Have you ever considered a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

(Paint)brush with divinity

The AP has a story about Father Bill Moore, a Catholic priest who creates abstract paintings in order to serve God and is head of the Ministry of the Arts for the West Coast branch of his religious order, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Father Moore's pieces sell for upwards of $5,000 — the profits go to his order — yet he remains humble about his successes.

''I don't know what it is to be really wealthy, but I feel so rich,'' he told the AP. "I get up in the morning and I do what I love to do.''

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Extension Society gives seminarians a boost

More than 500 seminarians from underfunded U.S. dioceses will get a helping hand, thanks to the Catholic Church Extension Society.

The society has announced that, during this Year for Priests, it will award more than $3 million in education grants to an estimated 15 percent of the country's seminarians from Juneau, Alaska, to Amarillo, Texas, to Fargo, North Dakota.

“Educating the next generation of Catholic leadership is critical, especially for those areas of the country where the Catholic population is growing yet parishes and residential pastoral ministers are few,” said Extension grants director Joseph Boland said in a statement. “Catholic Extension’s contributions will enable our young people to most effectively answer God’s call to service in these poor and isolated areas where the future of the Church is unfolding.”

Poker priest update

In October, we told you about Father Andrew Trapp, a South Carolina priest who won $100,000 during the PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge game show. The money was donated to his parish's church building fund.

Well, here's an update: Father Trapp failed to win the $1 million grand prize. He was defeated by New York City firefighter who was among the first responders during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Father Trapp told the Myrtle Beach Sun News: "It's going to be a very emotional show because even after people see Mike knock me out, they are going to start rooting for Mike. He's a Sept. 11 hero. I think we all are going to be cheering him on, everybody across the country."

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hope for Christmas Mass

The Boston Herald featured a story about a priest whose South Boston parish — the only Lithuanian Catholic church in the region — sustained an estimated $100,000 in fire damage this weekend, possibly because he thinks he might have left an ember burning in the sacristy.

Still, Father Stephen P. Zukas said, he has been supported by his 1,300 parishioners, archdiocesan officials and other priests. He hopes to have the parish open in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Masses.

“That’s what we’re hoping for. Hope is the key word,” Father Zukas said.

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Two important anniversaries

This week, the universal Church celebrates several high-profile feast days: St. Ambrose (Dec. 7), the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dec. 8), St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12).

In the Church in America, two important anniversaries are taking place as well, and each one involves a man who exemplifies what it means to be a good and faithful priest.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the beloved Emmy-winning prelate who reached millions through his TV and radio programs. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is celebrating a memorial Mass in Archbishop Sheen's honor today at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Yesterday, Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, retired archbishop of New Orleans, celebrated the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination with a special Mass at St. Louis Cathedral in the Crescent City. (Click HERE to read a November OSV interview with Archbishop Hannan).

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Advent reflection on the priesthood

Here's what Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, had to say about the servant nature of the priesthood during his first Advent reflection for Pope Benedict XVI and members of the Roman Curia:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Glimpse into the life of an Army chaplain

Today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a profile of a Catholic priest who was inspired to become an Army chaplain in Afghanistan after presiding at a fallen soldier's funeral.

Father Matt Foley is one of 14 Catholic priests serving in Afghanistan and spends much of his time traveling around the country to visit soldiers at forward operating bases and smaller combat outposts.

"You have to remember it may be your fourth or fifth Mass of the day but to them it's their first Mass, and to some out in the field it may be their first Mass in four or five weeks. For some it may be their last Mass," the priest told the newspaper.

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The priest and the 'spunky' seminarian

The latest issue of the Arkansas Catholic, the newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock, has a story about the bond between a seminarian preparing for his priestly ordination next May and the Benedictine priest he rebelled against as a youngster.

As the paper reported, during Jason Sharbaugh's diaconate ordination last month:

"Benedict Father Gregory Pilcher joked with attendees about Sharbaugh's inauspicious start toward the diaconate and priesthood. Sharbaugh grinned sheepishly and nodded in assent when 'Father Gregory,' as parishioners know him, shared that as a former Subiaco Academy dean he struggled to keep the rambunctious young man in line.

'I think it can be a good thing when our priests show a little spunk,' noted Bishop [Anthony B.] Taylor, as the audience erupted in laughter."

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bishop-elect and fisherman

Jesus told the apostles to follow him, and he would make them "fishers of men." An Archdiocese of Indianapolis priest who will soon become a successor to the apostles is both a "fisher of men" and a fisherman.

Today, the Catholic News Agency has a profile of Father Paul D. Etienne, who is now bishop-elect of Cheyenne, Wyo. An outdoorsman who comes from a faith-filled family with three siblings and an aunt and uncle in religious life, he and his brother, also a priest, have built a retreat in Southern Indiana, complete with a pond where they can fish. He will be ordained a bishop on Dec. 9.

One of his pre-ordination gifts from a friend was a new fly rod for trout fishing. "I can't wait," Father Etienne told the Indianapolis Star.

Click HERE to read the entire story, and check out this Indianapolis Star slide show of Father Etienne below. h/t to New Advent.

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: Paul Etienne had no visions of a life as a man of the cloth