Christian Education

"Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature(8) so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education. A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person as just now described, but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced the knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24); also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13) and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body; moreover, that aware of their calling, they learn not only how to bear witness to the hope that is in them (cf. Peter 3:15) but also how to help in the Christian formation of the world that takes place when natural powers viewed in the full consideration of man redeemed by Christ contribute to the good of the whole society.(9) Wherefore this sacred synod recalls to pastors of souls their most serious obligation to see to it that all the faithful, but especially the youth who are the hope of the Church, enjoy this Christian education."

Gravissimum Educationis

The Vatican

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Congratulations Class of 2009!

Class of 2009

Fr. Angel Anaya Milwaukee
Father José-Angel Anaya-Estrada Archdiocese of Milwaukee: “People would be surprised to know that I used to be a doctor who wanted to be a neuro-surgeon. Science was always my greatest passion, besides painting and playing the guitar. My greatest desire after becoming a priest is holiness of life. I'm convinced that a holy priest who is open to the action of the Holy Spirit can do great things for the good of humanity, and drive multitudes to God.”

Fr. Brian Austin FSSP
Father Brian Austin, F.S.S.P. Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter: “People would be surprised to know that I was not raised Catholic!”

Fr. Nicholas Azar Atlanta

Fr. John Bamman OFM Conv
Father John Bamman, O.F.M., Conv. Order of Friars Minor, Conventual: “People would be surprised to know that I was greatly inspired by happy integrated priests in love with Christ. Also I responded well to announcements that did not shy away from the challenges of the priesthood, the select group of men who carry the traditions of the church to a spiritually hungry world. A group of men willing to put thier entire life on the line, all of their energy, and be willing to loose themself in service to a most worthy cause. As the Marines are to the military service, so the priesthood is to the world as an honorable dedication of service and love.”

Fr. Michael Bartholomew Rockville Centre
Father Michael Bartholomew Diocese of Rockville Centre: “People would be surprised to know that I have traveled to over 20 countries by time I was 23, and am a competitive athlete competing nationally while still in Seminary.”

Fr. Mark Brandl Milwaukee
Father Mark Brandl Archdiocese of Milwaukee: “People would be surprised to know that I was a fallen away Catholic who had a reconversion to God after many years away from the Church. This reconversion placed God in the forefront of my life instead of an after thought. Active service in ministry was the result until the pastor at my parish asked me if I had ever considered the priesthood. Six years later I am in the class of 2009. ”

Fr. Jesse Burish LaCrosse

Fr. Gerald Burns Seattle
Father Jerry Burns Archdiocese of Seattle: “People would be surprised to know that I had thought about priesthood for a very long time. I dated several women, and many of my friends thought I'd be married. I just couldn't close the door to priesthood. I guess all along, I've known the gifts I'd been blessed with were meant to be expressed in ordained ministry. I'm so glad I've said ‘Yes’ to God.”

Fr. Jorge Cano Knoxville
Father Jorge Cano Diocese of Knoxville: “People would be surprised to know that I have left the seminary twice in order to reflect on my own vocation and human maturity. People might be also surprised that I come from a foreign country to serve as a priest in the United States.”

Fr. Keith Cervine Metuchen
Father Keith M. Cervine Diocese of Metuchen: “People would be surprised to know that I spent most of my professional career as a contractor at a nuclear power plant working on software that assisted with emergency management. I had my 15 minutes of fame when I was pictured on the 1999-2000 Rutgers Men's Basketball Season Ticket Application, unbeknownst to me.”

Fr. David Cleric Portland

Fr. Salomon Garcia Cortes Atlanta
Father Salomon Garcia Cortes Archdiocese of Atlanta: “People would be surprised to know that I was making ceramic mosaic tiles when I heard on the radio a vocational retreat at the Seminary. I went there and the rest is history.”

Fr. David Cupps Richmond
Father David Cupps Diocese of Richmond: “People would be surprised to know that I worked for 18 years at Capital One as one of the first people in the Information Technology division when the company began.”

Fr. Edward D'Almeida Little Rock
Father Edward D'Almeida Diocese of Little Rock: “People would be surprised to know that I told our Lord ‘oh, no, anything but that!’ when I first clearly heard His call to be a priest. With time, through an ever growing relationship, desiring His will I discerned to enter the seminary and never regretted the decision.

Fr. Tyler Dennis Rapid City

Fr. Bryon Dickey Seattle

Fr. TJ Dolce Galveston-Houston
Father T.J. Dolce Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston: “People would be surprised to know that I worked in parish youth ministry for four years before I entered seminary. It was during the time of serving the youth of the parish that I felt confident God was calling me to be a priest. I loved my time in youth ministry, but I felt that it fostered my love for the church and service to God's people.”

Fr. Vincent Druding New York

Fr. Brian Dunkle SJ

Fr. Scott DuVall Rockford, IL
Father Windel Scott DuVall Diocese of Rockford: “People would be surprised to know that I am the only Catholic in my family. I work tirelessly for furthering Vocations and direct many on how to successfully discern their vocation in life.”

Fr. Allan Eilen St. Paul-Minneapolis
Father Allan Paul Eilen Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis: “People would be surprised to know that I worked as a courier driver, eventually becoming a Courier Manager for a local hospital system in St. Paul, Minnesota for a combined 20 years before entering St. Paul Seminary in 2003. I come from a family of 10 (Father, Mother, 4 brothers and 3 sisters) with 18 nieces and nephews.”

Fr. David Endres Cincinnati
Father David Endres Archdiocese of Cincinnati: “People would be surprised to know that I taught college classes before entering the seminary. While studying for a Ph.D. in theology I taught courses in spirituality and church history. I earned a Ph.D. in 2007 from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.”

Fr. Idongesit Etim Wilmington
Father Idongesit Etim Diocese of Wilmington: “People would be surprised to know that I am just like every other person and love to listen to music.”

Fr. Matthew Foley OFM Conv
Father Matthew Foley, OFM, Conv. Conventual Franciscan Friars: “People would be surprised to know that I am the 2nd of 7 children and that after high school I left Massachusetts to go to Catholic University in Washington, DC. There I majored in politics, because I wanted to go to law school.”

Fr. Matthew Goddard FSSP

Fr. Paul Gros Baton Rouge

Fr. Christopher Hadley SJ
Father Christopher Hadley, S.J. Society of Jesus, Oregon Province: “People would be surprised to know that I am the son of a former Episcopal priest. In my early childhood in a priest’s family I was surrounded by friends who were priests. This probably had a positive influence on my decision to enter a religious order, the Society of Jesus. When I was choosing to enter fully into the Catholic Church as an adult, the Jesuits were there to meet me and guide me. I am grateful to my brothers and to God.”

Fr. Bill Hao Atlanta
Father Bill Hao Archdiocese of Atlanta: “I had my first call at around 12 years old, but due to circumstances in life didn’t enter the seminary till much later in life after having a full corporate career.”

Fr. Jonathan Haschke Lincoln

Fr. Ben Hasse Marquette
Father Ben Hasse Diocese of Marquette: “People would be surprised to know that I wasn't serious about the faith early in high school; was Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador; and have relatives who are Lutheran ministers.”

Fr. Jacob Hausman CFR

Fr. Gabriel Hernandez Ft. Wayne-South Bend
Father Gabriel Hernandez Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: “I was a farmer and I was taking care of my cattle back in my village in Mexico. I saw the beauty of this life and its cross in the life of Pope John Paul II. I was loking for hapiness and the beauty of life, and that searching took me me to the source of all love, life and hapiness that is found only in Christ crucified. ”

Fr. Ling Ngoc Hoang OFM

Fr. Dan Hoffman Erie
Father Daniel Hoffman Diocese of Erie: "All through my childhood I was interested in science and wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. Yet, there was a deep desire even in my childhood to be close to God. Through going to daily Mass with my grandfather I began to have a deep love of the Eucharist and the Mass. It wasn't until one day after I was serving Mass that the parochial vicar at my home parish of Our Lady of Peace in Erie, PA told me I should think about the seminary because he thought I would be a good priest. From that moment on the "light bulb went on" and has never dimmed."

Fr. John Hollowell Indianapolis
Father John Hollowell Archdiocese of Indianapolis: “People would be surprised to know that I played football and ran track in college.”

Fr. Daniel Janisik Milwaukee

Fr. Fernando Jimenez Ft. Wayne-South Bend
Father Fernando Jimenez Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: “When I expressed my desire to discern God’s call in the seminary, many were skeptical. Nevertheless, I always had the support of my family, relatives, friends and almost everyone in my hometown. Without their prayers, support, love, and without God’s Grace I would be unable to answer God s call.”

Fr. Jason Kahle Toledo

Fr. Don Kania Superior

Fr. Russell Kovash Bismarck
Father Russell Kovash Diocese of Bismarck: “Though God had immensely blessed me in my life, I felt unfulfilled. I was not unhappy but just felt incomplete. Eventually, I told myself that I do not want to live until I am eighty wondering about whether God had indeed called me to this vocation. In January of 2004, I entered seminary. It has now been almost five and a half years later and I can honestly say that I have never experienced more peace and joy in my life than I do right now. I am incredibly excited to be a priest and to serve the good people of western North Dakota!”

Fr. Thomas Lafreniere Palm Beach
Father Thomas Lafreniere Diocese of Palm Beach: “People would be surprised to know that I am a published poet.”

Fr. Shawn Landenwitch Cincinnati

Fr. Matthew Larsen Spokane
Father Matthew Larsen Diocese of Spokane: “People would be surprised to know that [...] my vocation really flourished after I began my career as an attorney. I was working as a public defender, and I found myself wanting to help my clients on a spiritual level. I wanted to bring the love of Christ to them, and show them that they could find peace even in the midst of the deep suffering that they had experienced in their life. [...] I would tell any young man considering a vocation to the priesthood to not be afraid of answering the call to daily take up his cross and follow Jesus. Trust in the Lord and the gift of a vocation that he has given you, and he will do great things in your life.”

Fr. Louis Leonelli CFR
Father Louis Marie Leonelli, C.F.R. Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: “People would be surprised to know that I was at one time a practical atheist. I was not interested in the faith because of my hedonistic attitude and lifestyle and my success in the business world. Since Christ transformed me through the loving heart and intercession of His Mother Mary in 1993, I have been trying to live the fulness of our Catholic faith.”

Fr. Gonzague Leroux Frejus-Toulon
Father Gonzague Leroux Sacerdtotal Fraternity of Molokaï: “People would be surprised to know that at the end of my degree in Biology in France, I decided to join Heart’s Home for two years in the volunteer program. I was sent in Kazakhstan, in the city of Almaty, for two years. Taking time to pray, living in community and visiting the poor, the children of the orphanages, the handicapped persons helped me to say ‘yes’ to the Lord, because He became a living presence in my life.”

Fr. Robert Lindsey CSSR
Father Robert Lindsey, C.Ss.R. Redemptorists - Denver Province: “People would be surprised to know that I am a late vocation, entering the seminary at age 50, and I was the only on-call chaplain at the University of Minnesota Medical Center on the evening of August 1, 2007 - the night of the infamous I-35 bridge collapse.”

Fr. Gustavo Elias LopezOSJ
Father Gustavo Lopez, O.S.J. Congregation of the Oblates of Saint Joseph, CA Province: “People would be surprised to know that I am related to a canonized saint, who was from the same town where my parents lived in Mexico. He lived during the Cristero period,when the Church was under persecution, and died a martyr.”

Fr. Hugh Macsherry OFM

Fr. Christopher Martel Manchester

Fr. Andrew Martinez OFM Conv

Fr. Dale Maxfield Belleville
Father Dale Maxfield Diocese of Belleville: “People would be surprised to know that I was in the seminary for 8 years. I left the seminary and worked in the Church as a DRE, Pastoral Associate, Diocesan Office of Education and a Parish Life Coordinator. I have 5 adult childen.”

Fr. Daniel Maxwell Baker
Father Daniel Maxwell Diocese of Baker: “People would be surprised to know that I come from a family that, with the exception of a couple of cousins who married Catholics, hasn't had a Catholic for over 200 years. I have had an attraction to the Church since I was very young. When I was seven, I asked my mother about how a man knows he is called to be a priest, years before either of us became Catholic. I attended my first Mass alone at age nine, and [...] entered the Catholic Church at 17. My mother and brothers also converted.”

Fr. Gary Mayer Dubuque

Fr. John Mayo St. Louis

Fr. Andrew McAlpin OP
Father Andrew McAlpin, O.P. Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great: “People would be surprised to know that I was a bass player and drummer in hard rock bands for years before entering formation.”

Fr. Carl Melchior St. Petersburg
Father Carl Melchior, Jr. Diocese of Saint Petersburg: “People would be surprised to know that I was the assistant equipment manager for the Tampa Bay Buccaners from 1984-1993. I worked for head coaches John McKay, Leeman Bennett, Ray Perkins, Richard Williamson and Sam Wyche. As one can see, by the amount of head coaches this team had in a short amount of time, these were the lean years for the Bucs.”

Fr. James Paul Melnick Little Rock
Father James Melnick Diocese of Little Rock: “People would be surprised to know that I like to sing when I pray.”

Fr. Gonzalo Meza San Antonio
Father Gonzalo Meza Archdiocese of San Antonio: “People would be surprised to know that I I was working at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. I also participated in many of the President of the United States Visits to Mexico as part of the U.S. delegation. In my job I met a lot of dignitaries, academics, CEOs, but mainly I met Christ in the poor and the needy. Now, I'm the Ambassador of Christ. And the Lord has given me more than I expected (always with a little dose of suffering).”

Fr. Pablo Manuel Migone Savannah
Father Pablo Migone Diocese of Savannah: “People would be surprised to know that I left Peru when I was nine years old due to terrorist persecution of my dad. After years of threats and living in a way to prevent a direct attack, they attempted to kidnap him in April of '91. We stayed a few more days in Peru so I could make my first communion and we moved to the US without telling anyone except my grandparents.”

Fr. Stephen Mimnaugh OFM

Fr. Harry Monaco OFM

Fr. Robert Mucci Brooklyn
Father Robert Mucci Diocese of Brooklyn: “People would be surprised to know that I had a twenty-five year career as an actuary before entering the seminary. At the time I left I was Executive Vice President, Chief Actuary and a member of the Board of Directors.”

Fr. Eric Mueller Toledo
Father Eric Mueller Diocese of Toledo: “People would be surprised to know that I ran both cross country and track in college.”

Fr. Reed Mungovan SDS
Father Reed Mungovan, S.D.S. Society of the Divine Savior: “People would be surprised to know that I have wanted to serve God as priest since high school. It has taken a good amount of time to discern and find where I can serve God. God brought me to the Society of the Divine Savior and it is here that I feel free to love God as a relgious and to love God’s people as religious and as a priest.”

Fr. Patrick Nelson SDS
Father Patrick Nelson, S.D.S. Society of the Divine Savior: “People would be surprised to know that I my twin brother has been a priest for seven years in Spanish Ministry. I too, will be placed in a Spanish Parish by my Community, come this September. I hope I can bring some measure of hope and God’s love to any who feel forgotten.”

Fr. Michael Newman OSFS
Father Michael Newman, O.S.F.S. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Toledo-Detroit Province: “People would be surprised to know that I am an ordinary man trying to live out my own calling within the world. The idea of a priestly vocation has always been on my mind since I was in grade school. The idea of this vocation was always a small thread tugging at my own soul and, try as I might, I could not ignore it. It was only after I embraced it and began to live life first as a professed religious and soon as a religious priest, that I found wholeness, peace, and the realization that God has taken me to himself so that God can give me back to all people.”

Fr. Peter Hoang Nguyen O Carm.
Father Hoang Nguyen, O.Carm. Saint Elijah Province: “People would be surprised to know that I become a religious friar and then a priest.”

Fr. Tuan Nguyen CSSP

Fr. Jeff Norfolk Sioux Falls
Father Jeff Norfolk Diocese of Sioux Falls: “People would be surprised to know that I dated a Catholic girl in high school whom I thought I would marry who is now a religious sister in the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth in Pennsylvania.”

Fr. Reginald Norman Bridgeport
Father Reginald Norman Diocese of Bridgeport: “People would be surprised to know that I make rosaries and I love lighthouses.”

Fr. Evaristus Uche Obikwelu Austin
Father Uche Obikwelu Diocese of Austin: “I left the Seminary at the end of Philosophy; I never thought that God would call me back to become his priest. It was not until I devoted my time and devotion to the Blessed Mother; [her intercession] helped me in this re-discernment process towards the priesthood.”

Fr. Sean O'Connell Milwaukee
Father Sean O’Connell Archdiocese of Milwaukee: “People would be surprised to know that I was born in Germany while my parents were stationed there for the United States Army.”

Fr. Patrick O'Hogan Seattle
Father Patrick O'Hogan Archdiocese of Seattle: “People would be surprised to know that I worked as a locomotive engineer and in the railyards, where adherence to religion is not highly valued. Also, that my father was a very-lapsed Catholic during most of my life, my mother was a hard-shell Baptist, my stepmother was Methodist; my father eventually came back to the Church, and my mother and step-mother both converted.”

Fr. Michael Owen Chicago
Father Michael Owen Archdiocese of Chicago: “People would be surprised to know that I went to a secular university, and was able to go straight into major seminary.”

Fr. Matthew Paratore Metuchen

Fr. Jose Parra-Murcia Saginaw
Father José Parra-Murcia Diocese of Saginaw: “People would be surprised to know that I left the Seminary [for several years]. After th 30 day Spiritual Exercises that Bishop Carlson encouraged me to do, I knew clearly what God wants me to do. So, the answer was to follow Jesus without fear.”

Fr. Thomas Pham CSSR
Father Thomas Pham, C.Ss.R. Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer: “People would be surprised to know that I grew up in a Redemptorist parish.”

Fr. Joseph Previtali San Francisco
Father Joseph Previtali Archdiocese of San Francisco: “People would be surprised to know that I have a grandfather who is a priest (a widower, he became Fr. Francis Filice of the Archdiocese of San Francisco) and that the priesthood has therefore been a part of my life from the beginning. I served Mass for the first time when I was 2.5 years old, and I would "play Mass" up until the 2nd or 3rd grade. I then abandoned any thought of the priesthood until my time at Gonzaga University, where a deepening and maturing of my faith led me to ask God what He wanted of me. The answer was clear: ‘You are for Me.’”

Fr. Christian Raab OSB
Father Christian Raab, O.S.B. Saint Meinrad Archabbey: “People would be surprised to know that I spoke openly growing up about various dreams I had; of being a rock star, a famous writer, or president of the United States. What I was afraid to tell people was that I wanted to be a priest. Of all those ‘big ideas,’ priesthood was the one thing that I feared wouldn’t be suppported by my friends or family. When I finally spoke about my deepest dream, I was surprised by how much support there was for me.”

Fr. Jonathan Raia Austin

Fr. Anthony Recker Toledo
Father Anthony Recker Dioecese of Toledo: “People would be surprised to know that I fully intended to practice medicine and have a family before I received the call to the priesthood. I was actually in medical school when I strongly received the call.”

Fr. Morgan Rice CSB
Father Morgan Rice, C.S.B. Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers): “People would be surprised to know that I am a big fan of cars. Having always wanted a convertible and thinking that a vow of poverty might not allow for it in the future, I purchased a silver Audi TT convertible nine months prior to [entering] with the Basilian Fathers in inner-city Detroit. Since the car was not really suitable for life in Detroit, I sold it shortly before moving there.”

Fr. John Rossi Camden
Father John Rossi Diocese of Camden: “People would be surprised to know that I have traveled to 18 different countries over the past 10 years of priestly formation, sometimes as study abroad experiences in which I learned the Spanish, Italian, and French languages. This has truly broadened my horizons and given me a deeper sense of the Church's catholicity.”

Fr. Robert Rottgers Covington
Father Robert Rottgers Diocese of Covington: “People would be surprised to know that I am a convert, widower, grandfather and will be 52 when ordained. I feel that God trained me in the school of life before calling me to the priesthood. I also feel I am being called to help those who have or are going through [difficult] life experiences.”

Fr. Jake Runyon Ft. Wayne-South Bend
Father Jacob Runyon Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: “People would be surprised to know that I really hated high school. In fact, one of the reason that I delayed coming to the seminary was my dislike of school. However, the 5 years that I took off between high school and seminary really gave me a newfound desire for education. That, and the fact that I am able to give everything to my time at the seminary, has made my 8 years a great joy. When people talk to me they can never believe that I found school a drudgery in my younger days. So, that is a good lesson for any young man considering priesthood, but is not interested in school.”

Fr. Adam Rust Memphis
Father Adam Rust Diocese of Memphis: “People would be surprised to know that I brew beer with my dad.

Fr. David Sabel Peoria
Father David Sabel Diocese of Peoria: “People would be surprised to know that I was called to the priesthood later on in life. The ‘call’ came when I ask God for direction in my life. My life was happy and fruitful. I was teaching and enjoying my job,but I was getting to a time in my life that I needed to know what path God wanted me to follow. The question I asked was , ‘What is your plan for my life Lord?’ God works in mysterious ways, but it has been a great ride and I am ready to become his instrument as priest.

Fr. Raphael Salzillo OP
Father Raphael Mary Salzillo, O.P. Order of Preachers, Western Province of the US: “People would be surprised to know that I have a master’s degree in Applied Physics.”

Fr. Reginald Samuels Galveston

Fr. Peter Sharpe Fargo
Father Peter Sharpe Diocese of Fargo: “People would be surprised to know that I spent two years in Rome at a house of discernment, living a quasi-monastic lifestyle and studying in Italian.”

Fr. David Skillman St. Louis

Fr. Adam Stimpson Peoria

Fr. Luke Strand Milwaukee
Father Luke Strand Archdiocese of Milwaukee : “I never first seriously considered priesthood until my sophomore year of college. I was very much immersed in worldly pursuits and desires until the Lord called me to discover where I was going to find meaning in life. It was only when I realized that being a Catholic Christian meant something that I began to discern a call to priesthood.”

Fr. Todd Strange Seattle

Fr. Will Straten Austin
Father William Straten Diocese of Austin: “People would be surprised to know that I received a degree in Agronomy. I was planning to take care of a Golf Course or Sports Facility.”

Fr. Pat Sullivan Kansas City
Father Patrick Sullivan Archdiocese of Kansas City KS: “People would be surprised to know that I have worked both in Law Enforcement and Information Technology before entering the seminary. In addition I really wanted to be married and was engaged to be married twice before entering seminary.”

Fr. Paul Theisz Harrisburg
Father Paul J. Theisz Diocese of Harrisburg:“[My involvement in the Church] started with the choir and ended up with teaching Sunday school and I become an extraordinary minister and taking Holy Communion to the sick when needed. I started paling around with our Pastor (we went hunting with friends) and later his replacement. They both thought that my idea to be a priest was good.”

Fr. William Thornton San Francisco

Fr. Tien Tran Nashville
Father Tien Tran Diocese of Nashville: “In 1997, my family moved fromVietnam to the United States in Nashville, Tennessee. And in the year 2000, I started my studies at seminary. I was so exited but it brought a new set of challenges particularly my command of English. As I always say, trust in God, and you will get the reward.”

Fr. Christopher Trenta Cleveland
Father Christopher Trenta Diocese of Cleveland: “People would be surprised to know that I was able to travel much more than I expected when I entered the seminary. I had traveled quite extensively throughout the United States for my job before entering the seminary, but had no idea that the opportunities for me to continue to gain this type of exposure to the Church Universal would be so extensive. One never knows how God may bless your journey.”

Fr. Chris Valka C. St. Basil
Father Chris Valka, C.S.B. Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers): "I entered diocesan seminary right after high school (a result of World Youth Day), left the program after one year and a half, went to school and worked for a while. […] A few years later, much to my own surprise (because I was not looking) I began to hang out with the Basilians. In time they encouraged me to join and the rest is history."

Fr. Jason Welle OFM
Father Jason Welle, O.F.M. Order of Friars Minor (Assumption BVM Province): “People would be surprised to know that I was successful in a variety of things before entering seminary (athletics, academics, music) but found in a complete donation of my life to Christ my true peace.”

Fr. Claude Williams O.Praem.

Fr. Michael Williams Las Cruces

Fr. Robert Williams OFM Cap
Father Robert Williams, O.F.M., Cap. Capuchin Franciscan Friars, Province of the Stigmata: “People would be surprised to know that I felt a call to some sort of priestly/religious life since I was a child. My mother has often commented on the fact that as early as 9 years old I used to tell people that I wanted to be a monk, yet we were Methodist, and I had never met a monk before.”

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