Novena for Deacons: Day One!
April 20th, 2018 by Wayne

Today we begin a novena for our men who are preparing for their ordination to the Transitional Diaconate.

To sign up to receive daily emails for this novena, click here.

Heavenly Father, you have called Ambrose and his classmates to be heralds of your Gospel and to minister to your people, becoming the servant of all. May you continue to draw them closer and closer to Your Son’s Most Sacred Heart so that, through this year of service to your Church and the working of your Holy Spirit, they may more clearly understand and accept their vocation to serve the Church as Your priests.

Please join us for the rest of the novena and keep praying with us as the Church prepares to celebrate with them on the day of their ordination and to support them throughout their ministry.

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The Archdiocese Prepares to Celebrate Historic Ordination
April 16th, 2018 by Wayne

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, a historic number of men will be ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by Bishop Joseph Binzer at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral at the 11:00 am Mass. We will be celebrating the ordination of 9 men, a number not seen since 1979! The last class with more men being ordained was in 1973 when then-Archbishop Joseph Bernardin ordained 20 men to the priesthood. Additionally, this class is nearly a perfect microcosm of the entire people of the Archdiocese as three are from the Westside of Cincinnati (one from St. Joseph, North Bend and two from St. John Neumann) and two are from the Eastside (St. Gertrude, Madeira and St. Susanna, Mason); one is from Dayton (Emmanuel); one is from Springfield (St. Raphael); one is from Piqua (St. Mary) and one is from Champaign County (Sacred Heart, St. Paris). Two of these men, are originally from Africa, one was born in Spain, one is a convert to Catholicism, one was homeschooled, and all have found their way, through the grace of God, to offer all his life to serve the people of God as a deacon and eventually as a priest! We praise God for his great generosity and mercy as we celebrate this gift to the Archdiocese! 

Join us now in praying a Novena for these men leading up to the day of their ordination!

As these men prepare to receive this sacrament and make the promises of celibacy, obedience and prayer, we asked them what thoughts they had as the day draws near. Here is what they said:

“After nearly 8 years of seminary, in many ways, the quickly approaching Diaconate Ordination feels very surreal. Everything thus far has been building to this first of, God willing, two ordinations and it is hard to believe that soon the Bishop will be laying his hands on my head and proclaiming the words of consecration. At the conclusion of the prayer, I will be able to and asked to serve the Church and the people of God in new ways–Baptize, witness Marriages, assist at Mass, and preach!”
Jeff Stegbauer, St. Susanna, Mason

“Pope Benedict XVI said that the role of the deacon is to be a herald for Christ. I’m looking forward to becoming a true herald of the Lord and accepting His call to be a voice that proclaims His joy, mercy, and love to the people whom He has redeemed.“
Andrew Hess, St. Mary’s, St. Paris

“Although I am excited about all of the aspects of diaconate ministry, one of the things I am looking forward to is to be able to preach on a regular basis at the parish. At the same time, the faculties I will have next year to preach and to serve are a strong reminder of the grave responsibility I am being entrusted with. Please pray for me and for all of my classmates as we begin our ordained ministry.”
Christian Cone-Lombarte, Emmanuel, Dayton

“To be ordained a deacon is to be given a great responsibility to serve the people of God. I know there are many people out there who need to experience God’s presence and love in their lives and as a deacon, I am ready to offer myself at their service, guided by the Spirit of God.”
Elias Mwesigye, St. John Neumann, Cincinnati


“I would describe this time of preparation for deacon as a joyful anxiety. The future is in God’s hands and it is unknown to us so there is some anxiety to be had. On the other hand I have been preparing for this for 6 years and it feels great to be ordained a deacon for Christ’s Church.”
Mark Bredestege, St. Joseph, North Bend

“I really feel excited about the upcoming ordination. I am very happy that I will be ordained soon and be able to preach, serve at the Altar of the Lord and in other capacities, as circumstances will allow. Ordination is a great gift from God. However, from the human point of view there can be fear regarding whether one lives up to the demands of a noble vocation as such, to serve others unreservedly just as Christ served us. Knowing that I shall not be alone, that Christ, who has called me, unleashes his graces to me if I dispose myself to them by being faithful to his word and seeking his guidance through prayer, encourages me. Our God is a loving God and his love for me gives me impetus to move forward. I believe he will not leave me alone so long as I remain in him.”
Alex Biryomumeisho, St. John Neumann, Cincinnati

“The reality of ordination is setting in, or at least starting to.  I am definitely looking forward to preaching.  We’ve had a lot of time to learn the teachings and ways of the Church, and I’m really excited to be able to share those things with the faithful. However, this ordination will mean literally giving my life away.  I will be giving myself over to God for the service of the Church, totally, and irrevocably.  This is definitely scary – the questions definitely start sounding loud in your mind. “What if this isn’t for me? What if I can’t really do this? Can I really give everything up?”  But the love of Jesus Christ that I’ve known in my life, and the support of my brothers here confirm me. I am confident that God’s grace can work, even through my weakness.”
Ambrose Dobroszi, St. Gertrude, Madeira

“This is my 7th year in seminary, so the idea that ordination is mere days away is absolutely surreal. More than anything, I’m thankful and humbled that Christ has called me—through the Archbishop—to serve Him as a cleric of the Church. And, that service begins in an official capacity with ordination to the Diaconate this month.”
Jedidiah Tritle, St. Raphael, Springfield

“I am very excited for my ordination to the diaconate. In many I still cannot believe that the day is approaching so soon. I feel very blessed to have been given a very supportive family, who has always encouraged my vocation and I am extremely grateful for all the people I have met throughout my time in seminary. The prayers and support of so many has enabled me to persevere in my vocation and prepare well for ordination.”
Zachary Cecil, St. Mary, Piqua


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Welcome Weekend is FULL!
April 6th, 2018 by Wayne

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. 

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Vacation Bible School for Catholic Parishes
March 8th, 2018 by Wayne

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!

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Big Month of Events Coming in March!
February 8th, 2018 by Wayne

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 8-9pmCHOSEN: 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 5-9pmCast 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 5-8pmRU 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 6-8pmRun 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 3-5pmSr. 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 7pmChrism 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 13-14Welcome 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.

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Welcome Weekend 2020 Coming Soon!
February 5th, 2018 by Fr. Dan

The annual Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is happening on March 13-14, 2020 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 want 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.

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Seven Characteristics Shared by Priestly Candidates
January 18th, 2018 by Wayne

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:

  1. He is still a sinner, like everybody else
  2. He doesn’t abandon his life or his family; he purifies them
  3. He is still attracted to women
  4. He doesn’t give up fatherhood
  5. He is unworthy of his mission
  6. He still makes mistakes
  7. He is fully happy.

Read the entire article and pray that the Lord reveal himself to you as you discern your true calling. 


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