It is with great excitement that we must announce that we have NO MORE ROOM at the upcoming Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West! Every room has been booked for the weekend and so we cannot take any more registrations.
If you were hoping to attend and have not registered, please contact Fr. Schmitmeyer to set up a visit on another date.
The Archdiocese is blessed to be able to present two fantastic opportunities for Catholic parishes looking for activities for the children of the parish to engage in their faith while having a great time this Summer! Many parishes across the Archdiocese currently utilize Vacation Bible School programs that have been professionally produced and distributed by other Christian denominations. Many times these programs are chosen because of the high quality of the product and because of the ease of implementation. However, now there are two new great opportunities that provide these same elements while also being authentically and engagingly Catholic.
The first program is called Totus Tuus. Totus Tuus is Latin for “Totally Yours” which was the motto of the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II as he gave himself entirely to Mary as her son shortly after the death of his earthly mother. This program is led by four young adult missionaries who are trained in bringing to life the mysteries of the rosary and the sacraments while also engaging the youth with fun activities and challenging them to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Another perk of this program is that it is for grade school, middle school, and high school youth! Last year I sent two of my children through this program and they are still talking about the awesome experience they had last year. They also have shared their enthusiasm with their younger siblings as well. I highly recommend this program to all parishes and the Office for Evangelization and Discipleship only has a few more slots left to fill for this summer. Contact them soon!
The second program, Discovery Mission, is one that more closely resembles the classic Vacation Bible School model. This is a program that can be purchased and run through the parish religious education office and includes all the materials you need to put on your own week long program. What is different about this program is that it is entirely focused on helping young people recognize that they have been given a special mission by God and that living in relationship with Christ we will discover that mission and have the grace to live it out. Check out the materials and order this program today!
If you have been considering your call to the consecrated life, the month of March is going to be a virtual smorgasbord of opportunities for you to take the next step in your discernment. If you haven’t considered your vocation in the past, or are not currently feeling called to the consecrated life, we have a few opportunities for you as well!
March 8 from 8-9pm – CHOSEN: Holy Hour for Your Own Vocation @ Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH- The Children of Mary host a monthly holy hour for people who are discerning their vocation and to pray for an increase of consecrated vocations. Come pray with us!
March 11th from 5-9pm– Cast Your Nets: Love Greater@ Sacred Heart of Jesus in McCartyville, OH – This is a high school youth rally/evening of awesomeness that includes a keynote presentation by husband and wife, Bradley and Meghan Barnes, live music by Kevin Schulze, workshops that help you put your faith into action, food, confessions and Eucharistic adoration! Cost for the event is $10 which includes the cost of the event tshirt!
March 14th from 5-8pm– RU Called? Dinner for Young Women@ St. Francis de Sales in Lebanon, OH – This evening dinner for young women discerning the consecrated life (in all its forms) will feature dinner and prayer with Bishop Joseph Binzer as well as the opportunity to speak with and learn from sisters from various communities who minister in and around the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. There is no cost for this event. Register here!
March 15-17 – PCJ Spring College Live-in Retreat in Columbus, OH – This weekend retreat at the Pontifical College Josephinum is for all high school juniors and seniors who are considering their call to the Catholic priesthood. There is no charge for this wonderful weekend opportunity. All who are interested are asked to contact Fr. Schmitmeyer and to fill out the forms available online.
March 17th from 6-8pm– Run for the Call Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser @ St. Remy Hall in Russia, OH – This annual fundraiser organized and run by the Serra Club of Sidney/St. Mary’s will feature homemade sauce by Fr. Martin Fox, pastor of St. Remy, and proceeds all benefit our seminarians who find themselves in need of emergency financial assistance throughout the year.
March 18th from 3-5pm– Sr. Mary Xavier’s Story@ Russia High School in Russia, OH – This fun, family friendly event will feature local Anna native speaking about her experience of going from giving her all on the court at The Ohio State University to giving all of herself to God as a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. You don’t want to miss Sr. Mary Xavier join in the friendly basketball competition, too!
March 27th at 7pm – Chrism Mass @ St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH – It is at the Chrism Mass every year when the priests of the Archdiocese gather not only to receive the blessed oils for their parishes, but also to renew the promises they made upon their ordination and to receive encouragement from their shepherd, Archbishop Schnurr. We highly recommend attending this Holy Week Mass to be renewed in your own discernment journey and in the gift of the priesthood.
April 13-14 – Welcome Weekend@ Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati, OH – This weekend retreat is for college age men and older who are discerning their call to the priesthood. This is a great next step in your discernment journey as you start to see just what it would be like to live in the seminary while continuing your discernment. Register for the weekend here.
The annual Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is happening on April 13-14, 2018 and all men college age and older are encouraged to come. This is a great opportunity for you to explore further the pull toward the priesthood you feel in your heart and to meet, pray and socialize with men who have responded to that same pull in their own hearts.
The weekend begins at 4:30 on Friday evening and ends at 6:00 on Saturday evening. If you are coming in from a great distance, and you will need to stay and celebrate Sunday Mass with the Men of the Mount that can be arranged as well.
If you have sought out the whisper of the Lord in silent prayer and you have heard Him speak your name, you do not want to miss this event as it happens only once a year. For more information and to register, please click here or click on the image above to view the flyer.
One of the greatest obstacles to a man responding to his call to the priesthood is his sense of unworthiness. Many men believe that they have to be the perfect Catholic and have mastery over their sinful nature. The truth is, however, that the Lord calls each of us as we are and he wants to use us in ways we cannot even fathom at the moment of our call. He provides the grace, all we must do is offer Him our lives!
With that in mind, Br. Edgar Henrique Carrasco, LC provides us with 7 characteristics of men who are called to be a Catholic priest. You might be surprised just how common these characteristics are:
- He is still a sinner, like everybody else
- He doesn’t abandon his life or his family; he purifies them
- He is still attracted to women
- He doesn’t give up fatherhood
- He is unworthy of his mission
- He still makes mistakes
- He is fully happy.
Read the entire article and pray that the Lord reveal himself to you as you discern your true calling.
It is flying around the internet right now! Jim Caviezel shocked about 8000 young adults this past week during the SLS18 Focus Conference by coming on stage as a trailer for his new movie, St. Paul, Apostle of Christ (in which he plays the part of St. Luke), was about to play. And he further shocked them by taking 15 minutes to teach them about vocation and our universal call to holiness and our responsibility to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Enjoy!
Many times throughout my work here at the Archdiocese I have been asked about ways to encourage religious vocations in our children. There are many ways to do this, of course, but the best way I have found is to make priesthood and religious life seem real. The best way to do that is to interact with priests and religious as often as you can, and the best place to do that is in your own home.
Recently, my family had the privilege of hosting our pastor and a couple seminarians for dinner. The evening went about as one would expect in house with 6 small children and three guests – adults attempting to talk between the constant requests for attention coming from each of the children. We made it through the meal and eventually, one toy truly caught the attention of our guests and became the center of our evening’s entertainment.
Yes, Legendary Yoda was teaching Father and our seminarian guests how to use the force and to defeat the Dark Side! And the kids were eating it up! The couldn’t believe that a priest and men studying to be priests would be so entertained by one of their toys! (And to be honest, it is pretty cool!) It was a special experience for them. But the fun didn’t stop with the movements and simple phrases of the mechanical toy.
One of the features of Master Yoda is that he answers “Yes or No” questions asked of him. We asked him several ridiculous questions when suddenly Father had the idea of asking him if each of the seminarians was going to be a priest. Much to the seminarians’ pleasure and relief, Yoda responded with an unequivocal “Yes” for both men. Then Father asked a few more questions which may change the lives of my children:
“May I ask you a question, Master Yoda? Will Henry become a priest?”
“May I ask you a question, Master Yoda? Will Julia become a nun?”
“Yes, is the answer I see.”
Of course it is true that our children know that Yoda is a motorized toy and cannot truly predict the future, but this interaction, although it was out of amusement, was a really important moment for them and you could see it in their faces as they lit up when Father mentioned their names specifically. Here’s why:
- Father is a figure that both their parents love and respect (and by extension so do they)
- this interaction was in their home, a place they associate with safety and comfort: hearing that they could be called to the priesthood or consecrated life now can be associated with safety and comfort
- Yoda did respond negatively to other questions (meaning, Yoda could have said “No” and he didn’t)
- Nobody in the room said that Yoda was crazy: they were affirmed not just by Yoda but by Father, the seminarians, their siblings and their parents
So, if you are looking for ways to encourage your son or daughter to consider the religious life here are a couple of very simple suggestions: pray for your children often; make the religious life seem like something normal, as normal as being a doctor or lawyer or carpenter; treat the priest or religious with love and respect; create opportunities for your children to interact with priests and religious, especially in your home. And if you happen to have a talking Yoda toy available, it can make for a very interesting evening.
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