The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, California
Office of Vocations - 2110 Broadway - Sacramento, CA 95818 - considerpriesthood@scd.org

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This website is sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento to help young men answer the divine call to embrace the ministerial priesthood. It also serves as a resource for parents to assist them in fostering vocations among their children.

Vocation Boom

Sacramento Priestly Ordinations 2017

The soon-to-be-new priests prostrate on the floor of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Photo by Cathy Joyce from The Catholic Herald magazine

The first weekend in June is always a joy in the Diocese of Sacramento. Summer approaches and classes have ended. The seminarians have returned home and are about to begin their summer assignments, whether that is parish work, hospital training, or language immersion in Mexico. The first weekend in June holds an even greater significance, however, for our Diocese: this is the weekend when traditionally new priests are ordained for service within the church of Sacramento after completing years of seminary formation, ready to serve the people of God.

This year was no different, seeing the ordination of three new priests for the Diocese of Sacramento by our bishop, the Most Reverend Jaime Soto: Fr. Joshua Sia, Fr. Edgardo Garcia, and Fr. Andrés Emmanuelli. Our new priests have diverse origins, ranging from the Philippines, Mexico, and Venezuela, coming with experiences that will no doubt serve them well as they embark on their ministry within the Diocese.

Ordination weekend is a special time for the seminarians, as we get to see the fruits of many years of prayer and work, getting to accompany our brothers as they prostrate themselves on the floor of the cathedral, dedicating their lives to God through service to His Church in Sacramento. Speaking from a personal perspective, each ordination I have attended has gained more poignancy for my own vocational journey. Seeing friends that I really know, brothers I have journeyed with throughout their years of seminary formation, through all the blessings and challenges,  strengthens my own sense of vocation and encourages me to move forward. If you ever have a chance to attend a priestly ordination, especially if you are discerning a call to the priesthood, go! You won’t regret it! Please continue to pray for your seminarians and priests, and pray especially for an increase in vocations to the priesthood here in Sacramento. Your prayers make a difference!

At the end of the ordination Mass, the following assignments were announced for our new priests: Fr. Emmanuelli has been assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Vallejo, Fr. Garcia has been assigned as Parochial Vicar Good Shepherd Parish in Elk Grove, and Fr. Sia has been assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. James Parish in Davis.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

In Christ,

Dean

The following gallery photos are courtesy of Shannon Blecha, parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Sacramento. Click on the image to see the next photo.

 

Evacuation, Restoration, and the Holy Spirit: An Extraordinary Pastoral Internship Year

St. Joseph Parish, Marysville (Photo Credit: http://stjoseph-marysville.org/parish-communication.html)

Somewhere behind the clouds on the morning of February 12, the sun rose to open the Lord’s Day in Yuba City.  As we neared the midpoint of the shortest month, my pastoral internship year at St. Isidore the Farmer Parish was looking like it would finish out as a normal year of gaining experience in a Catholic parish.  Then, while I was serving as an acolyte at the Sunday evening Mass, the parish received word that the Oroville Dam was expecting an imminent collapse, and that an evacuation had been ordered in neighboring Marysville (home to the Diocese’ first cathedral).

We interrupted the homily to inform parishioners, and within the hour my indefatigable Nissan Sentra had joined the stream of Yuba City evacuees in bumper-to-bumper traffic that clogged Highway 99.  The parish had been safely closed down, and so had the possibility of a ‘normal’ pastoral year experience.

 

We are all grateful that God has so far protected the areas downstream of Lake Oroville.  And I am personally grateful for the opportunity to serve in a parish facing an unexpected emergency—not every seminarian has a local emergency as part of his formation!  Sharing with the parish of St. Isidore in their (or rather, our) anxieties and uncertainties during the week that followed the evacuation order was a genuine gift, and increased my solidarity with Christians who persevere in the Faith amid uncertainties and persecutions around the world.

 

And now, with life restored to ‘normalcy,’ it was a special joy to serve Bishop Soto in the parish’s Confirmation Mass.  Having survived the storm, a host of 170 young people were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit on a sunny St. Patrick’s Day.  God has not abandoned His parishes in California, and I doubt not that He will continue to bless our young confirmandes with the graces needed to survive both the difficulties of this present world and the dangers of the sins that could keep them from Heaven.  May His peace be with us, and may our thanks be to God!

Oroville Dam on February 11, 2017 (Photo credit William Croyle, California Department of Water Resources – https://scontent.fmuc2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/16640579_10154430795347449_7459449144655530508_n.jpg?oh=590fdd7320de4c169345257267f9aeb3&oe=59075F56)

 

Reflection on a Seminarian’s Visit to the Frozen North

The following is revised from an article published in the Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Parish Newsletter:

Even though our Diocese of Sacramento is the largest by area in California, it isn’t often that I’ve had the chance to visit the vast swaths of territory in the north of the state. The formation of a seminarian for the priesthood includes a lot, but adventuresome treks through the mountains (or for that matter, the cities) are not mandatory. Boredom is permissible, if not altogether appealing. And so Father Ronald Torres’ invitation to hospitality and a guided tour of his mountainous, river-pierced, and tree-nestled Parish of Sacred Heart (Fort Jones) and Saint Joseph (Yreka) for the weekend of January 7-8 was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

 

St. Josephs Church, Yreka

Photo Credit: http://stjosephsyreka.org/index.html

The visit could not have occurred on a more exciting weekend, meteorologically speaking; a huge winter storm was in its final hours as I nosed my borrowed Subaru into the rectory driveway late Friday night. The next morning Father and I awoke to the beauty of four inches of fresh snow—God’s answer to many Californians’ earnest prayers. Although the snow made it impossible to visit the church communities of Etna and Happy Valley, I got a taste of what life is like in the higher elevations. Father and I patiently waited for the evening Mass in St. Joseph’s, visiting the parish hall to see the volunteers and visitors to the Saturday lunch effort. I was impressed at the dedication of parishioners who braved the snow to feed those who depended on the parish for a hot meal.

Seminarians often have the privilege of altar serving in many churches, and it was with gusto that I donned my cassock and surplice (the black and white altar server attire) to help with the weekend Masses. Father gave me the opportunity to introduce myself to the parish, and it was a joy to thank so many faithful Catholics for their prayers and sacrifices that support priestly and religious vocations. We seminarians depend on your prayers and courageous support—including the willingness to invite others to consider whether Jesus is calling him/her to follow Him in the priesthood or a religious vocation.

It was with some chagrin that I said goodbye to Father Ronald—and to the intrepid Deacon Chuck and Dortje Werner—after Sunday brunch. The parishes of the north are blessed with a beauty and community that I refuse to envy (that’s a sin!), but fully intend to visit again. May God richly bless the parish and families of Sacred Heart-St. Joseph’s. Amen.

 

Collar Cup 2017!



Check out the upcoming soccer match between Sacramento's priests and seminarians, hosted by former pro-player Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck. Click the image to find out more.

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The blog articles to the right are authored by the Seminarians of the Diocese of Sacramento. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, we have all come to discern a calling to become priests in the Catholic Church. Feel free to follow along in our journey to this great vocation. Questions welcome.

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