The following comes from a September Inland Catholic Byte article by Malie Hudson:
Bishop Gerald Barnes has accepted 12 men into St. Junipero Serra House of Formation, bringing the grand total of Diocesan seminarians up to 43. The 12 new seminarians and their parish or community are:
Vicente Tomas Segura Arredondo – Mexico (parents are from Sacred Heart Parish, Riverside); Antony Assaf – The Holy Name of Jesus, Redlands; Derek Cossio – St. John XXIII, Fontana; Derek Curtis – St. Patrick, Moreno Valley; Triet Dang – Seattle; Rafael Flores – St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto; Gerardo Lopez – Modesto (Misioneros de la Palabra); Sergio Morales Mojica – St. Joseph, Barstow; Jesus Muratalla Ornelas – St. Christopher, Moreno Valley; Anthony Ribaya – St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Yucaipa; Giovanni Sevilla – Modesto (Misioneros de la Palabra); Onyekachi Damian Ugocha – Los Angeles.
The new class of seminarians is just two men less than the largest group ever accepted into Serra House and the biggest in years.
This year’s group of men is culturally diverse and offers many talents including writing, music and engineering, to name a few. “I think that the seminarians need to be a mini representation of what the Diocese is like,” said Sr. Shrewsbury. “It shouldn’t be just one culture because the diocese is such a mix of cultures, so the diocese should reflect that. I think we do that pretty well.”
With only one priest for every 6,117 parishioners in the Diocese, Sr. Shrewsbury and her team at the Office of Vocations continue to work on recruiting more men to the priesthood. At the same time, the support and effort of the parishes in the Diocese is pivotal to the success of this ministry.
“I want our diocese to pray for those who are going into the seminary and those already in the seminary as well as the young women going into the convent and deacons in the diaconate program,” said Sr. Shrewsbury. “We encourage everyone to promote vocations in their parishes and get a vocations committee going. It’s also very easy to just put in a prayer every Sunday or every time there is Mass.”
Sr. Shrewsbury says some parishes have a vocations cross or statue and families take that home and pray for vocations.
“It keeps alive the idea of how much priests are needed in our diocese.”