Richmond, Virginia: The largest contingent of Catholic seminarians in decades

In all, 22 seminarians – including eight from Hampton Roads – are preparing to take the vows of ordination in the diocese, according to church officials. That’s the largest contingent in decades and a huge increase since 1997, when just three candidates were in training.

To the Rev. Michael Boehling, who oversees clerical vocations for the diocese, it is “a promising sign that bodes well for the future.” While a nationwide priest shortage that began in the 1960s shows no sign of ending, he said, “the Lord continues to call young men to serve the church” in Virginia.

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For only $2, you can put an entire digital Catholic library in the hands of an African seminarian…

In Cameroon, Africa, books are rare—especially the good ones. My friend Linus is studying at one of the seminaries, and he says the situation is even worse there. The seminaries are bursting at the seams with young men, yet most lack solid Catholic materials. The libraries are meager and while most of the seminaries have computers, internet is spotty at best.

But what if we could change that? What if we could provide good Catholic books for every seminarian?

I think we can. Through the power of the Catholic blogosphere, I’m convinced we can crowd-source a solution.

That’s why I’ve created the Africa eBook Project. The plan is to send 2,000 CDs to all the seminarians in Cameroon, each loaded with Catholic eBooks including:

Each CD will cost $2 to produce and ship to Africa.

Click here to help

Hopeful post from the brother of a Catholic seminarian

If these men are any indication of the kinds of people who will emerge as the priests and leaders of the Catholic Church in this new century, there are great days ahead for them, and more and more people are going to experience the Gospel in real, tangible ways.

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Discipline embodies a new experiment in molding Catholic priests

By ERIC GORSKI
AP Religion Writer

updated 9:06 p.m. CT, Sat., Aug 29, 2009

DENVER – The seminarians’ wallets are empty, except for driver’s licenses and insurance cards. To buy cigarettes or clothes or anything else, they must ask their superiors for money — an exercise in obedience and a reminder that material things aren’t important.

They have virtually no time alone, on or off campus, and are required to travel in pairs, “two by two,” like Jesus’ disciples. They live in a world without cell phones or personal computers, and their evenings end promptly at 10.

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