Fr. Burns plans to hit the road to promote vocations

Bishop Carl A. Kemme has made a couple of changes in the Office of Vocations that will allow the office to work more effectively.

Fr. Garett Burns is the new director of Vocational Promotion, a role previously filled by Fr. Chad Arnold.

Relieved of that duty, Fr. Arnold is now the director of Seminarians. He is also the director of the House of Formation. Fr. Burns is also the assistant director of the St. Joseph House of Formation.

Fr. Arnold director of the House of Formation

Bishop Kemme made the change because of the increased responsibilities Fr. Arnold now has as director of the St. Joseph House of Formation, located on the campus of St. Joseph Parish in Wichita.

“We haven’t traditionally done it that way, but I think it makes the most sense right now with the increased workload at the House of Formation,” Fr. Burns said. “It allows me a little more freedom than Father Chad has had in the past couple of years to get out. That’s really what my mission is, to be out at different parishes and schools promoting vocations.”

Fr. Burns will help men discerning

Fr. Burns will be in charge of the bulk of the ministry involving young men discerning a call to seminary and walking with them through the application process.

Fr. Arnold’s duties as director of Vocations is to lead seminarians through their progress and formation until ordination.

Fr. Burns said he will be hitting the road more than usual in his new role.

Visiting high schools and colleges

“My goal is to be at all of the Catholic high schools in the diocese at least once a semester, and to many of the colleges around the state at least once a semester to the Newman Centers,” he said.

During his visits, he said he would celebrate Mass, connect with the young men and women discerning a call to the priesthood or religious life, and give them the tools and resources to do so.“If the young men decide to apply for seminary, then I’d walk with them through that process as well.”

Fr. Burns will also oversee the Quo Vadis retreat held at the end of the year. “That’s our main retreat every year for young men discerning the possibility of going to the seminary. I’ll work to organize all that and invite young men to participate in that as well.”

A blessing of more work

With 11 young men enrolled as First College seminarians at the St. Joseph House of Formation, the work for both of the priests has increased.

“I’m excited to build on what Fr. Chad has done. I feel like I get to reap the benefits of our pastors and our chaplains – the hard work they do. They’re good examples as priests every day. I get to see that come to fruition and see young men take that leap into seminary.”

Fr. Arnold comments

“Two minds are always greater than one,” Fr. Arnold said.

“I don’t think I’m an old priest, but I’m not a young priest anymore. I appreciate Fr. Garett’s energy and his connection to the ministry to younger people. That’s just a more natural thing for him than me.”

Not only is Fr. Burns a blessing to the office he will bring new, exciting ideas, Fr. Arnold said.

It’s a privilege to move into the role as director of the St. Joseph House of Formation, he said.

“Father Garett will be handling the traveling aspect of the Vocations Office, so it just allows me to be home more often and available to the guys. I think we counted it up and it was close to a month’s worth of travel days throughout the school year that I would have been away. That was fine before but now it’ll be easier to schedule things and it’ll be easier to attend events.”

Fr. Arnold is in the house

During the last month the seminarians have been able to drop in, Fr. Arnold said, because they know I’m there.
“I’ll be at dinner a lot more often. And that’s nice. I look forward to that – to be available and to help them. I can do that very easily because I trust Fr. Garett completely.”

Fr. Arnold said Fr. Garett may do things differently but he knows he’s a good man who will work hard in his new role. “It makes it very easy to step away from that piece of the ministry knowing it is in such good and competent and prayerful hands.”