Vocations and ordination

Fr. Martin succeeds cohort as national vocations president

Father Chris Martin barely had time to reflect on his new title as president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors.

Just a week after his election at the group's annual convention in Boston, he was off to Rome for the first-ever World Summit on Vocations, called by Pope Francis. Father Martin is among 200 vocations directors from around the world, including five others from the United States, to be invited to the three-day summit. The Holy Father is slated to address the group Oct. 21.

Joy marks Comboni priest’s 50,000 miles on a bike in Africa

Comboni Missionary Father David Baltz, right, uses his bicycle trips to far-away chapels in his parish in Uganda as an opportunity to evangelize. He stresses Catholic values in his missionary work.

A gun pointed at his head by soldiers. Three years spent in a refugee camp, living in a grass-roof hut and serving 100,000 people in 54 impromptu chapels. Facing down a snake in a grass hut. Covering a parish of 50,000 Catholics and 60 chapels and 27 primary schools.

Father David Baltz has faced many challenges, but he doesn't consider transportation one of them. His bike is reliable.

Humor, holiness make Bishop Rice approachable to men discerning priesthood

Bishop Edward M. Rice held the Archbishop’s Cup, a trophy filled with candy that is presented to the winner of the Water Olympics, at Kenrick-Glennon Days, an annual camp at the seminary to introduce young men to priests and seminarians. As Bishop Rice begins his new role as bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, seminarians and priests reflected on the impact he had on their vocation stories.

On occasion when Father Jim Theby gets a call from Bishop Edward M. Rice, the bishop will start the conversation something like this:

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were in the chapel praying..."

Of course, his opening is meant in jest, but somehow Bishop Rice still drives home a message of the importance of prayer.

That balance of humor and holiness is what has made Bishop Rice so approachable over the years, said Father Theby, a longtime friend of the bishop's.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Encouraging and fostering minority vocations

Deacon Charles Allen

Just more than nine years ago, I was blessed to be ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Louis by then-Archbishop Raymond L. Burke.

Since that day -- the Feast of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, June 3, 2006 -- no other African-American has been ordained to the permanent diaconate in the archdiocese.

Soaked Souls and Goals game scores win for vocations

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org  | Twitter: @aeternusphoto Father Anthony Gerber lost the ball after a kick from Christopher Venverloh. Priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis battled against Kenrick-Glennon Seminarians in the 2015 Souls and Goals soccer match at St. Dominic High School. The priests won the match 2-0 though the game was called off early due to severe thunderstorms.

Players and spectators were thoroughly drenched, and yet everyone seemed to enjoy it.

The annual Souls and Goals — soaked souls and goals, that is — soccer game between Clergy & Co. and the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Lions took place in a driving rain Nov. 5 before a standing-room-only crowd at St. Dominic High School. In the third game of the cup series, the priest-led team defeated the seminarians 2-0. It was the Clergy & Co.'s first win after the seminarians won the previous matches by scores of 2-0 and 6-1.

Vocations workshop looks at meeting Hispanic Catholics' pastoral needs

Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando, Fla., addressed the assembly Oct. 29 at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y. Bishop Noonan was the keynote speaker on the first day of a two-day Hispanic vocations workshop sponsored by the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- As Jesus called His disciples in many ways, vocation directors and seminary faculty must walk with candidates and students to understand and meet their individual needs as they discern their call to priesthood, according to the bishop of Orlando, Fla.

Diocesan policies and seminary practices should accommodate varying expressions of prayer and cultural celebrations, particularly in the diverse and growing Hispanic Catholic community, said Bishop John G. Noonan.

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