Seminarian is “not alone” in discernment

STAMFORD—Colin Lomnitzer, of Trumbull, a seminarian at  John Fisher Seminary Residence, received his Candidacy from Bishop Frank J. Caggiano on Sunday April 22 during the noon time Mass at St. Piux X Church in Fairfield.

At the Candidacy ceremony, seminarians become official candidates for preparation for the sacrament of Holy Orders. The service is a confirmation by the diocese that a seminarians is prepared to begin formal theological studies for the priesthood.

In his homily Bishop Caggiano emphasized the importance of “humility” in the discernment process

After the Rite of Candidacy has been conferred the candidate can then formally continue his formation in the Diaconate School of Theology. He receives this Rite of Candidacy prior to his receiving the Ministry of Reader and The Ministry of Acolyte as he moves toward ordination to the priesthood.

“Discerning a vocation for the priesthood is not something you can do alone,” said Colin Lomnizter in a recent interview with the Serra Club, which helps to promote and support vocations in the diocese.

As a freshman at Fairfield Prep Colin began wondering if he had a vocation to the priesthood.  The question was stirred, in part, by an older brother, whom he observed searching for a similar answer.   The search led to him and his brother attending a vocations fair at Sacred Heart University and went as far as Colin “nearly” completing an application to the seminary, when he was a high school senior.

After studying at Catholic University of American, Colin was accepted and entered the formation program at St. John Fisher Seminary at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year.    Colin will officially begin his studies at St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie this Fall.

There are 26 seminarians in the diocese at St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford and in major seminaries like St. Joseph’s in Yonkers, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass., and Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Stamford.

Father Paul Check is rector of St. John Fisher, where there are 11 seminarians discerning their call to the priesthood. The minor seminary program prepares college-aged men and young adults to enter a major seminary. They are able to pursue their undergraduate degrees at Sacred Heart University or Fairfield University while living in community and discerning their vocations.

Ninety-two men who resided at St. John Fisher have been ordained to the priesthood, and the seminary is undergoing a 30-month renovation project to improve and expand its facilities.

For information on vocations and St. John Fisher Seminary Residence in Stamford, contact:

Photos by Amy Mortensen