Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations
The Catholic News Agency recently published an article written by Mary Farrow entitled “Who Are the New Priests of 2019”. Below are excerpts which give you a good picture of what is going on in the hearts and minds of the young men being ordained to the priesthood in the United States and what is most likely attracting them into saying yes to our Lord’s call. The article began:
“This year, 481 men in the United States will kneel in cathedral churches and be ordained as Catholic priests for Jesus Christ. The average man entering the priesthood this year looks something like this: he’s about 33 years old, which is slightly younger than the previous two classes of incoming priests. He was born in the U.S., he got his college degree and worked full time before entering seminary, and he was baptized Catholic as an infant, according to data collected by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) from 379 transitional deacons.”
The article focused on two men. First, “Deacon Ambrose Dobrozsi, a 28-year-old transitional deacon with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said he first had the thought to become a priest while having a vision during Mass in second grade.”
The article explained that he had the typical experience that comes with growing up – discovering girls, falling in love, and even hoping and planning to have a large family. “Ultimately it wasn’t meant to be, and the engagement broke off. It was around this time that Dobrozsi, feeling a bit lost, was invited back to the seminary for another retreat. It was there that he had an experience of God in adoration and felt the call to enter the seminary. ‘I knew I needed to go’, he said.”
The article also focused on Deacon Cassidy Stinson who, unlike so many of the men to be ordained this year, converted to Catholicism at the age of 12. It was in college, the article explains, when his heart began to feel the tug toward the priesthood.
Why, you might ask, would men such as Dobrozsi and Stinson be willing to step forward during a time of crisis in the church? In the article the following is expressed by Dobrozsi:
“There’s a strong negative light in the culture right now towards the priesthood, which to some extent makes it easier and more attractive because that ‘Oh I guess this is nice’ mentality is obviously false,” Dobrozsi said. “This is what God has called us to do, to heal the Church,” he said. “Our priesthood is going to be on some level dedicated to the rebuilding and healing of the image of Christ for these people. Bringing Christ to people is what it’s all about,” Stinson added.
June 29th, Bishop Cote will ordain Reverend Mr. Michael Castiblanco to the priesthood for service here in the Diocese. On May 23, Bishop Cote ordained Michael Bovino to the transitional diaconate. Deacon Bovino hopefully will be ordained in June 2020 to the priesthood. There are nine other seminarians currently in formation.
Let us gratefully continue to thank our Lord for the men He is sending us and continue to beg Him to continue sending them to this part of His vineyard. Congratulations to both Deacon Bovino and Father Castiblanco.