Called by Name

Our seminarians are off and running for the new semester. Since we have a new entrant into our ranks, I’ll take a moment to update you on where everyone is.

Deacon Tristan Stovall is starting his final semester at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He will be ordained to the priesthood on May 18 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson. I invite you to come and join us for this joyous occasion, especially if you have never been to an ordination before.

Will Foggo is at Notre Dame and he is preparing for a summer at St. Dominic Hopital as a chaplain. Seminarians typically take one summer to work in the hospital to help them prepare for this vital ministry upon ordination. I am so grateful to the pastoral care staff at St. Dominic who have been very supportive of our seminarians since we began working with them back in 2016. I was actually one of the first seminarians, along with now Father Mark Shoffner, who worked with the pastoral care staff.

Father Nick Adam

EJ Martin is nearing graduation from the philosophy program at Notre Dame. He’ll have four years of theology and formation training prior to ordination. Grayson Foley will graduate with his bachelor’s in philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary in Covington this May after four years of study. He’ll be transferring to Notre Dame in the fall to begin his theology studies in the same class as EJ! Grayson and EJ will both be attending the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska this summer. This program is well known and well-loved by those who have attended. It is a two-month program with seminarians from across the country with a special focus on priestly spirituality and helps future priests prioritize prayer in their ministry.

Our newest seminarians, as I’ve stated in this space recently, are Wilson Locke, Francisco Maldonado and Joe Pearson. All three of these men are in the ‘propaedeutic’ stage of their formation. This is a fancy word that means ‘preparatory.’ This stage involves a large focus on ‘habit building’ and de-emphasizes academics. The bishops want to make sure that seminarians don’t just focus on getting good grades and seeing their formation as an academic pursuit, and so the first months of formation are focused on being a man of God – creating or growing in habits of prayer, acting virtuously and building strong relationships. Wilson and Francisco enjoyed their first semester as ‘propa-dudes’ – unofficial title – and Joe is just starting his time in this stage of formation. All three of these men will be assigned at parishes this coming summer so they can get a feel for the diocese and witness diocesan priesthood in action.

We continue to pray for all our seminarians in their various stages of formation!

Father Nick Adam, vocation director

(Father Nick Adam can be contacted at