by Carl Brown
“How many of you have ever thought about becoming a priest?”
The young men in the gym at St. Max in West Chester turned to look around. Would anyone raise their hands? Did these young men even understand the implication of the question?
One hand went up. Then another. Then a few more. Boys as young as 9 years old felt called to respond with a generous “yes.”
Within a few minutes, a couple dozen young men had made a statement in public that they were at least *open* to God’s will.
Fifteen years later, some of the young men there that day are still firm in their resolve. One of them, a senior in college seminary, is preparing to enter Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.
“There were times when I wasn’t so sure,” he shared. “And one very real concern I had was, ‘how can I afford to try seminary? What do I do if it doesn’t work out?'”
He had received generous financial aid packages from Benedictine and Catholic University of America, among other schools. But those offers veered off the path to which he felt God was calling him.
As he prepared for his career, financial implications became a very real concern. According to US News & World Report, the average cost of tuition for a public university in 2022 is over $20,000 (with room & board included). The average annual cost of private school tuition is over $50,000 (with room & board).
Then he met with Fr. Dan Schmitmeyer, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and learned that tuition is covered in-full for diocesan seminarians at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. In large part, this is made possible by the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA).
But, as this college seminarian reminded me, “Without priests, there are no sacraments, and without sacraments, there is no Church.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati currently has 46 young men in formation. To one degree or another, they all benefit from the Catholic Ministries Appeal, and none of them have financial concerns about their education.
And in the end, all of us who celebrate the Eucharist together every Sunday in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will benefit from the sacrifice made by these young men.
When you support the Catholic Ministries Appeal, you are helping young men respond to a call to discern a priestly vocation. You are giving back to a community that has blessed you. You help make our Archdiocese a better community.
THANK YOU for supporting the Catholic Ministries Appeal!
Click here to learn more about how the CMA helps the Seminary and Vocations.