Vocations and ordination


Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org
Manal Kassab shared a moment with her husband, Father Akiki, as the two reminisced about their long friendship which led to their marriage.

As a newly ordained priest, Father Wissam Akiki hasn't been assigned to his first parish yet, but already he's been preparing for another big assignment: He'll be filling in at a parish in Cincinnati during Holy Week, perhaps the most important week in the life of the Church.

Already, his plate has been filled. In addition to assisting at his temporary assignment, St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, he's been preparing his homilies for Holy Week and tending to another major part of his life -- his wife, Manal, and 8-year-old daughter, Perla.

Little Sisters, Big Hearts

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

The Little Sisters of the Poor operate their St. Louis Residence on the northside of the city. The Supreme Court last month issued an order affirming a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of a contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act against them. The sisters have expressed concern about the impact on their ministry but continue their ministry, seeing Christ in the elderly they serve. Sister Jean Dwyan laughed with Martha Spurgeon in the hallway of the St. Louis Residence, which serves about 110 people.

Katie Hoormann stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. She waved the bat around and got set.

The young man who was the pitcher let an underhanded toss soar. Katie swung and made contact, driving in a run for the Little Sisters of the Poor residents' team. Applause erupted in the open-space auditorium.

"She's 96 years old," exclaimed a gentleman sitting in a chair, with his walker at his side.

Maronites ordain married priest

Father Wissam Akiki, a married man, was ordained a priest for the Maronite Catholic Church for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.

Pope Francis has granted permission for a married deacon to be ordained to the priesthood for the Maronite Catholic Church for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.

Father Wissam Akiki was ordained Feb. 27 at St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis. He is married to Manal Kassab and they have a daughter, Perla. He is the first married man to be ordained for the priesthood for the U.S. Maronite Catholic Church.

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'Souls and Goals' scores for vocations

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Kenrick-Glennon Seminary has largest enrollment in 15 years

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

Daniel Prize, a first-year theology seminarian, prayed evening prayer at Kenrick-Glennon during the school’s orientation.

Mitchell Baer was an eighth-grader when he first received a pamphlet about a Come and See weekend at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Growing up in an active Catholic household, the idea of one day becoming a priest was not far from his mind. During his sophomore year at Rockwood Summit High School, Baer decided to visit so he could learn a little more about seminary life.

Different pathways unite for two Benedictine monks

Their pathways to the priesthood might have been different, but Fathers Francis Hein and Cassian Koenemann were finally united last month as they were ordained for the priesthood for the Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines).

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presided at the Mass of ordination Aug. 24 at St. Louis Abbey in Creve Coeur, where the local Benedictine community makes its home. The two native St. Louisans recently shared why they felt called to the priesthood and what brings them joy in serving through the ways of St. Benedict.

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