Fostering vocations

Editorial | Ingredients for a vocation to the priesthood

Father Clark Philipp was among four priests ordained by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on May 27.

Eight of every 10 men in the 2017 class of ordinations to the priesthood were encouraged by about four people, including parish priests, friends or other parishioners. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate's (CARA) annual survey, the ordinands also were, on average, 16 years old when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood, and religious ordinands reported they knew the members of their religious institute an average of six years before entering.

Editorial | Encourage, engage and pray our way to more women religious.

St. Louis is losing an important ministry. On Aug. 24, the Little Sisters of the Poor announced they are leaving St. Louis after almost 150 years of serving the poor elderly. The reason? Too few sisters.

We've heard this before. Generations ago, many Catholic schools were run by a sister. Catholic health care ministries were run by religious, not corporations.

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.

Catholic families ‘adopt’ international seminarians

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson ordained six men to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, April 30, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. He presented Laurent Okitakatski Odjango with a book of the Gospels commissioning him as a herald of Christ.

Three men from Africa who were ordained transitional deacons last week were cheered along by their "family" in attendance at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Joseph Lugalambi and Matthias Njuba from the Diocese of Masaka, Uganda, and Laurent-Bernard Okitakatshi Odjango of the Diocese of Tshumbe, Democratic Republic of Congo, are among 15 international seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

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.

Adoration, Eucharistic experiences foster a culture of vocations

Davide Bianchini, a seminarian, attended the vocations holy hour at St. Clement of Rome Parish in Des Peres. “I firmly believe it is the prayer that comes from this parish, day in and day out, that has been the impetus behind the vocations coming out of this parish.”

With all the talk of the "culture wars," it's easy to dismiss as meaningless platitudes the "culture of death," the "throwaway culture," and so on.

One of these "cultures," however, is slowing the steep drop in vocations to religious life: It's the "culture of vocations," fully alive in two archdiocesan communities.

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