Keeping the Faith
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology (MTSM) is home to nearly 85 seminarians and 12 faculty and resident priests. In the past two years, MTSM has had 22 seminarians take priestly vows. Unfortunately, this year’s ordination, like last year, will certainly be different.
There have been so many changes in our day to day living since the COVID-19 pandemic began and many challenges along the way. However, the seminarians preparing for the priesthood continue their journey through faith and creativity.
For the current academic year, 12 men from five different dioceses and orders are preparing to be ordained in May. They are:
Rev. Mr. Albert Beltz, Diocese of Toledo
Rev. Mr. Paolo Degasperi, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Rev. Mr. Aaron Hess, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Mr. Edward Hoffmann, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Br. Henry Hoffmann, C.O., Congregation of the Oratory
Rev. Mr. Louis Jacquemin, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Mr. Michael Kapolka, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Mr. Angel Randolfo Lemus Arias, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Rev. Mr. Anthony Marcelli, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Mr. Scott Morgan, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Mr. Elijah Puthoff, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Rev. Br. Brent Stull, C.O., Congregation of the Oratory
The seminarians have had to adjust like everyone else, but because living in community is part of their formation, being separated has been difficult for them.
“The physical distance has created an emotional and spiritual distance, and that’s been a unique challenge for me as an ordained minister,” said Rev. Mr. Albert Beltz. “But it’s also presented unique opportunities for reflection and growth for us all.”
“It’s been a good occasion to remember that our relationship with God is the most important thing about us, in good times and in bad,” said Rev. Mr. Eddie Hoffmann. “While we all do our best to navigate these trying times, we can remember that the life of grace we received in baptism is an abundant source of joy even in the midst of trials.”
Despite the fact that the pandemic has had its challenges, the seminarians who will be ordained in May are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives.
“Being able to offer the perfect sacrifice of praise to God in Holy Mass is number one on the list of reasons I’m excited for ordination,” explains Deacon Hoffmann.
For the past five years, Deacon Hoffmann has been at MTSM working to achieve his goal of becoming a priest. Priestly formation at MTSM, lasting from five to seven years, is centered on the development of four aspects: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.
Each seminarian is formed and prepared for the priesthood through coursework and study, field education, spiritual direction and living in community with one another. Although the pandemic has required adjustments and modifications, the seminarians have chosen to see changes as not just necessary, but exciting and hopeful.
“I’ve learned from many earlier experiences that no matter what obstacles and situations confront us in life, you tackle them head on and without fear,” said Deacon Beltz. “Because every challenge is an opportunity for God to demonstrate His greatness in the world, and He always supports those who believe in Him!”MTSM is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s graduate-level Catholic Seminary and School of Theology with nearly 200 full and part-time students. Founded in 1829, our 75-acre campus provides preparation for ordination to the priesthood and permanent diaconate as part of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. In addition, our School of Theology offers classes for graduate, non-degree and certification programs for laity, clergy and religious.
To learn more about the CMA please visit www.aocstewardship.org