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Parish visits by seminarians to promote vocations
Published Monday, January 27, 2014
by Kevin Keenan Images/Father Walt Szczesny 3 19 13.jpgAll eight first-year seminarians at Christ the King Seminary will be among a group of 22 seminarians promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life during parish Masses the weekend of Feb. 1 and 2.  This is the largest group of seminarians to take part in the program.

In parishes in Buffalo and surrounding suburbs, the men who are studying for the priesthood will use the homilies during Mass to explain why they want to be a priest and they will also talk about seminary life.

The practice began eight years ago, when then Bishop Edward U. Kmiec appointed Father Walter Szczesny (left) as diocesan Director of Vocations.  Since Father Szczesny was to continue as pastor of St. George Parish in West Falls (he is now full-time Vocations Director), he was unable to make regular weekend parish visits to promote vocations, so he and seminary leaders came up with the idea to assign seminarians to give the homilies on vocations. 

“The talks are not for money, but for vocations,” Father Szczesny said.  “The seminarians are making the priesthood real; it gives them real parish experience.  These are holy, dedicated men. This shows them as real people, it humanizes the priesthood.  Vocation awareness is the main thing.”

For a list of seminarians, the parishes they will be visiting and Mass times, go to