I have been very grateful to hear from many parish groups, priests, parishioners, and others who want to send Christmas greetings to our seminarians. I spent the early days of December visiting with our six men and they are all doing very well. All of the seminarians will get a well-deserved winter break, but I’ve been very pleased that all of them want to dive into parish life while also spending time with their families and friends. Please tell our men hello and encourage them to keep working hard if you see them in your parish this Christmas.
In his book Priests for the Third Millennium, Cardinal Timothy Dolan writes about the virtues that a diocesan priest must have to properly care for his people. A man must develop virtues like humility, fidelity, courtesy, integrity, simplicity of life and joy in order to minister effectively as a diocesan priest. I am very proud of our seminarians for the dedication they have displayed to their formation. Each one of them has different gifts, strengths and weaknesses, but they are all trying to develop these virtues that are so necessary to caring for God’s people.
As a short update on their status…Grayson Foley is our youngest seminarian and will complete his 2nd year of formation this spring. His priestly ordination would be in the Spring of 2028. Will Foggo has two less years of formation than Grayson since he had already completed three years of undergraduate work at Mississippi State. Will’s priestly ordination would be in the Spring of 2026. Ryan Stoer and Tristan Stovall are past the halfway mark of formation. They are scheduled for priestly ordination in Spring 2024. Our “senior” seminarians include Carlisle Beggerly of West Point. Carlisle’s diaconate ordination is set for June 4, 2022, and he will be ordained a priest in Spring 2023. Deacon Andrew Bowden’s priestly ordination is set for May 14, 2022 at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. Deacon Andrew grew up at St. Jude in Pearl.
Thank you for your constant prayers and encouragement for these men. I am encouraged by the way they are using their talents and are courageously offering their lives to the Lord. Pray that they continue to develop the virtues a diocesan priest needs to serve you the best they can when, God willing, they come to their ordination day.