Summer’s over, seminary calls

Seminarian Marco De Loera gives a hug to a patron of The Lord’s Diner, Wichita.

Seminarians head back to school after a summer of formation and fraternity
By Fr. Michael Simone, Vocations Director
This fall our seminarians return to their seminaries with 12 new men among their ranks. We continue to be blessed in the Diocese of Wichita with many men who are serious about discerning their vocation.
These young men are willing to sacrifice their lives for God and for others, which helps us to see God’s hand in this year’s theme for the office of vocations, “Loving God and Neighbor.”
As part of their summer activities, our seminarians engaged in Friday evenings of formation affectionately known as “seminarian summer camp” at the Spiritual Life Center.

Fr. Kapaun a servant of God — The statue of Fr. Emil Kapaun, servant of God, embodies the theme of the great commandments from St. Matthew’s Gospel, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” MT 22: 37, 39 As our seminarians are being formed to be our future priests, let us pray for them and for others who, like Fr. Kapaun, will serve God by Loving God and Neighbor.Their project was to create a diocesan handbook to guide them and to teach them how to live the promises they will make at ordination.
Peg Tichacek, vice president for planning and marketing at Via Christi Health Systems and a parishioner of the Church of the Magdalen, helped the seminarians to bring the project to fruition.
“It was a great privilege to work with the seminarians this summer,” Tichacek said. “I was inspired by their faith and understanding of scripture and church teachings and their desire to emulate the lives of great saints. The future of the Wichita diocese is very promising!”
Not only did she feel blessed to work with our seminarians, we were blessed to work with her.
When recalling this summer’s formation program Jeremy Huser, third year theologian said, “I enjoyed the small-group work. It allowed us to get to know each other on a one-to-one basis. We don’t see everyone during the school year because we are at different schools.”
Over the course of the summer, our seminarians did get to know each other. They spent a day at a local lake, traveled to southeast Kansas for a day of recollection, and on two occasions enjoyed steak dinners with the Serra Club.
“We have a strong fraternity in the diocese. It’s great!” said Dan Duling, a third year theologian.
After a summer of formation and fun, our seminarians are ready to hit the books and be formed as priests.
“I am ready to go,” said Michael Maus who will enter Conception College Seminary as a sophomore this fall. Conception is in Conception, Mo.
The inside page in this week’s Advance will help you to get to know our new men a little bit better. They are a fine group.
Please display the seminarian insert in your home, so that you will remember to pray for vocations to the priesthood in our diocese, the men who will one day serve you through “Loving God and Neighbor.”

Anthony D’Ambrosio, in the dirt, and brother seminarian Ignacio Olvera Ortiz work on a grave at Calvary Cemetery, Wichita.
Seminarian Isaac Dennis talks to children at the St. Anthony Family Shelter, Wichita.