Educating seminarians is an investment in the future of the Catholic Church in New Hampshire, but this goal cannot be fulfilled without the help of the faithful.
A gift of $50 or more from every adult or family attending Mass would help educate our seminarians for another year. Mail your gift to the Office of Vocations, PO Box 310, Manchester, NH 03105. Each parish will be notified of gifts made by its parishioners. Please consider including the Seminarian Education Fund in your will or estate planning. For those interested in planned giving please contact Patrick McGee at (603) 669-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in learning more about priestly vocations, contact Fr. Jason Jalbert at (603) 669-3100 or email@example.com.
“Our Holy Father Pope Francis recently said, ‘Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision...rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.’ I hope all Catholics throughout our diocese will join with me in asking God to grant that more men and women hear and respond to His invitation, and discover the profound joy to be found in serving the people of God as a priests or religious.” ~ Bishop Peter A. Libasci
In 2011 the average age of the 480 men ordained to the priesthood is trending younger with the average age at 34. These figures stand out in The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood which can be found at www.foryourvocation.com.
Most of those ordained say they were encouraged to enter seminary by a priest, and about half say their friends or parents encouraged them to consider the priesthood. The role of the family, parish priest, friends, and youth ministry are vital to vocations. Along with their education and work experience, 71 percent of the Class of 2011 report they served as an altar server. This seems to indicate that the involvement of youth in the Church’s activities, especially the liturgy, has a positive impact for their choice of a vocation. What is clear is that new priests were not swayed by television or a billboard, but by experiences in the Church.
1. PRAYER. Prayer is a conversation with God – not just saying prayers, but speaking to the Lord from your heart. Ask him to reveal his plan for you: “Jesus, I want to want what you want. Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.” Trust that God has a plan for you.
2. SACRAMENTS. The soul is the window through which we can see God and hear his voice. If the window is dirty because of sin, it must be cleaned through Confession so we can be in union with God. When you receive Communion, ask Jesus to show you your vocation.
3. GOOD INFORMATION. It is impossible to discover your vocation without good information. What does it mean to have a holy Christian marriage? What do priests do? What is it like to be a religious sister or brother? Contact the diocesan vocations office at 669-3100 or search for good information online, then take what you have learned back to prayer.
4. GO ON RETREAT. Miracles happen on retreats! One of the surest ways to discover God’s plan for you is to enter into silence and prayer over an extended period. Ask the Vocation Director to help you find a good retreat.
5. GET ADVICE. Don’t try to discern your vocation alone, without the help of the Church. Talk to a sister, brother, priest, or deacon you trust.
6. THE BLESSED MOTHER. Mary is the ultimate example of openness to the will of God. Are you open to God’s will for you? Pray three Hail Mary’s every day, specifically to know your vocation and have the courage to follow it.
Meet some of our seminarians: read their vocations stories by clicking on their name. Watch our page on Facebook to see when new vocation stories are published.
Please pray for our seminarians by name and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. To contact the seminarians, please use their respective seminary address:
Mr. Ryan Amazeen
Mr. David Gagnon
Mr. David Harris
Mr. Joshua Livingston
Mr. Michael Sartori
Mr. Matthew Schultz
Mr. Andrew St. Hilaire
Mr. Rory Traynor
Mr. David Wong
David Harris, in his Second Year of Theology at St. John’s Seminary, reflects on the joy he finds in his studies and the inspiration he finds amongst his fellow seminarians and from the Holy Father.
“One of the special things about studying for the priesthood is being able to meet and work with many outstanding priests from our diocese, from the seminary, and from places beyond. They have helped me understand the many attributes and gifts that are required to become a holy and effective parish priest. Even more so, they express the true happiness and joy that comes from serving God’s people and from sharing in Christ’s priesthood. In my discernment and formation at St. John’s Seminary, these witnesses have helped me better realize what the priesthood is all about. Our Holy Father Pope Francis continues to share with the world a powerful example of how all Christians, especially priests, are called to lives of humility, simplicity, and holiness. His model of discipleship has shaped my own formation in many ways, and he offers a beautiful witness of the joy of following Jesus for any man who is discerning the priesthood.”
Give us vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood,
To bring you to the very little children,
To enlighten the faith of your faithful people,
To open the Gospel to minds unaware of it,
To give your forgiveness to repentant sinners,
To celebrate without ceasing the Divine Sacrifice,
To give your Host to famished souls,
To help the dying, to console those in suffering,
To recall to mind all men that they are brothers and sisters,
To bless our homes, our livelihoods and our land,
And that amongst us your Kingdom may come.
Dear God, give us vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood.