Home Our Diocese Diocese of Wilmington welcomes largest group of seminarians in recent years

Diocese of Wilmington welcomes largest group of seminarians in recent years

Father Norman Carroll poses with the 2018 Diocese of Wilmington class of incoming seminarians, from left, Gabriel Weston, Brooks Jensen, Kevin Lilly, Mark Donohue and James Holman. (Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens)

Prayers for vocations are being answered in the Diocese of Wilmington as one of the larger groups of men in recent years prepared to enter their first year of the seminary, according to Father Norman Carroll, diocesan director of vocations.

Father Carroll and Bishop Malooly were joined by new and current seminarians for a day of activities July 19 at the Vocations Office in Wilmington.

“It’s great,” said Father Carroll. “For the most part, they’re all local and for the most part, they’re younger. It’s a credit to prayer and good, positive peer pressure in the parishes and encouragement by the priests.

“In talking to the new seminarians, you hear that more than one person threw the question at them. One of the new guys said it didn’t surprise him since the world seems like such a divided place and young people are looking for the truth.”

The group of five joins six current seminarians in the diocese and could be part of a trend toward vocations, Father Carroll said.

“I’m feeling like it is,” he said. “I heard the comment that the priesthood is still one of those things that you can know in the future, you’ll be respected. There will always be people that want you, love you, need you.”

This year’s incoming group includes James Holman, 33, of Newark; Mark Donahue, 28, of Kent Island; Kevin Lilly, 20, of Elkton, Md.; Brooks Jensen, 24, of Dover, and Gabriel Weston, 19, of Newark. They join current seminarians Michael Preston, in his pastoral year; second-year theology members Craig Kursinsky, Brennan Ferris, Adam Bauer and John Enemuo and college senior James Gebhart.

A holy hour for vocations to the priesthood was being held July 19 at St. Ann Church, Wilmington.

Quo Vadis, a three-day event for high school and college age men to learn more about the priesthood, was set to begin July 26.

“Come and Seek” is a priesthood discernment group that meets on various dates through the year at locations in both the north and south portions of the diocese.