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Class of 2011

 

New Priests Younger, Influenced by Parish Priests, Catholic Education,Service as Altar Boys, Social, Church Environment

WASHINGTON—The average age of men ordained to the priesthood in 2011 is trending younger with the average age for the 2011 class at 34, with more than half between the ages of 25 and 34. This is slightly younger than in 2010, and follows the trend over the past five years of ordinands becoming younger.

These figures stand out in The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood, an annual national survey of men being ordained priests for U.S. dioceses and religious communities, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Georgetown University-based research center. The entire report can be found at www.usccb.org/vocations as well as on the bishops’ vocation Web site, www.ForYourVocation.org.  It is the 15th annual survey of ordinands commissioned by the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).    full story

New Priest Class Boasts Variety of Religious, Ethnic Backgrounds

WASHINGTON—A deaf man, escapees from Vietnam, grandfathers, military veterans, and ministers who converted from other religions are among the men being ordained to the priesthood in 2011.
          
Men ordained range in age from 25 to 63. Their range of backgrounds shows on www.ForYourVocation.org, and on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) www.usccb.org/vocations.     full story

People would be surprised to know...
Scroll over the images below to view individual quotes!

Class of 2011


Fr. Brian Alford

Fr. John Britto Antony,
CSC

People would be surprised to know that I...

have been a religious brother for the last 25 years. I loved being a religious brother but I consistently felt that I needed to reach out to the faithful sacramentally. As an ordained religious priest I am happy to continue the apostolate of our religious community while being a channel of blessing through the sacramental activities.


Fr. Matt Arbuckle

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Eric Ayers
Richmond VA

People would be surprised to know that I...

worked in Thomas Jefferson's house and property as a professional gardener, taking care of the orchard and vinyard there, before entering seminary.


Fr. Donald Bedore
Dodge City, KS

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a middle-aged meat cutter in a small town when I heard God calling me to be a priest. God made me understand in a very personal way that I was not doing what God wanted me to do and He led me to definitively prepare for a vocation to the priesthood. The best decision of my life was to follow the Lord.


Fr. Joshua Bennett
Lafayette, IN

People would be surprised to know that I...

entered the Church in 2002 at the Easter Vigil. I can recall a strong desire in my heart for many years to become a priest of Jesus Christ; I think God knew what he was doing all along!


Fr. Brandon Bernhard

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Nicholas Blaha

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Dustin Boehm
Indianapolis

People would be surprised to know that I...

never wanted to leave seminary except during those times when I ignored or became numb to the challenges and struggles of my own humanity. Christ's call to the priesthood is, for me, intimately tied to my own imperfections, and this is something in which I find tremendous consolation.


Fr. Kenneth Brabazon Jr.
Philadelphia

People would be surprised to know that I...

am formed for ministry as a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as a Third Order Discalced Carmelite. I have always had a particular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Carmelite saints.


Fr. Jared Brogan
Paterson

People would be surprised to know that I...

struggled with my vocation even after I entered the seminary. Despite the struggle I knew that it was God's will for me and it was by his grace that I continued to pursue my vocation. A challenge does not mean that something is wrong or bad, it just makes you rely on God all the more.


Fr. Paul Brunet
Seattle

People would be surprised to know that I...

thought it was impossible for me to go to seminary, despite feeling that God was calling me to be a priest. I thought the Church would automatically reject me because I was divorced and older than 35.


Fr. William Brunner
Green Bay

People would be surprised to know that I...

first started to think seriously about the priesthood while taking a theology class taught by an Evangelical-Protestant.


Fr. Charles Butkowski
Cleveland

People would be surprised to know that I...

played college football.


Fr. Tom Cannon

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a successful business manager and traveled the world. God never gave up calling me to the priesthood, which he was doing since I was in 2nd Grade.


Fr. Brian W. Capuano

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Angelo Casimiro MIC

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a graphic designer before entering religious life and the seminary. I thought I would never use those skills again, but as such God continues to use the artistic gifts He has given me in my priestly and religious vocation.


Fr. Alexander Castillo

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Augustine Chang
Los Angeles

People would be surprised to know that I...

never participated in Mass as an altar server before the seminary.


Fr. Michael Chernetzki
Rockford

People would be surprised to know that I...

have gone saltwater fishing. I've caught and released bluefin tuna, goliath grouper and several species of sharks.


Fr. Hong-Ray Cho
Newark

People would be surprised to know that I...

lost my entire right leg by a traffic accident in 1990. I lost my leg, but I found my life. Thanks be to God!


Fr. Michael Chrisman
Pueblo, CO

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Barry Clayton
Kansas City, KS

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a twin sister.


Fr. Nathan Comeaux

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Gregorio Congote

People would be surprised to know that I...

gave religious life a try when I was 14, then when I was 18, and when I was 34. The first time I was with a religious community for six months, the second time I was at the seminary for three years. I have been a monk for almost ten years. I will be a priest in May 2011.


Fr. Scott Conner
Lake Charles

People would be surprised to know that I...

I began college at a state university but felt unfulfilled with my studies. I talked with the director of vocations and was filled with the "peace that the world cannot give." I knew I was making the right choice to enter seminary.


Fr. Terrence Coonan Jr.
Fort Wayne-South Bend

People would be surprised to know that I...

I began college at a state university but felt unfulfilled with my studies. I talked with the director of vocations and was filled with the "peace that the world cannot give." I knew I was making the right choice to enter seminary.


Fr. Kristopher Cowles
Sioux Falls

People would be surprised to know that I...

enjoy camping in the deep of winter. In that season the world is so peaceful and quiet that I find it easier to pray and enter into the presence of God.


Fr. Matthew Crane
St. Cloud, MN

People would be surprised to know that I...

grew up wanting to be a scientist.


Fr. Angelo David
San Jose

People would be surprised to know that ...

it was from the game of soccer where I first encounter my experience to the vocation to the priesthood. It happened when I saw three soccer fields in the minor seminary run by the Salesians, and I wanted to get into soccer for that. But when I got to know the seminarians there, I was attracted to the kind of life they are living. My vocation discernment rolled from there.


Fr. Marco De Loera
Wichita

People would be surprised to know that I...

love to run and pray the Rosary.


Fr. Elliott Dees
Chicago

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a degree in Jewish Studies and spent several months studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during college.


Fr. Christian DeLerno Jr.
New Orleans

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. R. Alejandro Diaz-Caceres
Washington

People would be surprised to know that I...

have enjoyed the daily Mass and adoration before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament since a very young age, but it took me some time to accept His call. God patiently helped me to trust in His plan for me. I finally left everything behind me: family, friends, work and my own culture to become a priest.


Fr. Thomas Dillon
Pensacola-Tallahassee

Fr. Franz Dool
Cleveland

People would be surprised to know that I...

tried to run away from my sense that God was calling me. I thought that if I did all the wrong things God might stop "bothering me." God kept knocking until I realized that saying yes to God would give me joy beyond my wildest imagination.


Fr. Rafal Duda
Oakland

People would be surprised to know that I...

never considered being a missionary priest in the USA. The vocation to the priesthood is tremendous mystery!


Fr. Daniel Duling
Wichita

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Hugo Esparza-Perez

People would be surprised to know that I...

have matured in my vocation through my involvement in organizing low-wage workers around the Country.


Fr. Michael Farrell
Boston

People would be surprised to know that I...

love teaching and discussing faith topics and bringing the faith and Sacraments to God's people.


Fr. Eric Fedewa
Detroit

People would be surprised to know that I...

was not a faithful Catholic until I had a conversion a month before my college graduation. 3 months after I first experienced God's call to the priesthood when I was asked by the parish prayer group leader to pray about it.


Fr. Jason Feigh
Erie

People would be surprised to know that I...

have thought about the priesthood since the age of 12, although I did not become "serious" about this vocation until my junior/senior year in high school. I would like to encourage all young men to open their hearts to Christ for he will be their only guide in life.


Fr. John Fogliasso
Wichita

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Ryan Ford

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. David Friel
Philadelphia

People would be surprised to know that I...

have run two marathons in the last year, although I never ran track or cross country growing up.


Fr. Michael Gossett
Steubenville, OH

People would be surprised to know that I...

love music, movies and creativity in general. I think that beauty and art are a key part of re-evangelizing our culture.


Fr. Joseph Grilliot

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Michael Grosch
St. Louis

People would be surprised to know that I...

worked answering phones and emptying trash in our parish office. Although I was only a freshman in high school, the associate pastor would always introduce me to people as "a young man who is going to enter the seminary." I guess he was right!


Fr. Nathan Harburg
Saginaw

People would be surprised to know that I...

have two adopted siblings. Both of my parents are converts; one is from a Protestant background and the other from a background of atheism. My desire to become a priest was magnified through pro-life work. By spending much time defending the helpless unborn, I became convinced that becoming a priest and offering the Holy Mass was the greatest possible way to defeat the culture of death and promote a culture of life and love.


Fr. Matthew Hardesty
Louisville

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a twin brother who is a D.R.E., a younger brother who is also a D.R.E., and another younger brother who teaches at the Catholic high school that we attended. My mother is a Catholic elementary school teacher, so teaching has become an important part of our family and our faith.


Fr. David Hebert
Lafayette, LA

People would be surprised to know that I...

believe that I have been called to the priesthood from a very early age. After finally saying "Yes", I have found true peace and happiness.


Fr. Jeffrey Henry
Sacramento

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a Lutheran minister before I converted to Catholicism.


Fr. Daniel Hess
Cincinnati

People would be surprised to know that I...

was an attorney and had hoped to work for pro-life causes in my career. I was quite surprised - and humbled - when God called me to enter the seminary and prepare for the priesthood.


Fr. Iain Highet

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Jason Hiner

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Neal Hock
Grand Island

People would be surprised to know that I...

took over 10 years to answer God's call to the priesthood, and the journey has been an even more incredible adventure of Christ's love than I could have ever imagined.


Fr. Timothy Holeda II
Pensacola-Tallahassee

People would be surprised to know that I...

was not raised Catholic. I found the Catholic faith as a result of a powerful experience of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist on a retreat while I was attending Florida State University. It changed my life and was the beginning of the journey that led me to become a priest.


Fr. J Patrick Hough SJ

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a rowing coach after rowing in college in England. Currently I coach at the University of California, Berkeley, Men's Rowing on the freshman team. A great moment of the diaconate ordination was to see the team there, towering over everyone else, and seeing the Catholic Church in a great moment.


Fr. Bryan Howard
New Orleans

People would be surprised to know that I...

felt the call to the priesthood as I witnessed people around me ignore the presence of God in their lives. I felt the call to help them know and love God, and I couldn't imagine a better way to do that than by bringing people the Eucharist, the very presence of Christ in the world.


Fr. John Huckaby
Lake Charles

People would be surprised to know that I...

f


Fr. Sean Patrick Hurley FPO

People would be surprised to know that ...

one of my first loves is surfing with my dad and my brothers. The joy of being refreshed in body and spirit by the salty Atlantic waves is truly unique, especially in February!


Fr. Dominic Huynh

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Radmar Jao

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a working actor in Los Angeles before joining the Society of Jesus in 2001. My "claim to fame" was delivering Chinese food to "Elaine" on the sitcom "Seinfeld."


Fr. Jonathan Kelly

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Steve Kim
San Jose

People would be surprised to know that I...

considered being a professional golfer before entering the seminary.


Fr. Yeongmin Kim
Newark

People would be surprised to know that I...

was born in Cheon-Ho (South Korea) where four Korean martyr saints and nine martyrs are buried. Before the I.C.S. Seminary, I served God as a Franciscan for nine years, caring for lepers and helping the poor in a mission in India.


Fr. Christopher Klusman
Milwaukee

People would be surprised to know that I...

have been deaf since birth. I will become one of the several Deaf priests in the world.


Fr. John Knopik
Saint Cloud

People would be surprised to know that I...

worked five years in road construction (heavy equipment, surveying, & plan designing) before entering seminary. Now, I am currently trying to build an attractive detour and bridge to Heaven.


Fr. Pierre Konja
St. Thomas Apostle Eparchary

People would be surprised to know that I...

was not influenced in my vocation by any one active person. I felt drawn to love and serve Jesus Christ and His Church. It was not dramatic in any sense, just following the spirit and the love of God in my life.


Fr. Cole Kracke
Saint Paul & Minneapolis

People would be surprised to know that I...

first thought about a priestly vocation when I attended RCIA while stationed in Spain with the U.S. Navy. I was 20 years old then.


Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski
Savannah

People would be surprised to know that I...

want to be a saint.


Fr. Nathan LaLiberte
St. Paul & Minneapolis

People would be surprised to know that I...

did not even think about a vocation to the priesthood until I spoke with the campus minister at the University of St. Thomas during my senior year of high school. He asked me if I had ever thought about seminary, to which I responded, "What is a seminary?" Thus, my first years of college seminary were basically "Catechesis 101".


Fr. Christopher Landis
Philadelphia

People would be surprised to know that I...

am a die hard fan of the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team. I have season tickets with my family, and attended most of their home games during their inaugural season in 2010.


Fr. Hank Lanik
Tyler, TX

People would be surprised to know that I...

directed a Catholic camp and had the privledge of working with college students on sharing their faith with campers. What a blessing it was to provide that assist to both staff and campers!


Fr. John Lee

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Michael Leschinsky

People would be surprised to know that I...

learned to juggle from the book "Juggling for the Complete Klutz."


Fr. Jeffrey Lewis
Spokane

People would be surprised to know that I...

had tried other walks of life...probably all of them...before trying the seminary and exploring the vocation to the priesthood. With me, it was as if God had chosen to allow me to try everything else, gently closing the door to everything else one-by-one as I tried them (dating seriously, finding gainful employment, and so forth), thus, by process of elimination, guiding me patiently to the one door that was wide, wide open for me: the priesthood.


Fr. Hugo Londono

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Fernando Lopez
Trenton

People would be surprised to know that I...

always desired to be involved in law enforcement agencies all my life specifically as a Police Officer, that's why I decide to study Criminal Justice and become one; but God called me to join His Army and here I am very happy and anxious to become a Catholic Priest and a soldier of Christ.


Fr. Johnson Lopez
Rockford, IL

People would be surprised to know that I...

will serve as priest to Catholics in the United States, in both English and Spanish ministry. I consider myself an Immigrant among Immigrants.


Fr. Manny B. Lopez

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Mariano Lopez
El Paso

People would be surprised to know that I...

always prayed for vocations to the priesthood, even though I rejected the idea of being a priest myself. I felt attracted to the priesthood upon seeing the need for spiritual guidance in the parish community.


Fr. James Lowe

People would be surprised to know that I...

can't imagine being anything other than a priest. I am so excited to respond fully to God's call to become one with Christ himself and lay down my life out of love for Him and my new spouse, the Church.


Fr. Eurel Manzano
Galveston-Houston

People would be surprised to know that I...

spent some time in pathological and immunological oncology research before entering seminary.


Fr. Christopher Markman
Fargo

People would be surprised to know that I...

did not even think of the priesthood until I was in college studying to be a commercial pilot, even though I was raised Catholic and received a Catholic education through high school.


Fr. Richard John Mary Mastrogiacomo
Rockville Centre

People would be surprised to know that I...

am a drummer and have played in numerous bands throughout the Northeast area. In all things may Jesus Christ be praised...


Fr. Robert McLaughlin
Newark

People would be surprised to know that I...

rode my Harley Davidson across the country.


Fr. Dominic McManus OP

People would be surprised to know that I...

have been able to keep up a variety of interests since entering formation and religious life including: language study, literary criticism, folk music, storytelling, historical studies, and reading/writing mysteries.


Fr. Bryce McProud
Portland

People would be surprised to know that I...

participated in a Metropolitan Opera try-out and received an honorable mention. I was also on a martial arts tour of China and witnessed the Tienemen Square massacre.


Fr. Juan Medina

People would be surprised to know that I...

like rap music. I like making Christian rap music.


Fr. Adalberto Sanchez Mejia
Rockford, IL

People would be surprised to know that I...

entered the religious seminary in my home country when I was very young. After ordination I'll be working as a missionary with Latino people in this country.


Fr. Andre Melancon
Diocese of Houma Thibodaux

Fr. Diodoro Mendoza
Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy

People would be surprised to know that I...

had an anti-Catholic sentiment growing up as a Protestant. My desire to serve God and humanity brought me to the fullness of the Christian faith.


Fr. Anton Miranda

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. George Sombe Mukuka

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. David Nerbun
Charleston, SC

People would be surprised to know that I...

was a civil engineering research assistant that travelled to Japan for Earthquake Engineering, worked for the Department of Homeland Security, played rugby in college, and began a Catholic fraternity with friends called Esto Vir at Catholic University of America.


Fr. Rheo Ofalsa

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Charles Okeke
Atlanta

People would be surprised to know that I...

taught medical microbiology at the University of Nigeria; worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Universities in Germany, Japan and the USA; and then became a novice Trappist monk, before heeding the call to the priesthood.


Fr. Diego Alejandro Jimenez Olaya
Hartford

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Tony O'Neill
Saint Paul & Minneapolis

People would be surprised to know that I...

grew up in Scotland and was a member of a lay brotherhood for 17 years before entering the seminary.


Fr. Gerald Hope Pedrera
Oakland

People would be surprised to know that I...

am a very ordinary person. Just like anybody, I'm just trying to find my place in God's scheme of things.


Fr. Joel Perez
Laredo, TX

People would be surprised to know that I...

want to serve the Lord. I will tell people that it is a big challenge to be a priest, and it is good to do God's work.


Fr. Victor Perez
Galveston-Houston

People would be surprised to know that I...

was studying abroad in Seville, Spain, when I had a powerful conversion to really live my faith, especially after I went to confession in Fatima, Portugal. Then, back home I got very active in the University of Texas Longhorn Awakening retreats and felt God's call to be used as his instrument.


Fr. Michael Perucho
Los Angeles

People would be surprised to know that I...

was inspired to continue my vocation and seminary studies by the visit of Pope Benedict XVI during the seminarian and youth rally in Yonkers.


Fr. Zachary Peterson
New Ulm

People would be surprised to know that I...

played in the 2010 Minnesota Class C State Amateur Baseball Tournament as a Deacon.


Fr. Neil Pfeifer
Fargo

People would be surprised to know that I...

would advise persons not to put off the Lord's invitation to follow him. The Lord has provided in all facets of my vocation, and in Him I have found joy, lasting peace, and happiness.


Fr. James Phan

People would be surprised to know that I...

decided to enter religious life to become a religious priest. I thought that Jesus Christ sacrified his own life for the world and so I might sacrifice my marriage vocation to God in order to respond to the priestly vocation.


Fr. Peter Phan
San Bernardino

People would be surprised to know that I...

still keeping my vocation after a long journey in pursuing my vocation in priesthood.


Fr. Sean Pogue
Lafayette, IN

People would be surprised to know that I...

had long hair from age 9 until I cut it at the age of 15 to get a part in the school play. A few weeks later I was invited to the bishop's residence for an "Operation Andrew" dinner. That was when Bishop Higi asked me to consider seriously going to seminary. I'm glad he asked! It was eight years before I entered the seminary, but I never forgot his invitation.


Fr. J. Marcel Portelli
Saginaw

People would be surprised to know that I...

served as an altar boy at age 10, and this experience sparked my vocation to the priesthood. Life went on, but that spark remained dormant and never left me. Many years later it was reignited largely to apologetics and what I learned about the faith.


Fr. Stephen Pullis
Detroit

People would be surprised to know that I...

originally wanted to work in politics.


Haider Quintero
Amarillo

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Roy Regaspi
Newark

People would be surprised to know that I...

am an accomplished choral conductor who resisted the call to priesthood for a long time until Pope John Paul II appeared for several times in my dreams telling me specifically to return to the seminary. With God's grace, I am happy to serve Him and His Church.


Fr. Nicholas Reid
Jefferson City

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a twin brother who is an Air Force pilot. I also recorded a hip hop album while living in Atlanta some years ago.


Fr. Nelson Rivera

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Michael Roemmele

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Ryan Rooney
Springfield, MA

People would be surprised to know that I...

am half Puerto-Rican and had to force myself to learn Spanish in high school. I love serving both the English- and Spanish-speaking communities.


Fr. Adaly Rosado
New York

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a twin brother who is in the New York Police Department.


Fr. David Rosenberg
Lansing, MI

People would be surprised to know that I...

never believed I had the academic skills necessary to complete a Masters of Divinity program.


Fr. Anthony Rowland
Lafayette, IN

People would be surprised to know that I...

was influenced the most through prayer.


Fr. William Ruelle
Bismarck

People would be surprised to know that I...

was on my way to becoming a professional jazz musician before I decided to become a priest.


Fr. Gosbertus Rwezahura
Chicago

People would be surprised to know that I...

was only 11 when I thought of becoming a priest. I was influenced especially by my grandma who loved priests and wanted to see at least one of her grandchildren becoming a priest.


Fr. Alejandro Orlando Augustinis Saenz

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Rodolfo Salinas

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Cassian Sama OP

People would be surprised to know that I...

never considered religious life or the call to the priesthood until people suggested it to me. I ran from this possible call for 3 years and finally succumbed to it with faith and hope. This is the best decision of my life ever. May God be praised!!!!!


Fr. Robert P. Schikora
Saginaw, MI

People would be surprised to know that I...

have a thirty-five year old son, a thirty-three year old daughter and an eleven year old grand-daughter. I hope and pray that the many experiences of my life will serve Christ's Church.


Fr. John Schneider
Cleveland

People would be surprised to know that I...

enjoy taking care of my computer: upgrading its gpu, cleaning its registry, etc. Taking care of it (and knowing how to) is half the fun of using a computer.


Fr. David Severson
Helena

People would be surprised to know that I...

served in the Army in combat during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I wasn't interested in the priesthood until the age of 26, when I left a girlfriend and a teaching job to begin the real adventure of my life through following Christ to be his priest!


Fr. Jason Signalness
Bismarck

People would be surprised to know that I...

was confirmed as an adult after years away from the Church, not too long before I entered seminary. The example and teaching of one priest helped me answer God's call to leave behind a good career in technology and to serve God.


Fr. Tyler Smedley

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Philip Smith
Toledo

People would be surprised to know that ...

the first time I ever thought about the priesthood was probably around 5th or 6th grade, but it wasn't until my third year of college that I finally decided that it was time to become a seminarian and to discern if God was calling me to the priesthood.


Fr. Brian Soliven
Sacramento

People would be surprised to know that I...

used to breakdance through my junior and high school years.


Fr. Cory Stanley

People would be surprised to know that I...

had not considered a vocation to the priesthood until as a sophomore in high school I was asked to do so by one of my parish's youth ministers. We should never be afraid to ask someone - and no one should ever be afraid to answer God's call. He is truly generous


Fr. Kyle Stanton
Manchester, NH

People would be surprised to know that I...

received my vocation as I received my First Communion.


Fr. Jeffrey Starkovich
Lake Charles

People would be surprised to know that I...

taught myself to build a computer in the 7th grade. Encouraged by my father to learn a skill, I became very interested in the use of technology for evangelization. I continue to think of innovative ways to preach the Gospel in the new millennium.


Fr. Anthony J. Stoeppel

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Dariusz Strzelecki

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Carlos D. Suarez

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Dennis Anthony Suglia
Rockville Centre

People would be surprised to know that I...

have lived in four countries, six US states and have traveled extensively around the world. I completed two marathons, commanded a 75 man USMC unit overseas, had a golf handicap under 7 and traded on the world's largest exchange; however, I am still just Mom and Dad's youngest son, by the grace of God, Imago Dei.


Fr. Andrew Syring
Omaha, NE

People would be surprised to know that I...

made excuses to not enter the seminary because I was afraid that I would not be able to handle eight more years of school. Once I began formation and academic studies, God gave me all the graces I needed to persevere.


Fr. Nicholas Thompson
Marquette, MI

People would be surprised to know that I...

never considered the priesthood until I was 21 years of age.


Fr. Joseph Prem Sunil Thumma
San Angelo

People would be surprised to know that I...

have come thus far in life. When I became discouraged I wanted to leave the seminary and do something else. But I've come to realise that my plans will not work. I learned to let God work His plans for me. After all, He is the Father who knows better.


Fr. Michal Tomaszawski

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Bao Trung Tran

People would be surprised to know that I...

was tempted at times to leave religious life, but this passage gave me reasons to stay: "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets."


Fr. Quan Tran
Orange, CA

People would be surprised to know that I...

was an attorney for 12 years prior to entering the seminary.


Fr. Robert LaMar Turner II

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Peter Tynan

People would be surprised to know that I...

am a librarian and a lover of the outdoors. Library work is mostly indoors and intellectual, while hiking and backpacking are outdoors and energetic. The truth is that I find God both in my job of helping others do their research and in the grand beauty of his creation.


Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry

People would be surprised to know that I...

flew on a KC-135 airplane on a seat that was facing not the cabin but the tale--14 hours sitting backwards. After ordination, I will go to Nepal as a missioner. Meeting other cultures, travelling, going abroad, learning another way of life and sharing the little I have with others: that keeps me going.


Fr. Anthony Joseph Urban

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Mayhel Velasquez
Newark

People would be surprised to know that I...

never expected to be where I am today and much more to become Priest. It is real blessing from the Lord.


Fr. Adam Verona

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Fr. Kevin Vogel
Omaha

People would be surprised to know that ...

while my receptivity to God's call was first formed by my parents, I did not hear the call until the faithful witness of my non-Catholic Christian friends in college challenged me to fall in love with Christ.


Fr. Stephen Vrazel

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Brian Wayne
Harrisburg

People would be surprised to know that I...

wanted to be an astrophysicist. But when the Holy Spirit kept insisting the priesthood, I experienced peace only after choosing His future for me over my own.


Fr. James Weeder

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Fr. Riley Williams

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Fr. Matthew Worthen
Pensacola-Tallahassee

People would be surprised to know that I...

was baptized Catholic as an infant. However, I first experienced God's call while studying at Florida State University through the incredible campus ministry led by the Brotherhood of Hope and the parish priests. It was then that I decided to receive First Communion and Confirmation.


Fr. Charles Wright
Cincinnati

People would be surprised to know that ...

in College I was awarded a NASA grant to fly an experiment in zero gravity aboard their C-9 "Weightless Wonder." Struggling to make a decision to enter the major seminary, it was while hanging upside down in zero-gravity that I realized I was called to something deeper and should enter the major seminary.


Fr. James Yamauchi
Dallas

People would be surprised to know that I...

used to enjoy formulating short homilies as a teenager, while walking the family dog around the block first thing in the morning.


Fr. Paul M. Ybarra,
C.S.C.

People would be surprised to know that I...


Fr. Christopher Zerucha
Cleveland

People would be surprised to know that I...

had a lot of religious experiences in public high school, including spiritual conversations with many of my teachers and an eccumenical Bible study among peers after school.



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