Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are DOR's vocations seeking ordination elsewhere?

A local ordination

The Catholic Courier is reporting on the upcoming ordination of Brian Carpenter who is expected to be ordained a priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral on June 6.

Deacon Carpenter is hoping for a big turnout. According to the story,

He hopes that many people he's never met will consider joining him, his family and his friends at the cathedral on June 6, stressing that the day's emphasis should be not on him but celebrating the priesthood -- especially for the sake of others in attendance who might be considering a religious vocation.

"The way that ordination looks speaks a lot about it," he stated. "I want a full cathedral -- I want people hanging from the rafters."

A big celebration certainly would not be out of place, especially since it will be the last such celebration until at least 2012. Yes, DOR will not be ordaining anyone in 2010 and the same will be true in 2011.

Could it be possible that the Holy Spirit did not send us any vocations that would come to full fruition in those years, or might something else be going on?

The national picture

Nationally, the Catholic Church expects to ordain 465 men this year. A CARA survey commissioned by the USCCB indicates that approximately 360 of them will become diocesan priests with the remainder serving in various religious orders.

The CARA report goes on to say that

About one in six diocesan ordinands (17 percent) report that they lived in the diocese or eparchy for which they will be ordained less than a year before they entered the seminary. In fact, 8 percent reported they did not live in the diocese or eparchy at all before they entered the seminary. Another 84 ordinands (27 percent) did not answer the question about how long they lived in the diocese or eparchy before entering the seminary.

In other words, each of about 61 men who responded to God's call to the priesthood decided that his home diocese was not, for some reason, a suitable place to say yes to that call.

One can only wonder what sorts of conditions or situations could lead a man to make this kind of decision.

Finally, one can also only wonder how many of these men might have originally been from the Diocese of Rochester.

Update: In the comments below CathMom reports that 3 of her SJFC classmates who were judged too conservative for the priesthood by the Diocese of Rochester have now been ordained priests in other dioceses.


Another reader reports that both Fr. William Lawrence of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and Fr. Greg Reichlen of the Diocese of Scranton are former DOR residents. Both attended the UofR.


And Dr. K. provides us with this snippet from a late 2008 St. Stainslaus Church bulletin:


So thus far we know of 5 men who have left DOR to be ordained elsewhere.


Does anyone else out there know of any others?

36 comments:

Rich Leonardi said...

Mike,

We discussed this subject on my site last fall. Anecdotal evidence suggests a half-dozen or so men from Rochester currently in formation outside the diocese. Since the time of that post, another young man has decided to pursue a vocation outside of Rochester.

Anonymous said...

Three men I went to St John Fisher with were turned away (due to unsuitability for the priesthood)by our diocese, only to be ordained in others.
CathMom

Anonymous said...

By the way, all three are extremely conservative and strong supporters of Catholic Education.
CathMom

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

Dr K,

The priest ordained for the Fraternity of St. Peter is Father William Lawrence from the Wayland area. And the priest ordained for Scranton was Father Greg Reichlen. Both Father Lawrence and Father Reichlen graduated from the University of Rochester. Father Greg sang in the Tridentine Latin Mass choir.
Oremus pro invicem.

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful Deacon serving in the Diocese of Rochester who is eligible to be ordained a Priest this afternoon. Bishop Clark will not ordain him, due to a difference of opinion that took place over 25 years ago.

A new bishop in the Diocese of Rochester can ask his priests to start saying 6 Masses on the weekend and call all of the retired priests back to start saying more Masses.

Bishop Clark has lost the credibility to lead our diocese.

Dr. K said...
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Dr. K said...
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Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

I have a copy of the Catholic Courier from about 8 years ago. An African priest in our diocese was quoted saying that on a typical Sunday in Africa, he would say 10 Masses, going from village to village. He said that saying 3 Masses on the weekend in the Diocese of Rochester, is a piece of cake for him.

If the bishop asked his priests to pick up the slack and start saying 6 Masses on the weekend, I tend to believe that the priests would faithfully comply.

You also have to consider the issue that Bishop Clark has forced many of our wonderful priests into retirement. They all need to be called back.

Bishop Clark closed most of the parishes in the City of Rochester. The residents in the inner city need the Catholic Church presence now, more than ever before.

Anonymous said...

We also have another Tridentine Latin Mass attendee who is trying out his vocation at the Institute of Christ the King.

Many years ago now, a seminarian from Elmira was ordained for the diocese of Peoria. His last name escapes me. I believe it's Danny "something".

Then Father Frank Fusare was fed up with DoR and joined the Fathers of Mercy in Kentucky. Father is a graduate of Christendom. Another one is Louie Capariccio, also from the southern tier, I believe. He, too, is with the Fathers of Mercy.

Father Richard Cilano is from our local Annunciation Parish in Rochester. He re-entered the seminary after his wife died. I believe he is stationed in Pavilion for the Buffalo diocese.

Also is Dan Serbicki, whose family lives in Kendall (Buffalo Diocese), but they attended Nativity in Brockport. He can be found with this link

http://www.buffalovocations.org/seminary/meet-our-seminarians/

Hope this helps a bit.

Oremus pro invicem!

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

DrK,

It was the early 90's, and the Bishop told them they would never become priests.

CathMom

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

Fr. Fusare was parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Cathedral when the Bishop had the "mass for gays and lesbians." He left the DOR shortly after that. I guess that was the final straw for him.

Fr. Frank and Fr. Lou Caparichio are both from Elmira, now with the Fathers of Mercy.

Anonymous said...

Dr. K,
I know the men had a disagreement with the woman who was in charge of vocations at the time over an issue of orthodoxy. I can't recall the specifics. I'm sure, being young, they were a bit overzealous.
If the bishop had spent time mentoring them instead of just summarily dismissing them in a way designed to prevent them from pursuing their vocations (which were obviously legitimate in hindsight)they could have been priests in the DoR today.
CathMom

Anonymous said...

My brother-in-law is a priest for the Archdiocese of NY instead of the DOR. He is a very good priest. When he remodeled the sanctuary in the church, he put the Tabernacle back in the center. It had been off to the side previously.

Hennepin

Anonymous said...

Hennepin, is there any way you can persuade your brother-in-law to consider a move to Rochester after Clark retires?

LarryD said...

Hey Mike - your "pal" Ray Grosswirth reported that four female bishops were "ordained" last weekend. Maybe that's who Bishop Clark is pegging to come to Rochester...

just kidding, Mike. Please don't ban me!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. K,

Christ the King Seminary is ultra liberal. They are still teaching the "fundamental option" and "the Christ of history versus the Christ of faith". In good, orthodox Catholic seminaries, these teachings went out years ago.
It is a mystery why Clark is on the board of trustees, but doesn't send the seminarians there (not that I think he should). I will ask some of our Rochester sems about that.

I will be meeting with some newly ordained Buffalo priests this week for lunch. Maybe I'll have some more "skinny" after that.

I have heard good things about the Bishop of St. Catherines, Ontario., Bishop James Wingle. Has anybody else heard anything about him? Father Lawrence in my previous post is stationed at St. Catherine's for the FSSP.

Oremus pro invicem,
Jim

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

Bishop Clark is the cause of all our problems. Once he departs a real Bishop will come in and clean up the mess he has created. All the orthodox will feel welcome once again, while the liberals will stick their heads into their arms and cry like a bunch of babies. The day of reckoning is on the way, Glory Be to God!

Anonymous said...

Dr K. Yes, I am surprised too. But a Rochester seminarian going off to his theological studies was given a choice of three house of studies. Rome, Washington and I think Belgium (the Louvain). The diocese asked him his choice and he got it. ROME!!! He is ecstatic. Obviously any seminary, even the worst, can be what you make of it. I know some very orthodox priests who studied at very liberal seminaries. Examples would be Fathers Antinarelli and Bonsignore. Then I've known a few very liberal priests (actually I don't know many liberal priests, maybe two; liberals and I never seem to hit it off).

I think Clark realizes what a lame-duck he is not only in Rochester but within the United States college of bishops and so Clark decided, with 3 years or so before retirment, to give these new seminarians what they wanted....to study in Rome! Clark was spiritual director of the NOrth American.

God Bless,
Jim

Dr. K said...
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Anonymous said...

I will try and answer your questions succintly. #1 - Picking a seminary depends on many things. The philosophical/theological/pastoral view point of the bishop. The needs of the seminarian (some have had philosphy at a secular college) so they may only need theology, etc. Some sems want to stay in the U.S., other want to go to England and most would dive at the chance for Rome.

In the 70s and 80s, the sems who had liberal bishops, usually went to St. Mary's in Baltimore, the Louvain and often Rome. From what I've heard the faculty at the Roman seminaries had to be "flushed out" of certain professors. The Eastern United States does not often send sems to seminaries west of the Mississippi. It's not unheard of but it's really very odd to have an East Coast seminarian studying say at St. Patrick's in California. And the opposite seems to be true too, West Coast sems don't generally study on the East coast. If there was an exception it would probably the Theo College at CUA. I know when Polish sems from Poland come to the U.S. the almost always start at St. Cyril and Methodius in Orchard Lake.

I believe that both Fathers A and B went to St. Bernard's, or then more popularly known at "The Rock". Bishop McQuaid was an educator and he want the "best"
seminary he could have so he picked nothing but the best professors for it. In the 40s and 50s, a good number of Eastern dioceses sent their sems to St. Bernards. Not all of them, but a good share.

Since Rochester had both a minor (St. Andrews) and major seminary, most of our diocesan priests attended them. I know a few older priests that went for further studies to Rome or Belgium.

From what I hear the good (orthodox) seminaries now are Mount St. Mary's, Mundelein, Kenrick-Glennon, Washington is getting better reviews today than a few years ago. I heard a few things good about Conception. So things seem to changing for the better.

I will try and get more info when I have lunch with my priests/sem friends. If you have further questions, let me know and I will try to answer them.

Procedamus in pace.

Robert the future priest? said...

So the seminarians, considering all their needs and their background, do in fact get to choose their seminary of study, rather than are assigned to one?

I know personally I wouldn't like the thought of being forced to endure the Louvain seminary, especially taking into account the horror stories I have heard of that place. I could endure a liberal seminary, I would imagine, but one with a strong homosexual environment may be a bit too much for me.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Ultimately the choice of a seminary is up to the bishop. But the seminarian is asked his opinion and preference.

eulogos said...

Dr. K,

Do you know anything about Fr. Van Durme other than the incident which is in Goodbye Good Men?

I ask because that incident as recounted contains nothing substantive, but is all speculation and innuendo. (He wrote a -poorly written-negative evaluation of another seminarian, and this was supposed to be due to homosexual jealousy.) I knew Fr. Van Durme briefly and my impression of him does not jive with this interpretation. It seems extremely rash to belive such an account of someone and to repeat it without more solid knowledge of its truth. I am not swearing to the orthodoxy of all his opinions, which probably reflect his formation, but that doesn't mean it is right to imply things about his sexual orientation, sexual behavior in seminary, and perhaps worst of all that he engaged in vindictive and dishonest behavior out of jealousy.

I am not unsympathetic with the content of this post and comment thread at all. I just don't think you should be spreading what might be a slander unless you have substantive proof. And even then..isn't it called detraction?

Sincerely,
Susan Peterson

Dr. K said...

Well, I wasn't making any accusation against him, just mentioning something which has been published already by someone else. I just removed it should it be taken the wrong way.

Didn't the poor evaluation occur after the other seminarian raised concerns to the rector?

~Dr. K

Anonymous said...

We have to leave the door open for all of our priests, who are now working outside of the Diocese of Rochester and those who have left the priesthood.

I did not attend Mass for several years. The best words that a priest in the Diocese of Rochester ever said to me was "Welcome Home".

I donated tens of thousands of dollars in talent and treasure to the parish, during that summer of 1993.

Bro. AJK said...

Dear Mike,

Is this thread about those who left DOR to enter other dioceses (e.g., Buffalo, Syracuse) or about men who entered religious orders (e.g., Fathers of Mercy)? The first seems to be where you were going, not the latter.

Anonymous said...

I can personally say that I'm originally from the diocese, and am currently very early in the process of discerning a vocation. The plan is to get started on the philosophy studies ASAP and use that time to figure out where God wants me to be. I don't know where that will be, but I pray things back home change over the next two years, so that Rochester can at least be an option. The way things are now, I doubt Bishop Clark would want me. I would imagine there are probably a fair number of other men in my situation.

Dr. K said...
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Mike said...

Bro.AJK,

My original intention was to focus on men from DOR who either felt compelled or who actually were compelled (due to rejection by DOR) to take their vocations to other dioceses.

I realize that we have also been talking about men who joined religious orders and this might seem a bit off topic, but I think it is still of interest.

Besides, I am not so sure that there is always a clear divide between the two. There are many cases of men who originally felt called to the diocesan priesthood but ended up in a religious order (and vice versa). Fr. Mitch Pacwa, I believe, is one such priest.

Anonymous said...

I found another Rochester seminarian within the diocese of Syracuse. He, too, like Dan Serbicki, is from Brockport. His name is Jason Hage. Here is a link

http://www.vocations-syracuse.org/seminarians.htm

How sad for Rochester. I'm sure there are more men studying for the priesthood outside of their/our native Rochester diocese.

Jim