Faith in Action Blog
Following the recent news that Derek Remus (’11) has entered the seminary comes word that another recent graduate is doing the same: Conor Bopp (’12) is a first-year student at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, where he is studying for the Diocese of Omaha. On the diocesan website, Mr. Bopp writes:
“[Thomas Aquinas College] was something of a Catholic immersion program for me: my family and previous schooling had provided a basic understanding and love for God and the Church, but at the College I was thrown headlong into studies of Augustine, Aquinas, and Aristotle; discussions on ethics, predestination, and the miraculous Sacraments; and, for the first time in my life, I could attend daily Mass, in either the Novus Ordo or Tridentine forms. All of this disposed me toward hearing God’s call in my junior year.”
Perhaps while at Kenrick-Glennon, Mr. Bopp will reunite with his onetime tutor at the College, Dr. John Finley (’99), who now teaches philosophy at the seminary.
Please keep Mr. Bopp in your prayers as he faithfully answers God’s call!
“Certainly coming to the College has helped me in my vocation discernment,” remarked Derek Remus at the time of his graduation in 2011. “Studying St. Thomas, philosophy, and theology has increased my love of the intellectual life and has made me think more about a kind of teaching and preaching vocation in the priesthood.” After graduation, his plan was to spend some time retiring student debt and further discerning his vocation.
On Monday, just two year since his graduation, Mr. Remus will be taking the next step in answering God’s call. “I will be entering St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Calgary,” he writes.
Thanks be to God! Please join us in praying for Mr. Remus, his new life as a seminarian, and his continued discernment.
John Winkowitsch (’04) writes that the College “has helped inspire yet another alumnus to enter the seminary.” This fall he began studying for the Diocese of Madison (Wis.) at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. “I’ve never been happier,” he reports, adding, “My first semester has been wonderful, due in no small part to all the prayers of my friends and family.” Above is a vocational video he made for the Diocese this past summer:
Mr. Winkowitsch also presented a “Theology on Tap” in July on the subject, “Friendship: The Key to Eternal Happiness.” Audio of that talk is available below:
Three alumni of the College who are currently pursuing graduate studies in Rome gathered in the Eternal City last week to celebrate Thanksgiving with some 30 other expats. Pictured above are Frater Maximilian Okapal, O.Praem. (’02), Marie Nuar (’02), and Frater Nathaniel Drogin, O. Praem. (’01). Frater Maximilian studies at the Angelicum; Miss Nuar and Frater Nathaniel are students at the Gregorian.
The friends have extra reason to be grateful this year. On June 23, 2012, Frater Maximilian is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood as a member of the Norbertine Order at the Mission San Juan Capistrano Basilica in Orange County, Calif. His confrere, Frater Nathaniel, will be ordained to the diaconate at the same Mass.
On June 25 Frater Maximilian Christopher Okapal, O.Praem. (’02), was ordained to the transitional diaconate at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Frater Maximilian is a brother at St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Fathers in Orange County, and he is currently studying theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome. He attended the Beatification of Bl. Paul II; you can read about his experiences on his blog, and see his photos in the recent issue of the Thomas Aquinas College Alumni Newsletter.
Two members of last year’s graduating class have written in to let the College know that they are becoming seminarians, with hopes of eventually being ordained to priesthood.
The first is John Hall (’10), who will be entering Mt. Angel Seminary for the Diocese of Helena in August. “I will be sure to keep the College in my prayers,” writes Mr. Hall, “as I know that you there keep us alumni in yours.”
The second is Deneys Williamson (’10), who has been admitted into the Sedes Sapientiae seminary in Rome for the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. A talk Mr. Williamson gave in 2010, about the role the College played in helping him discern his vocation, is appended to the end of this post.
Mr. Hall and Mr. Williamson join two fellow Class of 2010 seminarians, Charlie Goodwin and David Allen, who are studying at St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Fathers in Silverado, Calif.Read more