In support of future priests
As an answer to the many prayers throughout the Diocese of Birmingham, the number of men in formation for priesthood in the diocese has more than doubled in the last 5 years. For the first time in diocesan history, this fall, there will be 19 men in studies and formation at three different seminaries – all diocesan seminarians.
If a man is discerning diocesan priesthood, some may wonder that that means. Simply, the seminarian, once ordained, will dedicate his life in service to Christ and the people of the parishes in our diocese. Ultimately, he feels called to serve the people in central and northern Alabama.
To prepare to serve the faithful of the diocese, a diocesan seminarian will spend 7-8 years in formation. During that time, he will attend class and study, but he will also be formed as a man of Christ. He will follow a daily prayer schedule and participate in apostolic programs in nearby parishes and communities. He will also return to the diocese in the summer months to serve in parishes or to participate in special programs such as Spanish immersion.
Since the inception of the diocese, the people have been most generous in the support of diocesan seminarians through prayers and financial contributions to the Seminarian Education Fund, formerly known as the Burse Club. The current annual cost of tuition per seminarian has risen drastically to approximately $45,000. With the rising costs, length of formation, and the significant increase in the number of seminarians, contributions to the Seminarian Education Fund are a considerable blessing - an intentional means of investing in the future priests of our diocese.
On Aug. 5 and 6, a second collection will be taken up in parishes as we honor St. John Marie Vianney, patron saint of priests and co-patron of the diocese. Donations offered during this collection will directly support the Seminarian Education Fund.
There is much hope as the Church continues the work of preparing good and holy priests to serve the people of God. Your prayers and financial support will help future generations of priests answer the call to be faithful shepherds after the heart of Christ.
We ask that you keep our seminarians in your prayers and continue to pray for more vocations to the priesthood in the Diocese of Birmingham. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
Want to help our future priests?
• Give generously to the St. John Vianney Seminarian Education Fund second collection in your parish the weekend of Aug. 5 and 6, 2023.
• Make a one-time or recurring donation to the Seminarian Education Fund by visiting www.bhmdiocese.org/vocations.
• Contact Bob Sellers, CFO of the diocese, at 205-838-8322 to speak about estate planning or stock donations to the Seminarian Education Fund.