Boom: Louisiana seminary reports record enrollment, 83% increase from five years ago

The Francis Effect?  Maybe.  From the web page of St. Joseph Seminary in Covington: Saint Joseph Seminary College, located near Covington, La., welcomed a record 137 students this year for the Fall 2015 semester, an 83 percent increase from just five years ago, when 75 seminarians enrolled. Saint Joseph Seminary College is a community of [Read More…]

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Women’s ordination conference concludes in Philadelphia

And this is how it wrapped up, courtesy Tom Fox at National Catholic Reporter. I think this video speaks for itself. [Read more…]

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A deacon writes: “Cooking pots, storybooks and rakes are all sacred vessels when they become instruments of the love of God”

A wonderful reflection on this vocation from recently ordained Deacon Jay Cormier in America:  As my wife, Ann, and I went through the formation process for deacons, we shared our questions and doubts: “Is this the right thing for us? What if I get assigned to a pastor who does not really want a deacon? [Read More…]

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A Catholic Worker responds to the scandal in Des Moines: “There is an underlying clericalism I find deeply disturbing”

You may remember this story from last week—wherein a bishop moved to forbid Mass at a Catholic Worker house in Iowa, after a “woman priest” presided at a liturgy there—and now my blog neighbor Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble has an interesting followup. This comes from Charles Beard, who is part of a Catholic Worker community in [Read More…]

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John Lawrence, Iowa seminarian, dies in his sleep

This heartbreaking item appeared on the Diocese of Des Moines Office of Vocations Facebook page Tuesday night: Please keep in your prayers seminarian John Lawrence, who died in his sleep last night. Keep in prayer his family and the seminarian community. Information regarding funeral arrangements will be forthcoming as soon as they are known. Bishop [Read More…]

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Francis Effect? Vocations climbing in New Jersey, Philadelphia since 2013

View image | gettyimages.com Details:  The number of men in Philadelphia and South Jersey seeking to become Catholic priests took a dive in the mid-2000s when the church was rocked by the clergy-sex abuse scandal. However, that trend is starting to reverse itself, and some claim it’s thanks to a phenomenon known as “the Francis effect.” [Read More…]

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Marrying God: Indiana woman becomes consecrated virgin

A rarity for the mainstream media: extensive coverage of a vocation most don’t understand or even know about, including many Catholics. Details:  Hundreds of people attended a wedding at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Fort Wayne Saturday morning. It may sound like a standard on a summer Saturday, but this marriage is one most people have likely [Read More…]

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New York Times profiles “nuns of a new generation”

That includes, most prominently, the Sisters of Life:  Mechanical bulls, rock-climbing walls, bounce houses, go-karts: Before becoming a nun, Sister Virginia Joy helped insure them all. “I was a go-between between the underwriters and the customers,” said Sister Virginia Joy, a former high school soccer star from South Carolina now wearing a habit of white [Read More…]

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Say hello to four new Little Sisters

I got this nice note today from Sr. Marguerite, l.s.p., regarding my friends from the Little Sisters of the Poor in Queens: Attached are two photos of our newly professed Little Sisters. Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski presided the Mass of Profession on Saturday,July 18th. In both photos, from L to R are Sr. Mercy Marie who [Read More…]

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The veterinarian, husband and father who became a priest

Some may remember when I posted on Frederick Richard Lesser, a widower who was ordained a deacon earlier this year. In June, Deacon Lesser became Father Lesser: Frederick Richard (Rick) Lesser, the widowed father of three grown children, was ordained today [June 20] as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The ceremony [Read More…]

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