A seminarian on preaching: “The first thing I do is pray…”

Catholic San Francisco has been following the pastoral year of seminarian Tony Vallecillo as he moves closer to ordination in 2014.  The latest installment in the series looks at the experience he is gaining preaching: The self-described perfectionist spent 10 hours reading, researching, ruminating and rehearsing to deliver the seven-minute “reflection,” the equivalent of the [Read More...]

From TV producer to priest?

That’s even more improbable than making the leap from TV producer to deacon. The Milwaukee Catholic Herald has the scoop: A producer, one might say, is not unlike a parish priest organizing a liturgy for a special occasion. Before enrolling at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners, Tony Budnick spent more than a decade [Read More...]

A hermitage gets a deacon

This is something a little unusual, and worth noting: a monk ordained a deacon for a small hermitage in Texas. Details: Brother Martin Mary’s first visit to the Mount Carmel Hermitage in Christoval touched his soul. A bright college kid from the Dallas-Fort Worth area with aspirations of attending medical school, Martin Mary spent an [Read More...]

When the person praying for a job is clergy

Here’s an unusual look at an often-unreported aspect of the recession: ministers who are unemployed. From the Columbus Dispatch: When ordained minister Rudy Alexeeff talks about his job search, it’s clear he’s looking for more than just a paycheck. He and his wife, Maggie, could definitely use more money, but he wants to find exactly [Read More...]

From city official to Sister of St. Joseph

This is certainly a different kind of vocation story: A former Portland City official took perpetual vows in November as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace. Sister Susan Francois, who reclaimed her faith during the late 1990s at St. Philip Neri Parish in Portland, was also a leading Catholic peace activist in Oregon during [Read More...]

“How beautiful, the hands that serve”: a moving ordination slideshow

A couple weeks back, I posted on the diaconal ordination of Sean Suckiel.  Below is a lovingly produced slideshow of the event, which also includes his profession of faith and Deacon Sean’s first vespers/Benediction. [Read more...]

The Catholic priest with 9 children

Last spring, I posted an item about an Anglican priest’s leap of faith — joining the Catholic Church and having no job prospects.  A UK paper this weekend has an update: Father Ian Hellyer is a Roman Catholic priest – but far from being celibate, he’s a father. Not just to a couple of children, [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

In 2002, when I was beginning formation for the diaconate, a young teenager by the name of Sean Suckiel worked at night answering phones in the rectory of my spiritual director.  I used to see Sean a lot.  He told once me that the one thing he had wanted, his whole life, was to be [Read More...]

Little drummer priest

A priest reader sent this my way: a video from his ordination reception last June, featuring a priest friend whose talents obviously extend beyond pounding the pulpit.  Way to go, daddy-o!   [Read more...]

Any suggestions for a teenager thinking of the priesthood?

A woman in my parish dropped me a line today: I’d like your advice. The other day a young man, still a boy, told me he was thinking about becoming a priest.  I was very touched by the fact that he shared this with me. I’ll pray that God guides him until he reaches a [Read More...]


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