Called by Name

It was very exciting to see Father Tristan Stovall ordained to the presbyterate on May 18 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Jackson. Tristan began his time in the seminary when I was still a seminarian, but we did not attend the same school. I knew Tristan because he was from my side of the state, up in Neshoba County, and Father Augustine was keeping us updated on this young convert who was thinking about joining our ranks. Shortly after I was ordained, Tristan decided to leave the diocesan seminary so he could discern whether he was called to join the Dominican Order. Thankfully for us, the call didn’t go through!

I was named the vocation director for the diocese in August 2019; and in October 2019, I got a call from Father Aaron Williams who had to tell me something. Tristan had discerned that he needed to re-enter the seminary for the Diocese of Jackson! It was great news, and I asked Tristan to take an assignment at St. Richard in Jackson, where I was the parochial vicar, until the new semester began at Notre Dame Seminary where he would be doing his Theology studies. I remember vividly those days and I remember thinking: ok, Tristan is one of my guys. He didn’t enter the seminary while I was vocation director, but he did re-enter the seminary under my watch.

Five years later, Father Tristan Stovall is about to begin his first priestly assignment. He will be the parochial vicar at St. Joseph in Starkville; as well as, the assistant vocation director. From that time together in Jackson to this day, I have seen the impact that Father Tristan has on young people. He has an easy-going attitude, but he has a depth about him that people really find engaging. I know that he will make an incredible impact at his parish, and I’m very grateful that he has been assigned to help me in the vocation office as well.

Please keep Father Tristan in your prayers. It is a joyful time for him and his family, but soon, the work will begin. I have great confidence and great joy at the thought of being a co-worker with him after so many years walking with him through his time as a discerner and a seminarian.

Father Nick Adam, vocation director

JACKSON – Father Tristan Stovall was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle on Saturday, May 18. (Photos by Joanna King)