Seminarians: Our Future Priests

The diocese is blessed this year with ten seminarians; one will be ordained to the Priesthood during the summer of 2017. Six are currently in theology studies, and four are enrolled in undergraduate studies in college. Five of our seminarians are Hispanics from Mexico, Colombia and Peru; and five of our seminarians are from the United States. These are seminarians who promise to enrich the community in the years ahead.

One of the most vital ministries of The Catholic Foundation of Utah is supporting the education and formation of seminarian candidates for the priesthood. The candidates face challenging and lengthy training - at least six years of philosophy and theology and many require more than ten years of education for those future priests needing to master a language being natives of a foreign culture. Our seminarian candidates must first obtain their college degrees before they can begin theology studies. Ultimately, seminarians will spend a year of pastoral experience in a parish before their directives begin.

Most seminarians do not have personal savings or family wealth to finance their training, which costs almost $40,000 a year. Additionally, candidates are limited in the amount of money they can earn. Those candidates in college on student visas are not allowed to work during the summer; those individuals in theology study are required to spend summers in pastoral work or to complete Clinical Pastoral Education courses or Pastoral Spanish language workshops. These, our future priests, need your assistance for tuition, room and board, transportation and a modest monthly stipend.

Rev. Javier G. Virgen and Deacon Sunday Espinoza serve as Diocesan Co-Directors of Vocations. Father Javier is also Vicar of Hispanic Affairs.

Gifts or bequests to the endowments in The Catholic Foundation of Utah for the support of Seminary Formation will help provide financial support for priestly leaders of tomorrow's church in Utah.

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Jesus, Lord of the harvest,
look with love on this portion of your vineyard.
Bless the Diocese of Salt Lake City
with more priests, deacons, and religious
to serve your people.
Through the intercessions of Our Lady,
the Virgin Mary,
inspire many men and women to open their hearts
to respond generously to your call.
Amen.