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Support Vocations

Special Collection
January 18-19, 2014

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.

  • The cost to educate a seminarian is more than $100 for every day he is in formation. This expense includes tuition, room and board at a seminary.
  • 100% of every dollar collected for the Seminarian Education Fund goes toward supporting the education of men studying for the priesthood.
  • This annual collection is the primary source of funding for seminarian formation.

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. Those interested in planned giving should contact Fr. Jason Jalbert at (603) 669-3100 or jjalbert@rcbm.org

For those interested in planned giving please contact Patrick McGee at (603) 669-3100 or pmcgee@rcbm.org.

CLICK HERE to download the Seminarian Education Fund Brochure.

Donate online: 

“In such times as these, when so little seems certain, those entering the priesthood and religious life area more profound witness than ever. The young men in our diocese who are studying in the seminary are leaders among their peers. They make me very proud. Join me in praying daily for more men and women like them.” ~ Bishop Peter A. Libasci

Did you know?

Newly-ordained priests were often influenced by their families, and involved in church activities.

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.

What Can You Do to Help Grow the Priesthood?

  • Pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life daily.
  • Ask a priest about how he discovered his call.
  • For parents, talk to your children about God’s call.
  • Write letters to our seminarians to encourage them as they discern.
  • Ask your pastor what you can do in the parish to foster vocations.
  • Get a free book to help a young man discern his vocation at gopriest.com
  • Visit www.foryourvocation.com for more ideas.

Six Ways to Discern My Vocation

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.



Seminarians

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:

  • St. John's Seminary, 127 Lake Street, Brighton, MA 02135
  • St. Mary's Seminary, 5400 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210
  • Our Lady of Providence Seminary, 485 Mount Pleasant Avenue Providence, RI 02908

Mr. Jeffrey Paveglio
4th Theology
St. Mary’s Seminary
Baltimore

Mr. Michael Zgonc
4th Theology
St. Mary’s Seminary
Baltimore

Mr. Ryan Brady
Pastoral Year
St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish

Mr. Michael Sartori
Pastoral Year
Parish of the Assumption

Mr. David Harris
1st Theology
St. John’s Seminary
Boston

Mr. Matthew Schultz
1st Theology
St. John's Seminary

Mr. Matthew Tavares
2nd Pre-Theology
St. John’s Seminary
Boston

Mr. Stephen Poirier
2nd Pre-Theology
St. John’s Seminary
Boston

Mr. Brandon Sargent
2nd Pre-Theology
St. John’s Seminary
Boston

Mr. David Wong
1st Pre-Theology
St. John's Seminary

Mr. David Gagnon
3rd year of college
Seminary of Our Lady of
Providence

Mr. Ryan Amazeen
2nd year of college
Seminary of Our Lady of 
Providence

Seminarian Rev. Mr. Michael Zgonc

With his priestly ordination coming up in June, Mike Zgonc takes time to reflect on how he ended up in New Hampshire and why there’s nowhere else he would rather be a priest.

Can you tell us about your family life growing up?

I grew up in Kent, Ohio with my 3 siblings and parents. We were all raised in the faith and all still practice today. My parents were the best example of what it means to live out your faith. They showed us what good, moral lives looked like. We always attended Mass as a family and our parents would talk with us around the dinner table about that day’s gospel. I suppose it’s easy to take it for granted when you are raised this way, but when I was discerning my vocational call, I remember thinking back over my childhood and being really grateful for my upbringing.

When did you first understand you had a vocation?

I moved to New Hampshire for a job right after graduating from college, where I had studied Business/Human Resources Management. I had a brother who was a pharmacist and a sister who was an optometrist and I felt really driven to be a professional and make something out of myself in the business world. One of the first things I did after arriving in New Hampshire was to find a church and I ended up at St. Kathryn in Hudson. The gospel at one of the first Masses I attended was the one about the landowner who gives his servants coins and then sees what they do with them. Fr. Gary Belliveau’s homily was asking what are you using your gifts and talents for and I felt like he was talking right to me and it really scared me! My work in the business world hadn’t been fulfilling to me, but this was the first time I ever thought about being a priest. I never thought I could be holy enough to be a priest.

What happened next?

My response was to go right home and research online everything I could find about the priesthood. It took a lot of courage to confide in Father Gary that I thought I had a vocation because once you tell someone it kind of puts the idea out there and makes it more real. But he was great. He gave me a lot of discernment materials and advice. I took a few more years to continue to meet with Father, and explore the call. Since I feel God placed this call in my heart in the context of my life here in New Hampshire, and feeling that I was rooted here on various levels, I then made the decision to approach the diocese for acceptance as a seminarian for service in the Church here in New Hampshire.

How has your experience of seminary been?

It’s been wonderful. A lot of it is what you put into it. It’s a very different lifestyle than college. At seminary, everyone is discerning the same thing you are and everyone there shares the same morals and values you have. At first I was concerned that they were going to try and make me into some kind of saint, which I’m not. I’m a regular guy who wants to be of service to others. At seminary you come as you are and you learn to use your own unique gifts and talents to bring the living Word of God to his people in your own unique way.

Prayer for Vocations 

Dear God,

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.

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester