Friday, January 27, 2012

Archbishop Schnurr on the HHS Mandate

Archbishop Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati (and my direct boss!) has issued a statement to be read at all Masses within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati this coming weekend.

I've linked to it over at the Vocation Office Page.

The statement can also be found at the Telegraph's page.

Which also has a response from the new editor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vocations Among Us

My latest missive for the Telegraph:

Vocations Among Us

One of the key moments in my own vocation was several years before I even thought about the possibility that I might even be called to the priesthood.  But looking back now, without this event, I would have never even considered the possibility.  At the time, however, it was just another event that I was honored to be a part of.

My junior year of high school, a son of my home town was ordained to the priesthood for the Congregation of the Holy Cross.  As he was my oldest sister's brother-in-law and needed extra servers for his Mass of Thanksgiving, my twin brother and I were volunteered to assist; which we gladly did.  I can still see the joy on the face of a newly ordained priest, years of study, prayer and hard work had culminated in this event; and even though I would not have been able to articulate it at the time, this became a key moment for me in looking towards the priesthood.

A year later, as my class was graduating and heading off to college, I learned that someone I knew from the neighboring town was entering seminary.  Hmmm.....   Men really do still do this.  As I made my way through my own first year of college life, I recognized my own priestly calling through the ongoing example of the priests at the Campus Ministry and entered the seminary for my second year of college.  I never really looked back since.

These recollections are not merely to fill space, but serve to highlight a very simple, yet vitally important point in the cultivation of a spirit of vocations within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  With both Archbishop Schnurr and Archbishop Pilarczyk (and now including Bishop Binzer in the discussion), we are convinced that there are vocations to the priesthood in our midst, sitting near you every Sunday at Mass, passing you on the street corner, riding the bus home from school.  We just need to find them, encourage them, help them to discover this pearl of great price to which they have been called.

With this recognition, throughout the month of January as we went from National Vocation Awareness Week to the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, the Vocation Office has been recognizing the stories of local men and women who have answered the call and are now serving as religious, priests, or still in training to be so.  I invite you to visit to peruse these stories.

In reading through them, I am struck that there is no common theme besides faithfulness.  There is no 'magic pill,' as it were, for families to do which inspired a vocation.  There is no simple recipe that will automatically bring your son to be a priest.  In these vocation stories, the life-long cradle Catholic is positioned side by side with converts from atheism.  Families who were wonderfully supportive are contrasted with a few who nearly disowned their daughter or son for entering the seminary or convent.

Yet, even with the disparate versions of these stories, three common themes present themselves: faithfulness, prayer, and trust.  As we move deeper into Ordinary Time and once again enter into the great season of Lent; perhaps these three dimensions are once again being called to the fore in your family as God continues to form us all to be more like His Son.  And if God calls one of your sons or daughters to the priesthood or religious life, trust that He truly does know what is best.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vocation Awareness Week Prayer Service

Hey, all you folks up in the Northern fringes of the Archdiocese, have we got the event for you:

National Vocation Awareness Week

An Evening of Worship & Prayer
Thursday - January 12, 2012

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
New Bremen, Ohio
Presiding: Fr. Kyle Schnippel, Vocations Director
& Deacon Greg Bornhorst

Mass at 7 p.m. followed with Prayers

The Church sets aside the week following the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord as National Vocation Awareness Week. A vocation to the priesthood and/or consecrated life can only truly be heard and answered by one who has a deep connection with Our Lord and fostered by a strong life of prayer. For more information, visit

Sponsored by Serra Club of St. Mary’s/Sidney Deaneries