Called by name

The ‘Come and See’ at St. Joseph Seminary College in late March was a big success with more than 200 young men participating. Each spring and fall the seminary college, which is located in Covington, Louisiana on the campus on a Benedictine Monastery, hosts the event.

We had two discerners come down for the weekend and they both had very positive experiences. One of the recent developments at this event has been a greater focus on networking among vocations directors from around the country. I got a lot out of a roundtable discussion that we were invited to with the seminary faculty and in the other social times that were made available for vocations directors. As I reflect on nearly five years of promoting vocations, it is really important that I get new ideas and bounce my own practices off others who are in the field. Bishop Kopacz often reminds me that vocations is a specialized ministry, and often you can’t grow unless you are talking to others who know what the unique challenges and goals are that you are facing.

Father Nick Adam

I continue to be encouraged and blessed by our current seminarians, all of whom are working very hard and have been very diligent in their discernment. Many of our men were able to come back to the diocese to help out with Holy Week liturgies at various parishes and at the Cathedral. I was able to catch up with them on Easter Monday for a great lunch, and Bishop Kopacz and I went down to Covington again in early April for evaluations and were able to visit with everyone again. The group’s desire for community and their willingness to be present back here in the diocese is a great sign for the future. Our men in formation are men of the people who want to be a part of our diocesan life. This is a key point of formation and a benchmark that is very important to hit.

All of our seminarians showed this attitude in practice when they came up to serve for the Chrism Mass on Holy Tuesday and helped Chancellor Mary Woodward and I host a lunch for our guests after the Mass. For the past couple of years, we’ve invited fifth graders from our Catholic Schools to attend the Mass and to speak to them about vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The boys were hosted by myself and the seminarians, while the girls got to hear from Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth about women’s religious life. Our seminarians were very engaged and the kids loved to hear their stories. I asked each of our seminarians to give a brief witness to the kids regarding their call to the seminary, and I hope that the kids will take to heart these stories and keep priesthood in mind as they grow and develop their talents and interests.

We look forward with joy to the ordination of Deacon Tristan Stovall this May. He will be ordained at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Jackson on May 18 at 10:30 a.m. Please make plans to come join us for this joyous occasion.

Father Nick Adam, vocation director

(Father Nick Adam can be contacted at