FAITH/STORIES

Bartlomiej PalczewskiBartlomiej Palczewski, 32, was born and raised in Poland, where he graduated from the University of Technology in electrical engineering, before working as a computer programmer.

He was in Grade 7 when he first heard the call to the priesthood.

“I remember I was 14, I went for my first pilgrimage ever, and on this pilgrimage something happened,” he said.
Christopher SherrenChristopher Sherren, 25, was born and lived in Charlottetown until 2003 when he came to Toronto to attend St. Augustine’s Seminary and discern his call to the priesthood.

Having grown up in what he would call a culturally Catholic family, Sherren spent most of his senior high school years associated with a Baptist congregation.
Jerry TavaresJerry Tavares, 28, son of Portuguese immigrant parents, was born in Toronto, raised in Hamilton and moved to Peterborough to attend Trent University where he studied history, French and political science in hopes of becoming a high school teacher some day, getting married and raising a family.

While he felt the Lord’s call all along, he pressed the mute button on God for many years, but the more he pressed the button, the louder God’s call became.

He's finally stopped running from his call

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Henry SmolenaarsHenry Smolenaars, 40, was born and raised in Nova Scotia on a dairy farm. He loved working with his hands, so after high school he became an industrial electrician.

As a teen, thoughts of being a priest had come to him. But it took some time to make the call.

“I ran from the call as long as I could,” he said.

Religious need to invest more in formation

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Sr. Mary Ellen SheehanTORONTO - Religious communities should invest more in continuing theological formation for their members, say a number of religious who believe it can only help in their ministry.

Sr. Ellen Leonard, C.S.J., Sr. Mary Ellen Sheehan, IHM, and Friar Darren Dias, OP, recently took part in a panel discussion hosted by the University of St. Michael’s College Faculty of Theology. They all believe continuing formation is key to their religious service.

Quality of Jesuit novices more impressive than quantity

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Fr. Jim WebbMAPLE, Ont. - Jesuit provincial superior for English Canada Fr. Jim Webb could hardly wait to hit a few hundred guests at the annual Provincial’s Dinner April 14 with a piece of good news.

“This year we have nine novices, the most in 20 years,” announced Webb to a round of applause.

It’s the kind of news bound to hearten elders in the Jesuit community, such as Fr. Jacques Monet, who entered the Society of Jesus Sept. 7, 1949. But it’s not just about numbers, said Monet.

Jeffery Oehring relationship with God remains fresh

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Jeffery OehringEditor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Jeffery Oehring, 25, was born and raised in Walkerton, Ont. It was during his high school years that he began to wrestle with some of the big mysteries in life with the “God Question” being at the heart of it all.

“During my years in high school, one of the most important things for me was to try to figure out, ‘Why am I here? What’s the meaning of my life?’ ” he said. “One of the most frustrating things for me was when teachers and friends would come up to you and say, ‘So what are you going to do with your life? What do you want to be? What university are you going to? And what program are you going to study?’ ”

Ordinand's meeting with John Paul II helped form call

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Landorff José García Mariona, 34, was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He is the oldest of three brothers, and his family immigrated to Canada in 1987.

Balkan war opened ordinand's eyes to God

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Silvio Eljuga, 41, was born in Zagreb, then part of communist Yugoslavia, now Croatia. During his youth he lived a life separated from God and the church. Different difficulties in his life, especially the war that raged in his country in the 1990s, urged him to rethink his attitude. 

“However difficult this situation was, God brought something good from this evil.

Happiness discovered on the path to priesthood

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Editor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Kim D’Souza was born into an Indian family living in Nigeria. During his childhood there, D’Souza was greatly influenced by his parish priest, an Irish missionary who gave him an ardent love for the faith and the Catholic Church.

To his children, ordinand is 'Father' once again

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Stephen Crowley was born and raised in Peterborough, Ont., and attended St. Peter’s High School, Trent University and later St. Lawrence College in Kingston where he received a diploma in medical laboratory technology.

Ordinand aims to be a 'real deal' priest

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: today we begin our annual series that profiles the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Luis Calleja Jr. was born and raised in Toronto and is an only child. He felt called to the priesthood at 18, but only responded after several years of soul searching. He stayed at Serra House to discern his vocation while studying philosophy at St. Philip’s Oratory. He then entered St. Augustine’s Seminary in 2005.

Canonization next step for Brother André

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{mosimage}The way is now clear for the canonization of Quebec’s first male saint after Pope Benedict XVI’s decree of a miracle attributed to Blessed Brother Andre Dec. 19.

“During these days leading up to the majestic celebration of Christmas, we have another reason to exult as we have learned that the Holy Father has officially recognized the miraculous cure which was obtained by the intercession of Blessed Brother Andre,” said Fr. Claude Grou, CSC, rector of Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory. “This important step has revitalized our expectations to see Brother Andre among the saints of the Catholic Church.”