There is a lot of excitement in the diocese right now regarding vocations. There are times when at the Pastoral Center I see a look of content/bewilderment/thanksgiving on the faces of those who have worked so hard to increase vocations within our diocese. After a dry spell of over 5 years, this spring we started ordaining seminarians again. And these ordinations were not isolated events. They are the start of something which we have prayed so diligently for: a renewal of vocations in the Diocese of St. Paul.
Currently, we have over 10 seminarians in the diocese! With such a significant number of men in the seminary, several of our seminarians are headed off to Mission, BC in the fall to take their initial Philosophy degrees. We have a wonderful mixture of local and foreign men, some in their propadeutic year, others in Philosophy or Theology. All of whom are very strong in their faith and their response to the call of Christ! Our current diaconate formation cohort has just wrapped up their second year and are now half way through formation, and we have another group of men ready to start formation for the diaconate in the fall.
Two of our seminarians were recently ordained to the transitional diaconate. Deacon Michael will remain at St. Louis Parish until his ordination to the priesthood this September. Deacon Jhack will be returning to Fort McMurray until his ordination to the priesthood in December. Ordinations will become a “regular occurrence”, with diaconate and priestly ordinations occurring throughout the year.
I invite all of you to attend Deacon Michael’s ordination to the priesthood on September 21. His ordination to the priesthood is in part the fruits of YOUR labours. What do I mean by that? It is your Prayer for Vocations, prayers of intercession, and general words of support that help give our seminarians the strength and encouragement they need to answer God’s call.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not also ask you to continue your prayers for our religious (we have numerous Sisters scattered throughout the diocese doing amazing works), single persons, and those who have answered the call to marriage.