Three New Seminarians for the Diocese
COME, AND YOU WILL SEE written by Bishop Edward M. Rice
In my last column, I shared my thoughts on the importance of Catholic identity and the integrity of life required of a teacher in our Catholic schools. Notice that I didn’t say, “Catholic teachers,” but teachers in our Catholic schools. The reality is that we do partner with non-Catholics in the faith formation and education of the students in our schools. How can that be? First, by the integrity of their lives, as with a Catholic teacher, they strive in their moral and civic life to be intentional disciples of Jesus. Then, by a spirit of openness—i.e., not being an obstacle to what the Catholic school is trying to accomplish—forming our students as intentional disciples of Jesus in our Catholic faith.
In this column, I would like to highlight and offer my profound thanks to the many volunteers that serve their parish as PSR directors, catechetical leaders, catechists, youth directors, RCIA leaders and catechists. I hope each of you is recognized on the local level on Catechetical Sunday, which is celebrated Sept. 18 this year! If you think passing on the faith is difficult, try passing on the faith when you have one shot every week in a PSR program! Many who volunteer as catechists and directors of parish programs are just that: volunteers. For all that you do—I thank you!
Whether you are a teacher in a Catholic school or teaching in one of the PSR programs, or simply have the desire to grow in your faith, I hope everyone knows the many resources that are available to them through the Online Catechetical Institute from Franciscan University. All these courses are FREE of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Missouri Knights of Columbus. Franciscan University is constantly putting out new programs to help in the faith formation of our young people and adults. More information, including how to register, can be found on p. 14 of this issue of The Mirror! And let us not forget the three-year Eucharistic Revival that we have entered into. The USCCB Website has many resources as well. And, a good number of our parishes participate in “Formed,” a Catholic App that focuses on Catholic movies for all ages, Bible study, and sacramental prep materials. I constantly tell all of our teachers, principals, catechetical directors, and youth ministers that they share in my work in forming people in the faith. And that is the way it should be. That’s the role of the laity. Hopefully, our priests are nurturing our people who in turn, nurture the faith in others. And when that happens, as it does here in southern Missouri, the faith grows. I’m not naïve and I know we have our challenges, and the greatest challenge is to move forward in faith. Thanks for all you do.
I am so pleased that we have three new candidates that have entered into formation and formal discernment for the priesthood, God willing. One of the young men, Jesse Thompson, from St. Cecilia Parish, Kennett, MO, is in formation as he finishes his degree at Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH. The other two men are both from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Springfield. Trey Ringgold is in an internship at St. Vincent de Paul, Cape Girardeau, while Wyatt McFall is in Conception Seminary, Conception, MO. These three men, along with the three returning seminarians, bring us up to six total seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, which is just under 25% of our goal of having 25 seminarians by the year 2025.
I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of our vocation promoters throughout southern Missouri, from Joplin to Cape Girardeau. They will be a blessing to Fr. Scott Sunnenberg, our diocesan Director of Vocations & Seminarians, as he continues to work with young men discerning God’s will in their lives. The three-year Eucharistic Revival should also result in a revival of vocations.
Some important dates to remember:
Fri., Sept. 9, is International “Buy a Priest a Beer Day”
Wed., Sept. 14, Project Andrew Dinner, Immaculate Conception Parish, Springfield, 6:30 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 25, Priesthood Sunday, nation-wide event coordinated and sponsored by the US Council of Serra International
Tue., Sept. 27, Project Andrew Dinner, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Joplin, 6:30 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 9, Deacon Sunday
Nov. 6-Nov. 12, National Vocations Awareness Week
Sun., Nov. 6, Project Andrew Dinner, St. John Vianney Parish, Mountain View, 4:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7, Project Andrew Dinner, time & location TBD
Nov. 12-14, 2022, Fall “Encounter with God’s Call,” visit to Conception Seminary, Conception, MO
Feb. 4-5, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is Feb. 2, 2023 (celebrated in parishes Feb. 4-5)
Let us continue to pray for the renewal of marriage and family life as well as for vocations to the priesthood and life as a consecrated religious.