters of Charity, will be making their First Vows on June 27th. Congratulations, Andrea and Tracy!
Veronica Fatoyinbo, SNDdeN, who has been studying at Xavier University the last four years, will be making Final Vows in Nigeria on August 8th. Cristina Garces will begin her Canonical Year of the SNDdeN Novitiate in Peabody, MA in early August. Congratulations, Veronica and Cristina!
Claudia Cano, RSM will profess final vows on August 8, 2015 in Texas. There will be a reception in Cincinnati to celebrate this milestone event. Congratulations, Claudia!
Patty Bickett will become a novice with the Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery in August. Congratulations, Patty!
In addition to those listed above, we know that there are many more young women whose hearts are burning with an invitation from the Lord to give all for the sake of His kingdom. Please continue to pray for these women and all those serving as religious sisters in this Archdiocese and across the world.
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.