Signs along the road

JACKSON – As a part of National Vocations Awareness Week, we hear from our diocesan seminarians, and the encouragements they received as they began to ponder God’s will and the possibility they may be called to priesthood.

“Father Martin Ruane, my first pastor, was a big influence on me. Father Ruane was a joy-filled priest. A joy-filled priest gives a powerful witness to the light of Christ in the world.”
– Deacon Andrew Bowden
(Deacon Andrew will be ordained to the priesthood in May 2022.)

“I converted to Catholicism while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree after reading a copy of St. Augustine’s Confessions that I found in a used bookshop in Florida. I almost immediately began to feel a call to ordination.”
– Carlisle Beggerly
(Carlisle will be ordained to the diaconate in preparation for priesthood in June 2022.)

“I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from New Mexico Tech. I had a couple job offers after I graduated. I accepted a job as a nuclear engineer, but before I could start working, I needed a security clearance. While I was waiting for that clearance, I went to confession one day, and a priest said that I should be a priest. When the priest said that, I said, ‘No way! I’ve always wanted a wife and kids.’ Then, I left, [but] what he said stuck with me, and I began my discernment.”
– Ryan Stoer
(Ryan is in his 2nd year of Theology studies, he is scheduled for priestly ordination in Spring 2024.)

“My first memory of Catholicism is seeing the funeral of St. John Paul II on television. At the time I was awestruck by all the proceedings. I had so many questions about what was happening and who this man was for whom the whole world was coming to a halt. I became more and more interested as I grew up.”
– Tristan Stovall
(Tristan is in his 2nd year of Theology studies, he is scheduled for priestly ordination in Spring 2024.)

“I first felt a desire for priesthood when I was a senior in high school. When I was in college, that desire grew. By participating in, and leading, mission trips to serve the homeless through the Catholic Campus Ministry I realized a desire I have to serve others. The more I did this, the deeper that desire grew and I felt a greater excitement for service to the people of God. The feeling of a call to priesthood became so great that I couldn’t ignore it…”
– Will Foggo
(Will is in his 2nd year of Pre-Theology studies, he is scheduled for priestly ordination in Spring 2026.)

“I was convinced that I would play college basketball. They say: ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ In the summer of 2018 I went to a Catholic youth conference called Steubenville On the Bayou. It was a faith filled experience and was the first time I considered the priesthood. I had an amazing encounter with our Lord during the exposition of the Eucharist. After returning home I started to receive spiritual direction. This helped me to pre-discern my vocation.”
– Grayson Foley
(Grayson is in his 2nd year of Philosophy studies, he is scheduled for priestly ordination in Spring 2028.)

Please keep our seminarians (and religious discerners and postulants) in your prayers, and remember that you can be a great influence for young people just by sharing with them that they would make a great priest or religious.

PEARL – Seminarians gathered for the Ordination of Deacon Andrew Bowden on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at his home parish of St. Jude. Left to right: Grayson Foley, Tristan Stovall, Deacon, Ryann Stoer, Carlisle Beggerly and William Foggo. (Photo from archives)

Diocesan vocations events aim to give time and space to listen for God’s call

With so much distraction and ‘noise’ in the word, God’s call can be difficult to hear. The Department of Vocations is offering young men and women opportunities to retreat and listen to the call of God. Here is a timeline of what has happened, and what will happen in the coming months to give our young people time and space to listen.

June 2021 – Quo Vadis? I
The question where are you going was explored at this three-day retreat for young men who are open to priesthood. Father Nick and the diocesan seminarians led the retreat and gave talks to the 14 men in attendance.

November 19-21, 2021 – Quo Vadis? II
Coming off the success of the first retreat, the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Diocese of Jackson have teamed up to offer another discernment retreat. Father Josh Johnson, vocation director for Baton Rouge and Father Nick Adam are leading the retreat along with seminarians from both dioceses. Young men ages 15-25 are invited to attend.

Winter/Spring 2022 – Nun Run II
The Department of Vocations is leading a trek north to visit several different religious communities in early 2022. Father Nick will begin recruitment in December for this trip. The first Nun Run was held in Fall of 2019 and was a huge success. Kathleen McMullin was on that trip and is now a postulant in a religious community!

The Department of Vocations also offers individual and small group visits to seminaries and religious communities based on need and circumstance. Several young men have been hosted at the seminary by Father Nick and our seminarians in the past year. If you are interested in any of these events, or want to know how you could help, please email

CHATAWA – Father Nick Adam directs an activity at the Quo Vadis retreat for young men open to the priesthood in June 2021. (Photo by Ron Blalock Photography)