Called by name

It is Back-to-School time for our seminarians! We have seven men studying for the diocese right now. This year is the first year of a new requirement for men studying to be priests.

The Bishops of the United States have put together a propaedeutic year – which is kind of like a year of basic training for new seminarians. The men in this propaedeutic program will focus less on the academic requirements of priestly formation and spend the year focusing on growing in the good habits that are necessary to be a good seminarian, and one day, a good priest. Focuses include building a stable life of prayer, building good friendships, working on some personal challenges based on one’s background and staying in good physical shape.

I don’t know about you, but I would welcome a year to focus on building up great habits and breaking down bad ones, so I pray that this is a blessed year for these men.

Our two new seminarians are taking part in the propaedeutic year. Wilson Locke (St. Paul Vicksburg) is a Starkville native who has spent the last three years as the youth director at St. Paul’s in Vicksburg. He is a convert to Catholicism and came into the church while at St. Joseph in Starkville. He is entering the propaedeutic program at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. Francisco Maldonado (Immaculate Heart of Mary, Greenwood) is a native of Houston, Texas, who just finished with his freshman year at Mississippi Valley State. After his year at Valley, Francisco decided to apply to the seminary and desires to discern whether he is called to our mission diocese.

We have five returning seminarians this coming year. Deacon Tristan Stovall (Holy Cross Philadelphia) is set to be ordained a priest on May 18, 2024, and he is currently at St. Mary in Natchez on his extended deacon assignment. John Le (St. Francis Brookhaven) just completed his hospital ministry summer and is returning to Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. John has extensive formation experience as a Jesuit, so we are working on a schedule with him regarding how much ‘more school’ he’ll need. Will Foggo (St. Paul Flowood) is about ‘halfway done,’ as he enters his fourth year of formation in the seminary. EJ Martin and Grayson Foley (St. Richard Jackson) are both five years away from ordination. (God willing of course!)

Ryan Stoer (St. Richard Jackson) has decided to transfer to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. I’ve worked closely with Ryan on this decision, and while I am certainly sad to see him go, Santa Fe is getting a high-quality seminarian and future priest. One of the toughest parts of this job is being ‘detached,’ and open to the Lord’s will and not just our own needs. I ask that we all pray for Ryan and wish him all the best and that God’s will be done!

We certainly wish all of our seminarians the very best this school year. Please keep them all in prayer!

                                     – Father Nick Adam, vocation director

For more info on vocations email:
Save the date: Homegrown Harvest – Saturday, Oct. 21