We are now exactly one month away from the start of National Vocation Awareness Week and we are excited to share the many great ways in which you can promote a culture of vocations throughout the week of November 5-11 in your parish, in your school and in your homes.
The greatest way to celebrate during this week is to pray as one Church for more vocations to the consecrated life and the priesthood. There are multiple opportunities to do that:
- November 4-12: Bible Reading Novena with the Serra Club of Cincinnati – The Serra Club will read aloud the entire Bible in 9 days of prayer for vocations. All are welcome to join as a reader or to just sit and receive the Word of God.
- November 8: Statewide Day of Adoration for Vocations – More than 30 local sites and parishes from across the state are joining in to pray for vocations all day!
- November 9: Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations with the Children of Mary and at St. Remy in Russia, OH
In addition to the prayer opportunities, Catechists and teachers (both traditional and home school) have access to great lesson plans throughout the week of Vocation Awareness week to inspire our children to think about the many ways God may call us to live out our universal call to holiness. Visit www.vocationlessons.com and enter access code CinciVocations513 to access the Teacher site and have your children enter code StFrancis513 to access all the student materials.
For pastors and parish staff, there are several high quality resources awaiting you at www.vocationawarenessweek.com to help you to celebrate and emphasize this important week.
Finally, don’t ever forget the importance of personal witness and invitation! Talk to your friends and family about vocations and encourage the young men and women in your life to consider that God might desire for them to serve the world as a priest or religious. Or, do you have a buddy who inspires you in your faith, is he called to be a permanent deacon? Year after year, the statistics are the same: most people consider a consecrated vocation only after having 4 different people encourage them in that call. Be one of those people!
More than a year ago we in the Vocation Office became aware of a new resource for all parishes to help them in creating a culture of vocations in their parishes and encouraging their young men and women to discern God’s will for their lives. This resource is a book called Hundredfold (also now available in Spanish!). It is a how-to guide for creating and maintaining a vocation ministry in any parish. Today, the author of the book and founder of VocationMinistry.com, Rhonda Gruenewald, released a new video that explains more completely the benefits of this book and the importance of creating a vocation ministry in every parish across the nation. Take a few minutes right now and be inspired!
If you would like to order copies of the book for your parish, go to our Vocation Materials order form and we will ship them to you absolutely free of charge. Once they arrive, let us know and we will meet with you to help you take the first steps in establishing your own vocation ministry.
Starting next week, our seminarians will be returning to school for another year of studies and formation as they discern more deeply their call to the priesthood. This year we are excited to announce that 19 new men will be entering seminary which raises our total to 60 men in formation for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati!!
Of those 60 men, 10 of them will be in minor (i.e. college) seminary earning their bachelor’s degree and 44 more will be at Mount St. Mary’s of the West major seminary. The remaining 6 men will be on internships this year as they take a year to work alongside a parish priest and experience a year of work in a parish to help them to see first-hand what really happens in the daily life of a priest.
Please pray for the all our seminarians but especially for these new men:
- Nicholas Emmerling – First College, Pontifical College Josephinum
- Augustine (Gus) Franer – First College, Bishop Simon Brute
- Eduardo Sanchez-Guerrero – First College, St. John Vianney (Miami, FL)
- Jose Daniel Sanchez-Guerrero – First College, St. John Vianney (Miami, FL)
- Benjamin Packer – First College, Bishop Simon Brute
- Gregory Romer – Second College, Bishop Simon Brute
- Maximilian (Max) Travis – Second College, Bishop Simon Brute
- Bricer Berger – Pre-Theology I
- John Grusenmeyer – Pre-Theology I
- Stephen Jones – Pre-Theology I
- Jacob Lindle – Pre-Theology I
- Antonio (Tony) Losekamp – Pre-Theology I
- Benjamin Mersch – Pre-Theology I
- Matt Montag – Pre-Theology I
- Anthony (Tony) Sanitato – Pre-Theology I
- Ian Wilson – Pre-Theology I
- Charley Westerhold – Theology I
- Raymond Asiebgulem – Theology I
- Uriel Santos Garcia – Special Pastoral Year
All of our seminarians could use your personal prayers. Please consider spiritually adopting one of our men through your prayers. Feel free to write to him to let him know of your prayers and support.
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West
6616 Beechmont Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45230
Pontifical College Josephinum
7625 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43235
Bishop Simon Brute Seminary
2500 Cold Spring Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
St. John Vianney Seminary
2900 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33165
Also, consider starting in your parish a Spiritual Motherhood of Priests prayer apostolate group that promises to pray for all priests and seminarians. Finally, if you believe that prayers for vocations to the priesthood and religious life is part of who God has made you to be, consider joining in the efforts of our local Serra Club in Cincinnati and in the Sidney/St. Marys area.
We are excited to announce the latest video for our Buckeye Vocations YouTube channel. This time we were able to sit down with Deacon Jarred Kohn who was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on April 29, 2017 and is about to enter his final year of seminary formation before being ordained a priest. In this first video he talks about his discernment journey and gives us some great advice on how to deal with doubt in discernment. Enjoy!
For those who would rather not watch the video, the full transcript is below.
Full Video Transcript:
Where do you call home?
My home parish is St. Mary in Philothea, which is up in the Coldwater Cluster which is in Mercer County or “God’s country” as we like to call it back home.
How long have you been in the seminary?
Well, I think it would be 7 or 8 years depending on how you count. I started in 2009, which would be 8 years, but I did take a year off after my freshman year, just [sic] discernment can be tricky.
So, why did you decide to leave?
I didn’t actually decide after my freshman year that, “Okay, this isn’t for me; I need to take a year off,” or whatever. My intention was, at the end of that year, to come back. But I was working somewhere and I had to be there at 4:45 in the morning which meant that, I never really got to daily Mass, that often. But it was also at 4:45 in the morning so I wasn’t dedicated enough to do Liturgy of the Hours and pray the Office of Readings or morning prayer that I now promise to do everyday but at the time it wasn’t necessarily a requirement. So, my spiritual life, kind of, you know, wasn’t as important at that time. And as a result of that I think I began to waver. Also, kind of, entering seminary I never intended to go to college after high school, so it was a difficult year to adjust to academic life, to life in the city; all these different factors (being away from my family), all kind of hit me the summer coming back.
So what happened next?
I called the vocation director at the time and he said, “Take a year. Do what you need to do.” So, I called the rector at Brute College Seminary and he was also very supportive. So I began working and my summer job eventually transferred into going back to a welding career which meant working third shift. That was actually pretty nice for the spiritual life in a way because I could get home early in the morning, go to morning Mass, do my morning prayer and office of readings, then go to bed. Then I’d wake up, and was able to do evening prayer, night prayer and all that stuff, so it kind of got me back into a rhythm. Once that started happening, then all of a sudden God began speaking again like, “Hey, what about seminary?”
What other ways did you develop your prayer life?
As I mentioned, going to Mass more frequently. I was pretty much going everyday but, you know, that isn’t necessary and perhaps isn’t even practical for everybody, but going as often as you can, even during the week. But then also, frequent confession was also a big thing. It helps us to clear out the obstacles that are keeping us from the Lord and helps us also to examine what is going on in our heart and kind of flood out what is our self-will and what is our sinful nature and sort out what is that part of us that is naturally attracted to God. Then there is private prayer. I feel blessed in growing up in a country parish because still to this day, we have 24 hours a day that the church is open so to spend that private time with the Lord in the blessed sacrament has always been a source of, you know, has always been the most important part of my spiritual life; the opportunity to spend that time with Lord has always been that key.
How do you deal with doubt in discernment?
You know I think it’s an important aspect of taking on the diaconate and priesthood but it’s also an element that can make guys waver, it’s that realization that, “I’m not worthy of this.” Which is true! But it’s also not yours to take on. It’s really Christ who is really taking you into his life and his own ministry. It is not something you can simply posses by your own merit. I’m never going to be a good priest because I’m Jarred; I’m going to be a good priest because I’ve allowed Christ to take ownership of my heart and I’ve taken ownership of his and so we have that mutual relationship. So without some recognition that I’m a flawed human being and in some ways I’m also a goofy and quirky guy but somehow Jesus is still calling me to this and calls other guys who are all different and he wants to speak through each one of our personalities to the people of God and wants to, you know, draw the entire world to himself. It’s just crazy. It’s awesome!
On Saturday, May 21, 2017, the Archdiocese celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of three men: Fr. David Doseck, Fr. Peter Langenkamp, and Fr. Alexander Witt. Please join us in continuing to pray for these men as they begin their priesthood! Also, please take some time to relive the exciting day by viewing the photo gallery below!
This past Saturday was another great day for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as 4 young men- Craig Best, Jarred Kohn, Andrew Smith and Jacob Willig- were ordained transitional deacons by Bishop Joseph Binzer at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. It was a beautifully celebrated ceremony with a palpable sense of joy emanating from the newly ordained men, Bishop Binzer, the concelebrating priests, the numerous permanent deacons who came to celebrate and the entire assembly! To relive this wonderful day or to check out a few of the highlights that you missed, go to our newest photo gallery below! Please continue to pray for these men as they now enter their last year of formation toward priesthood.
Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated the Chrism Mass. While this is the Mass at which all the holy oils are blessed and dispersed to all the parishes of the Archdiocese it is also the day on which all the priests renew the promises they made on the day of their ordination. Today we share with you an interview with Fr. Tim Fahey who was ordained just less than a year ago. He shares with us his experience of his ordination and his first Mass and also gives some beautiful advice for men discerning their vocation to the priesthood. Please continue to pray for Fr. Fahey and all our priests as they fulfill with great zeal the vocation to which God has called them.
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