Posts Tagged ‘seminarians’

Six men are in the middle of their first year of studies as seminarians for the Diocese of Arlington. Along with 32 others, these seminarians are immersed in their discernment process, while also studying philosophy and theology and serving at many of our parishes.

Three of the seminarians were asked to share with us what their memorable experiences have been thus far in their formation. Don’t forget to keep them in your prayers as they listen to God’s calling for their lives. Find out more about Vocations in the Diocese of Arlington at www.arlingtonvocations.com.

koehr_seanSean Koehr: “My most rewarding experience in the seminary so far was going on an evangelization mission to Ball State University with my brother seminarians.  Trying to actively participate in the new evangelization enabled me to see the fruits of prayer and study in just a short period of time and it made me hungry for more.  Putting what I am learning into practice by striving to live it and communicate it to others has been a great source of growth and clarity for me.

“Arlington is special because of its youth-filled and zealous priests, as well as its many well-formed and well-educated lay people, who come from strong and generous families.  There is also a great devotion amongst them all for Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of confession, and a great love for Mary.”

majewski_jamesJames Majewski: “I will never forget the day I was told that Bishop Loverde had accepted my application to seminary. To be asked by Christ through His Church to embark upon the journey of priestly formation was an affirmation unlike any other – the consolation of which has truly stayed with me through my studies.

“Seminary life itself is a challenge! But it is such a tremendous blessing to have been accepted to seminary in the Year of Faith, and to be given the opportunity to deepen my faith through nearly every facet of life here. Seminary is so much more than just an education – Christ walks out of the classroom with you.

“Our Diocese has been tireless in fostering my vocation and helping me to discern. The Diocese of Arlington invests so much into her seminarians and future priests, and it is a privilege to be in a position to someday give back to the Diocese I have received so much from.”

schierer_nicholasNicholas Schierer: “40 Hours Devotion leading up to the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo was one of the most rewarding times as a seminarian so far.  For those three days, we had no classes and were able to simply pray during 40 continuous hours of adoration.

“To those who support vocations: Thank you for supporting us. I am praying for all of my benefactors. As seminarians, we are constantly in need to prayers to continue to recognize God’s Will in our continuing discernment of the priesthood.”

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By: Bishop Paul S. Loverde

It is with a grateful heart that I praise God for the 34 seminarians who are actively discerning a life of service to Christ and His Church in our diocese. The sacrifices they have made and will make to become spiritual fathers of the faithful should not be overlooked or underestimated. We should all make frequent and fervent attempts to support them through prayer, service and encouragement.

Bishop Loverde, Fr. Wagner and diocesan seminarians in front of St. Peter's Basilica.

Next week, I have the privilege of traveling to Rome to visit the seven young men from the Diocese of Arlington who are currently discerning and studying at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City. During this time of year, I make an effort to visit each seminarian and their seminary rector. Myself a priest who has benefited from camaraderie with many priests and bishops, I value the bonds we form and know that they are crucial on the path to ordination and during their time – God willing – as priests of the Diocese of Arlington.

In addition to the men studying in Rome, we currently have men studying at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, Md.), Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Wynnewood, Pa.), Blessed John XXIII National Seminary (Weston, Ma.), Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, Ohio), and the Theological College (Washington, D.C.). I will visit each of them as the winter progresses. In addition to 34 seminarians, we also have 27 men in formation for the permanent diaconate and 22 men and 27 women in formation for the religious life.

This upcoming trip is also special for me because the Pontifical North American College is where I spent several formative years as a seminarian. I can personally attest to the solid formation and education that the college provides for those discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

Bishop Loverde, Fr. Wagner and diocesan seminarians at a side chapel in St. Peter's.

While these men have the opportunity to pursue their vocation in Vatican City, each of us relies on the same tools to pursue our own vocation: prayer, study and fellowship. We are all part of the Body of Christ: whether here in the U.S. or abroad, whether discerning a call to religious life or faithfully living out our call to married life, we are united in His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I hope to have the honor of seeing the Holy Father during the Wednesday General Audience, and I will bring to him all of your prayers of support. As I prepare to depart for Rome, please join me in praying for our seminarians and for those considering the priesthood, as well as in giving thanks for the continued thriving of vocations in the Diocese of Arlington.

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By: Joe Farrell 

Joe has just finished his first year at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He is assigned to St. James Parish, Falls Church, this summer and will be returning to St. Charles in late August in the Pre-Theology II class.   

Mass at Quo Vadis Days


Eighty high-school young men spent a week experiencing a lifestyle of which few of their peers can claim insider knowledge: that of a seminarian. They were participants in the fourth-annual Quo Vadis Days Camp. The aim of the program, sponsored by the Office of Vocations of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, is to raise awareness in high-school students about the various vocations to which God may be calling them. Coming from across the Diocese of Arlington, they spent five days living together at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. 

As a community, the young men prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, participated in Mass and attended various Eucharistic Holy Hours and devotions. They also had access to Confession and spiritual direction. Additionally, they had the opportunity listen to and interact with many priests, seminarians and married persons in order to become familiar with different vocations, so that someday they will discover and embrace their own.  

Seminarians vs. Participants Softball Game


Of course, there was also ample time for many spirited tournaments ranging from flag football and basketball to chess and pool. The culmination of the competitions came in the Seminarians vs. Participants softball game. After suffering a defeat at the Quo Vadis Winter Basketball Championship, the seminarians exacted revenge, defeating their younger rivals by eleven runs.  

The success of the camp’s mission was perhaps best summed up by one of the participants: “Before coming I had a very different view of seminarians. It turns out that they’re all normal guys after all!” 

Be sure to check back to www.arlingtondiocese.org for more information about next year’s Quo Vadis Camp. Or, if you know a young woman who may benefit from a retreat, encourage her to register for FIAT days.

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By: Rev. Brian Bashista 

This past Saturday, Bishop Loverde ordained one of our seminarians to the transitional diaconate (two more seminarians will be ordained to the diaconate this fall in Rome). This upcoming Saturday, Bishop Loverde will ordain three men to serve as our newest diocesan priests. In light of these grace-filled events, I welcome this opportunity to share some thoughts about vocations as being “wedded” to another.  

2009 Ordinations to the Priesthood


Wedded unions involve the offering of mutual love and support which then is open to bringing forth new life. For most men, this wedded life will be freely entered into with a wife through the beautiful sacrament of marriage and the openness to father children. For other men, those who are called to be priests, this wedded life will be freely entered into with a “Supernatural Wife,” the Church – the Spiritual Bride with whom they will form a new sacramental life and become spiritual fathers through the order of grace.  

It is vital that we discover our vocations. Our fulfillment, our blessedness, our salvation, and, most importantly, the salvation of others, depend upon our acceptance of the mission, the vocation that Christ invites us to embrace. 

So, how do we discover our vocation?  

The first step is to talk to the One who created us. The first step is to pray, to talk and to listen to God.  

The second step, similar the first, is to talk to others. Those called to the married life will talk to others about their journey– so too do those called to the priesthood. This is one of the major reasons why my office, the Office of Vocations, exists — to talk and to listen. Many men who meet with me never take the step to enter the seminary. 

 Praying, talking and listening to God and others are essential to discover a vocation; however, if someone simply does these alone he will never ultimately come to realize his true calling. He must act! Once someone has sensed that God might be calling him to this vocation or the other, he must act upon these inspirations rather than resist these promptings. 

Deacon Ed Bresnahan will write our next blog post!


Someone who feels called to marriage can pray and talk about the vocation all he or she wants, but never come close to getting married. The person must act upon the promptings received in prayer and as a result of conversations. People must date and get to know each other. This is also true for someone who feels prompted to explore the possibility of a call to the priesthood. He can pray and have numerous conversations with others but never come close to taking the first step to act upon these promptings by applying to enter the seminary. In fact, a man who enters the seminary has no firm idea that he is called the priesthood, just that he senses that he might be. On the flip side, he is not being accepted by the bishop to enter the seminary to definitely become a priest, just that the bishop senses that he might be. It is as unrealistic for someone to be certain they will marry someone before they date them as it is for someone to be certain they are called to the priesthood before they enter the seminary. Dating is to marriage what seminary is to priesthood.  

While the need is still so great, we are blessed in this diocese to have many affable, sacrificial and charitable young men who are seriously considering a call to the priesthood. These men were like so many others well on their way to becoming highly successful in the “eyes of the world,” but they are willing to give their lives to a supernatural reality which points “beyond this world.”  We currently have 35 men in formation for the diocesan priesthood, and nearly 20 men and 30 women from the Diocese of Arlington in formation for religious orders. 

Anyone wishing to more actively discern a vocation and to better understand sharing in Christ’s mission of salvation, may visit here or contact us at the Office of Vocations at (703) 841-2514.

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