This evening, on the Nativity of John the Baptist, a small group gathered in the chapel of St. Mary’s School to celebrate a simple Mass.  Within the context of the Mass, three of our seminarians took a formal step towards their preparation to receive Holy Orders.  Daniel Poelma, Bob Rodgers, and Brian Hess all three will enter their first year of theology this Fall.  Most seminaries today now require this formal declaration be made prior to entering first theology. 

During this rite of Candidacy, the Church acknowledges the formation efforts made thus far on the part of the seminarian, and also asks them to declare their intention to seriously and prayerfully continue on the path of formation for the ministry and service in the church.

Bob, Dan, and Brian have completed their college and theological studies and are now prepared for the final four years of theological formation as they continue to respond to God’s call to service in the church as priests.  Dan and Bob are headed for the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and Brian will continue his studies at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. 

All three are top-flight candidates, and the Diocese of Cheyenne (and their bishop) are quite privileged to have them in formation for the priesthood!  Please keep them and our other seven seminarians in your prayers.  And please, continue to pray for priestly vocations for our local church!

It was providential that we celebrated this Mass and formal rite on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  St. John was the greatest prophet of all time, and the final “voice preparing the way of the Lord.”  St. John’s entire life was a generous response to the Divine will.  He is a model for all of us in both how to live our life in service of Christ, and to lend our “voice” as a credible and convincing witness to the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and His promises to never abandon us, and that He will return in glory at the end of time!