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“Today, these men will be enrolled in the list of candidates who one day will share in Jesus’ priestly ministry,” said Most Reverend Earl K. Fernandes, Bishop of Columbus and Vice-Chancellor of the Pontifical College Josephinum, at the Rite of Admission to Candidacy celebrated at the seminary on October 30.


During the Mass held in Saint Turibius Chapel, eight seminarians in their first year of study in the School of Theology were admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders:

Zachary Goodchild (Columbus)

Collins Hess (Birmingham)

Adrian Kyambadde (Lugazi, Uganda)

Dennis Ombongi (Ogdensburg)

Godfrey Ssebikyu (Kiyinda Mityana, Uganda)

Wynand Ssenkusu (Lugazi, Uganda)

John Stepnowski (Birmingham)

Andrew Vickery (Birmingham)


In an official sense, through the Rite, the Church numbers and enrolls each man among the candidates for the diaconate and priesthood. When calling men for ordination, a bishop chooses from among those enrolled as candidates.


During the Mass, each seminarian was called forward by name; in response he rose and answered “present.” This act, said Bishop Fernandes, “is the moment at which each man declares publicly his desire to be bound in holy orders for the service of God and mankind. It is a self-offering of the candidate; a manifestation of his will.”


Candidacy also is “a reception of that offering by the Church, and a new commitment by the candidate to care for his vocation,” said the bishop, who urged the seminarians to draw strength from the help and support of their parishes, seminary formators, and brothers in seminary, as well as from the love and prayers of family members and friends, many of whom were present for the Mass.


“Today, the desire you express we have the privilege of receiving with joy,” said Bishop Fernandes. “We express our gratitude to God for each of you, that he has brought you to this moment, and the whole Church is grateful for your self-offering.”

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