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Praised be Jesus Christ!

Here in the Diocese of Wichita, we have been blessed with what you might call a “Culture of Vocations.” Our diocese currently has 56 men who are studying for the priesthood; last month we ordained one man to the priesthood and 10 to the transitional diaconate, who God-willing, will be ordained priests next year. The road to the priesthood is long (6-8 years of seminary formation) and it takes a lot of prayer, support, and careful listening to God in order to properly discern what God is asking of you. But discerning a call to the seminary is not the same thing as discerning a call to the priesthood. Before I joined the seminary I always thought that in order to go to seminary, you first had to be 100% sure that you were called to the priesthood. But that is not at all the case! Seminary is a place of discernment, it is a place designed to help men listen to and respond to God’s voice, and over half of the men who enter seminary are able to discern that they are not called to the priesthood. If they have discerned well, these men have in fact accomplished the same goal as the men who are ordained priests—they have heard and followed God’s call—mission accomplished!

Over the years, we at Blessed Sacrament have been blessed to have several men enter the seminary in order to discern a possible call to the priesthood, as well as young women who are discerning a call to religious life. Thomas Skinner was one of those men from our parish who has been in seminary formation for the last several years, but this spring he has discerned that he will not continue in seminary formation. We give praise and thanks to God for Thomas’ generosity in taking the time to seriously consider God’s will for his life, and we wish him well as he opens the next chapter in his life. As Thomas steps out of seminary formation, we have another young man from our parish, Paul Stadler, who has discerned a call to seminary to go and discover if he is called to the priesthood. Please keep Paul in your payers as he begins his seminary journey this fall.

For the last several years, Blessed Sacrament has hosted a number of seminarians from other parishes during the summer months as they work in various ministries such as the Lord’s Diner, hospital or prison ministry, etc. This summer we are hosting two seminarians who will stay at the rectory through the beginning of August and assist in the parish on the weekends. These two men are James (Jimmy) Schibi, from Parsons, KS; and Derek Thome, from Clonmel, KS. Both men will be starting their third year of theological studies this fall, and since they will not be ordained deacons until next spring, they do not have any special titles—so just call them by their first name. When you see them around the parish please be sure to make them feel welcome. 

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Curtis

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