Candidacy Mass is highlight of Seminary tour for Corpus Christi Society

Seminary group

The campus of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, was abounding with joy on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, as seven seminarians from the Diocese of Orlando were admitted to candidacy by Bishop John Noonan. Known as the Rite of Candidacy, this pivotal event marks the point at which a seminarian formally and publically declares his desire to become a candidate for the sacrament of holy orders.

Among those who attended the celebration were twelve members of the Corpus Christi Society, a diocesan giving society made up of individuals and families who generously contribute $10,000 or more to Our Catholic Appeal.

These twelve guests were in for a special treat!

"I have been a Catholic my whole life and I have never been to a Seminary!" acknowledged Marta Sweeney, Director of Donor Relations for the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, which organized and sponsored the tour.

Seminary group

Following Mass and brunch with the seminarians, each family was given a private tour of the campus, which provides a spiritual and academic home for approximately 82 seminarians, including 13 seminarians from the Diocese of Orlando. Guests had the opportunity to see classrooms, the tennis and basketball courts, the soccer field, the seminary bookstore and the campus bar known as "the Rathskellar." The tour concluded in the beautifully intimate St. Mary’s chapel with united prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet amongst the seminarians, guests, and Bishop Noonan.

Newly admitted candidate Edwin Cardona was one of many seminarians who expressed gratitude for the opportunity to visit and pray with those who are helping to support priestly formation. "I had a blast with all of you and please, please, please do this again. You all give us so much life when you visit us."

Approximately 16% of gifts to Our Catholic Appeal support the needs of clergy and religious, including seminarians. It is the primary source of funds for the diocesan Office of Vocations and an important source of funds for seminary tuition assistance.

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