Tag Archives: Seminarians

More Signs of a Vocations Boom: Seminaries Filling Up Again (Finally!)

I know we can’t really say yet that the “vocations crisis” is over, but I can’t help but hope when I read this sort of news:

This fall the seminary serving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is welcoming the largest class of seminarians it’s seen since 1980. These glad tidings even made the local news! (HT to American Papist) You can find out more about all the great things happening in the Archdiocese on their vocations Web site: 10000vocations.org. Good stuff!

The Archdiocese of New Orleans is also cautiously optimistic about their “bumper crop” of seminarians, the largest group they’ve had studying at one time in over 25 years!

Encouraging news, right? Well, I have another little tidbit of my own to add… A friend recently informed me that the local seminary college had such a large class of freshmen this year that they didn’t have dorms to house them all. Their solution? Senior seminarians will spend their last year of Philosophy studies living in part of the monastery with the Benedictine monks who run the seminary, thus freeing up enough dorms to house the freshmen. Good news, indeed!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for these young men who long to offer their lives to Your Son!



Filed under In the News

Continued Prayers for Seminarian Philip Johnson

Some of you may remember my asking you to join me in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena for Philip Johnson, a seminarian with an inoperable brain tumor, back in December. In case you haven’t been keeping up with his blog, I thought I would let you know that Philip is still in need of our prayers. Due to the demands of his chemotherapy treatment, he did not return to seminary this semester and will instead continue his studies with a private tutor.

Philip is truly an extraordinary witness. Take a look at what he wrote about his call to the priesthood back in 2008:

“As I deal with a brain tumor, I am not sad that it may eventually cause me to suffer and die. …  The single worry I face every day is that because of various circumstances – some of which are beyond my control – I may never know what it is like to serve God as the alter Christus I desire with all my heart to be. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine departing this world without pronouncing the words of Christ at the Last Supper, ‘This is My Body; This is My Blood’ … I pray fervently that I may one day have the privilege of absolving sins… I offer my suffering from this illness for the intentions and sanctification of all bishops, priests, and religious, and for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”

And when you’ve got a half-hour to spare, check out this video of a talk Philip gave to students at a Catholic school in Raleigh. Powerful stuff!

(HT to Fr. Z and my friends at The Catholic Underground)

Please join me in continuing to pray for Philip, particularly during the upcoming season of Lent. You can follow his blog at: philipgerardjohnson.blogspot.com

Mother Mary, be his comfort and his joy! Teach him how to suffer with Our Lord. Keep him always close to your Immaculate Heart!

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Urgent Prayer Request: Join in the Novena for Seminarian Philip Johnson

Seminarian Philip Johnson

Seminarian Philip Johnson

Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh is rallying prayer warriors for seminarian Philip Johnson, who is battling an inoperable brain tumor which has continued to progress despite chemotherapy treatments. The novena to the Immaculate Conception began yesterday, November 29, but don’t worry if you join in late. Prayers are prayers, and in this case, they are urgently needed!

Novena for Philip Johnson

November 29 December 8

Father all-powerful and ever-living God, you chose the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of your Son, to be the mother and help of all Christians.

As she endured her bitter agony at the cross of her Son, she was consoled by you with the hope of His resurrection.

Now, in heaven she consoles with a mother’s love all who turn to her with faith, until the day of the Lord dawns in glory.

Pray the Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me.

We pray:

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, we are filled with confidence that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Bring our seminarian, Philip Johnson, healing, peace, courage and strength as he shares in the suffering of your Son. O Glorious Mother of God, in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception, hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.

You can find more information on the Web site of the Diocese of Raleigh or on Philip’s blog.


Filed under Prayer Requests

The Holy Father’s Letter to Seminarians

“God is alive. He has created every one of us and He knows us all. He is so great that He has time for the little things in our lives: ‘Every hair of your head is numbered.’ God is alive, and He needs people to serve Him and bring Him to others. It does make sense to become a priest: the world needs priests… today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time.”

— Pope Benedict XVI, Letter to Seminarians at the Conclusion of the Year for Priests, October 18, 2010

Read the whole letter here.

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