Homily for October 30, 2011: World Priest Day

We often say that God writes straight with crooked lines.   Few stories could be more crooked, or surprising, than what God wrote with the life of a boy named Martino BaThong Nguyen. He is Vietnamese.  His parents worked for the U.S. government in Saigon in the 1970s.  Because of their connection to the U.S., when [Read More…]

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Who's that "lady in the blue dress"?

From Baltimore comes this story about efforts to reach young people and encourage vocations: A panel of Roman Catholic priests and others in church life faced an audience of lively fifth graders Thursday, offering snippets of their personal history histories and the motivation for their career choices. But many children were so unfamiliar with a [Read More…]

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"There is nothing easy about being in the seminary…"

As part of the Patheos symposium on seminaries, seminarian Michael Duffy — less than a year from being ordained a priest — reflects on his seminary experience: There is nothing easy about being in the seminary; it is supposed to be difficult. It supposed to be challenging. Being in formation for the Priesthood of Jesus [Read More…]

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"Amazingly, the clergy sex abuse scandal did not deter men from answering God's call…"

Patheos is hosting something new this month: an intriguing online symposium on seminaries, and our crack editor Elizabeth Scalia has established a special page for Catholics. Kicking things off is Rev. W. Shawn McKnight, who takes a look at some of the challenges the Church in America is facing: One is to maintain a basic [Read More…]

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What they didn't ask

Men applying to study for Holy Orders are familiar with the psychological exams you have to take. Here are the impressions of one man, after taking the test for the diaconate: One interesting feature of the exam is that the examiner (a clinical psychologist) had to review the self-narrative with me, and for a fixed [Read More…]

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Want to be a priest? There's an app for that

The Church in Ireland has developed an innovative way to spread the word about vocations — one you can hold in the palm of your hand. Details: An establishment viewed as a bastion of tradition is turning to a new app to encourage more “applications.” The app, says the church, is “designed to promote vocations [Read More…]

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Hope

A friend passed along the picture above, from a recent ordination. Not sure where it was taken. But it is priceless. [Read more…]

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"Be a man": an anthem for priestly discernment

Now, for something completely different, from Franciscan University, and the men who are in the Priestly Discernment program.  Evidently, a talent for performing tunes from Disney animated musicals (here, a production number from “Mulan”) is an important part of priestly discernment.  Who knew? Anyway, the audience clearly loved it.  Enjoy. [Read more…]

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Boom: Scranton diocese doubles number of seminarians

How’d that happen?  Some answers: Encouraged by a proactive vocations office and a supportive bishop, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton’s class of men studying to be priests has doubled in the last two years to 17 seminarians. The diocese last had as many seminarians in 2004, when 20 men were studying for the priesthood. [Read More…]

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Why priests are happy

That’s the title of a new book, and the subject of a symposium on the topic held recently in Washington featuring, among others, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta. Details: Despite all the negative publicity of recent years, research shows U.S. Catholic priests are demonstrably among the happiest, most job-fulfilled and satisfied men in the country, [Read More…]

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