Microphone 2

January 7, 2012

Dr. Monica Breaux, Catholic social worker and co-Founder of the lay ecclesial organization Humanly Possible, talks about the injustice of sexual immorality and the need for spiritual works of mercy.

Fr. Taras Kraychuk, a priest-monk in the Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Eparchy in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, shares his story of coming from a life of alcohol, drugs and partying, to the holy life of a Catholic priest.

January 14, 2012

Fr. John Lankeit, priest in the Diocese of Phoenix, AZ., talks about what he is doing to encourage young men to serve at the altar.

Fr. Jacob Bertrand, priest in the Diocese of San Diego, updates us on what has been happening in his ministry, especially with young adults and some programs he has in place to keep them engaged in their faith.

January 21, 2012

Fr. Rocky Hoffman describes the personal prelature of Opus Dei, founded by St. Josemaria Escriva, and the community to which he belongs. He also discusses the importance of all members of the Church better understanding and appreciating who a priest is – in persona Christi, in the person of Christ.

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers talks about the urgency of renewing family life, from which all vocations ultimately flow.

January 28, 2012

Fr. Andrew Small, priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and National Director for Pontifical Missions Societies in the U.S., shares his vocation story, describes the charism of the Oblates, and his role Pontifical Missions Societies Director.

Fr. Bill Quinlivan, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Tonawanda, N.Y., musician, and National Chaplain of the Daughters of Aaron, shares his vocation story, talks about his music ministry, and listeners get to hear one of his songs.

February 4, 2012 (First Anniversary Broadcast)

Fr. Darrin Merlino, CMF, joins Jerry Usher to look back at the first year of Vocation Boom Radio, and to provide more details and reflection on the origins, development and future of Vocation Boom. Fr. Darrin and Jerry studied together at Franciscan University of Steubenville in the early 1990’s. It was there that they collaborated on the creation of the seminarians’ newsletter, In Persona Christi, which was the beginning of what is now the Vocation Boom apostolate.

February 11, 2012

Patti Armstrong, wife, mother of ten, author, and frequent guest on several EWTN TV and radio programs, talks about what is taking place in North Dakota with respect to vocations.

Steve Ray, convert, author, speaker and pilgrimage leader, talks to Jerry from Jerusalem, Israel about where and how the priesthood started and what kind of an impact it has on people who join him on his pilgrimages, especially priests.

February 18, 2012

Fr. Larry Young, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., talks about the “D.C. Padres,” a baseball team made up of Catholic priests and seminarians who were at one time high school or college players. The team schedules games against Catholic high school varsity baseball teams, often playing in front of crowds of more than 1,000 people. At some point during the game, play is stopped and some of the D.C. Padres share with those in attendance the beauty and glory of a vocation to the Catholic priesthood.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a former Anglican priest and convert to the Catholic faith, discusses his calling from God to Protestant ministry, how he and his family came into the Catholic Church in 1995, his setting aside of his ministry, and, ultimately, the call from the Lord to be ordained a Catholic priest under a program called the “Pastoral Provision,” which makes it possible for married former Protestant clergymen to receive the sacrament of holy orders in the Catholic Church.

February 25, 2012

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, well known Catholic speaker, author, and host of EWTN Live and Open Line on EWTN Radio, shares the story of his calling to the priesthood, complete with details about the strong opposition shown by his father, and how he struggled with the decision between a vocation to marriage and his calling to the priesthood.

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers highlights the important role of deacons in the Catholic Church, and how vital they are in assisting our priests in their day-to-day ministry.

March 3, 2012

Fr. Gabriel Bakkar is vocation director for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in The Bronx, New York. He talks about his own call to the priesthood, including his time discerning while a student at Florida State University, and how he now enjoys helping young adults discover God’s will for their lives.

Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher is also a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He discusses his vocational journey, and highlights the three reasons that Pope John Paul II said it is hard for young people today to embrace their vocation.

March 10, 2012

Dr. Stephanie Barfield has a PhD in counseling psychology from Texas Woman’s University. She and her husband, Matt, and their children are parishioners at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope, Alabama. She explained the role of psychology in helping young people discern their vocation in an emotionally sound manner.

Fr. Thomas Marti is director of the Maryknoll Mission House in Seattle, Washington. He explores the missionary aspect of the priesthood, both in its essence and as lived out by those men who are called to minister in foreign lands.

March 17, 2012

Fr. Kyle Schnippel is vocation director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He explains how there is sometimes the idea among parents that they have to be perfect in order to have a child hear a call to the priesthood or religious life, but in reality, every family has its own unique character which influences the vocational discernment of their children.

Fr. Gilbert Medina is a priest of the Diocese of Orlando and parochial administrator at St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church in Eustis, Florida. He describes what it was like growing up in a family of six boys and six girls, and how, after leaving the Catholic Church for sixteen years, he rediscovered his childhood dream of being a Catholic priest.

March 24, 2012

Marcel LeJeune is the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at the largest campus ministry in the country, St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University. Marcel is also a national speaker, popular blogger, and author of Set Free to Love: Lives Changed by the Theology of the Body. He talks about the role of campus ministry in the lives of students discerning their vocation on a non-Catholic campus.

Fr. Joseph Lee, FSSP, is academic dean at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska. He explores the life of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, including the liturgical and prayer life of the men information for his congregation.

March 31, 2012

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. He shares highlights from his book, Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making, and tips for young people to discern their vocation.

Fr. Rick Frechette is a Passionist priest who serves the poorest of the poor in Haiti. He discusses his work as a missionary among those most in need of hope and the gospel, and how he often is the one who is blessed by the people among whom he ministers.

April 14, 2012

Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, completed his B.S. (Psychology, English) and M.A.Ed. (Secondary English Education) degrees at the College of William and Mary. He earned his seminary degree at the Pontificial Athenaeum of Saint Anselm and gained his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) in Moral Theology (Marriage and Family Studies) at the Pontifical Lateran University’s John Paul II Institute, both located in Rome. Fr. Gresko has ministered to students and young adults for over 20 years. He maintains an online blog, The Blogging Monk, at BeliefNet.com. He talks about the importance of “being right with God” when discerning your vocation.

Brother Peter Hannah, OP, was born in Temple, Texas. His father was in the military and his mother was a teacher. He became passionate about golf in high school and college, and aspired to be a professional. He describes his radical turnaround from a fraternity party lifestyle to following Christ, all the way to the threshold of the altar as a Western Dominican Province of The Most Holy Name of Jesus.

April 21, 2012

Fr Jeremy Paulin, OMV, is vocation director for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. He was operating a construction company in Massachusetts when he went on a pilgrimage and discovered his vocation to the priesthood. He entered formation in Boston in 1998, made his perpetual profession of vows in 2006 and was ordained a priest in November of that year. He shares his insights into the importance of the sacraments in the life of a young man discerning the priesthood, and what is drawing men to consider the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.

Fr. Paul Arinze was born in the eastern part of Nigeria. He entered the seminary in high school, and then went on to seminary college. He joined the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, and was ordained a priest in 1999. Fr. Paul was appointed director of vocations in December of 2009. He describes what attracted him to the priesthood, provides tips for discernment, and even talks about his avocation as an official at tennis matches, including the U.S. Open.

April 28, 2012

Fr. Bob Rottgers is a priest of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. He was born in northern Kentucky and raised Episcopalian. He worked in the material handling industry for twenty-three years. He considers himself to have been married three times – to the same lady each time; first in Las Vegas, next in the Episcopal Church, and third when he converted to the Catholic Church. He became a widower in 2001, entered the seminary the following year, and was ordained a Catholic priest on May 30, 2009. He details his conversion experience, touts the merits of a celibate clergy and discusses the spiritual warfare that is all around us.

Fr. Tony Russo is a priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids and pastor of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Rockford, Michigan. He and Jerry Usher were close friends while students at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Fr. Tony was engaged to a lovely woman at the time, and they had a wedding date set for July 1992. But his fiancé, Julie, was part of a family with a history of cystic fibrosis. Tragically, she passed away before they could be married. Remaining true to a promise he made to several of his friends in college (“If anything ever happens to Julie, I’m going to become a priest”), Fr. Tony entered priestly formation shortly after that, and was ordained in the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He shares his amazing journey to the priesthood.

May 5, 2012

Fr. Benjamin Kosnac is pastor of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He grew up under a Communist regime in Slovakia. His family practiced the Catholic faith despite pressures to abandon it in favor of advantages offered by the government. He entered priestly formation in the final year of Communist rule, and was ordained in 1993. He talks about the connection between altar boys and priestly vocations, highlighting the fact that his parish currently has over 200 young men serving in that program. His parish also features Eucharistic Adoration and prayers before and after Mass, specifically for vocations to the priesthood.

Fr. John Brancich, FSSP, is pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born in Northern Minnesota, and worked professionally as a forester in Rapid City, South Dakota, while discerning his vocation to the priesthood. He credits his time listening to Catholic radio as a major factor in his decision to go forward and pursue that calling. He describes his journey to holy orders, especially the strong influence of Mother Angelica and EWTN.

May 12, 2012

Fr. David Wells is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. He is the sixth of eight children, and attended DeMatha High School, where he played baseball for four years. He attended Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was ordained in 2010. He joined us to talk about the relationship between sports and priestly vocations.

Todd Sylvester is the youth minister at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope, Alabama. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a degree in theology and philosophy. It was there that he met his wife, Angelle, and together they are the parents of ten children. Their oldest son, Stephen, spent three years studying for the priesthood before he “discerned out” of formation. Todd talks about what it was like both having a son who was seriously considering the priesthood, and who eventually decided it was not his vocation.

May 19, 2012

Msgr. Eugene Morris is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is currently Director of Sacred Liturgy for the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Theology at The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He is also a formation advisor and spiritual director to the seminarians at The Josephinum. He talks about priestly vocations among the African-American community.

John Martignoni is Director of the Office of the New Evangelization and Stewardship for the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the founder and president of Queen of Heaven Catholic Radio, the founder and president of The Bible Christian Society, and the host of EWTN’s Open Line program on Mondays. As part of his responsibilities for the Diocese of Birmingham, John oversees the vocation department, which he discusses on this episode of Vocation Boom Radio.

May 26, 2012

Fr. Dan Young is a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, and pastor of Good Shepherd parish in Pendleton and Clarence Center, New York. He is a spiritual director for The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio, which operates affiliates in many areas, including Buffalo, Rochester and Boston. He shares his calling to the priesthood, including how, as a small child, his grandmother consecrated him to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and asked, if it be God’s will, that he become a priest.

Fr. Shawn McKnight is executive director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. He joined us again to talk about the latest initiatives his office is working on to promote vocations to the priesthood in the United States.

June 2, 2012

Peter Herbeck is Vice President and Director of Missions for Renewal Ministries. He oversees the work of lay mission teams throughout the world who work to equip Catholic laypeople to respond to the holy father’s call for a new evangelization. He talks about the spiritual role of the father, as well as his influence on his sons and their vocational discernment.

Fr. Anthony Wieck is a priest of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus. As the sixth of nine kids, he grew up on a farm in Northeast Oregon. He entered religious life in 1994, spending his first five years of formation in Rome, Italy, at a religious house under the patronage of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His penchant for silent, Ignatian retreats, and his gift for spiritual direction define his clerical charism.  Ordained in June 2010, he works as residence hall director and professor of theology at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

June 9, 2012

Kathleen McAleer is a wife and mother of five children. She has a BA and an MA in English, and has taught both high school and English as a second language. She explains how she once felt strongly attracted to the priesthood, believing that the male-only priesthood in the Catholic Church was simply an arbitrary decision.

Fr. Michael O’Loughlin is pastor of Holy Protection of the Mother of God Bynzantine Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado. He was ordained in 2005 for the Eparchy of Phoenix. In addition to his service to the Byzantine Catholics in Denver, he is assistant vocation director for his eparchy. He also has faculties to administer the sacraments in the Roman Rite of the Church. He talks about why he chose a life of celibacy when he didn’t have to.

June 16, 2012

The Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi is Archbishop of Mobile, Alabama. He entered the seminary at the age of 24, after completing law school. His plan was not to become a priest, but to practice law. He tells his vocation story, describing how he knew he would not find peace unless he gave the seminary a try.

Fr. Stephen Vrazel is a priest of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, and parochial vicar at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Mobile. He was active in the Church from a very young age, and entered the seminary immediately after high school. He says the difficulty in cultivating priestly vocations in recent decades is partly a result of a lack of a general sense of “vocation” among Catholics.

June 23, 2012

Fr. Greg Lockwood is parochial administrator at Christ the King Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri. As a non-practicing Protestant who married a Catholic, his wife inspired him to begin practicing his faith. He became a Protestant minister, but later converted to Catholicism. He was allowed to continue in ministry as a Catholic priest under the Pastoral Provision.

Elizabeth Ficocelli is a best-selling, award-winning Catholic author of twelve books for adults and young people. A Catholic convert and mother of four, Elizabeth is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and television. She is also a popular speaker at state and national conferences, parish retreats, schools, and meetings. She discusses the importance of families nurturing vocations, including her book, Where to Priests Come From?

June 30, 2012

Dan Johnson is Director of Family Life for the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama. He previously served as campus minister at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile. He has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He and his wife, Lauren, have three children – Emma, Kolbe and Joshua. He talks about how every person’s happiness is found in their particular vocation from God.

Msgr. William Blacet – at the age of 91 – is pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been a priest for 66 years. His parish boasts an “army” of altar boys, all who are well trained and devout as they serve Mass. He celebrates Mass every day of the week, takes no day off, and spends an hour and a half in the confessional each day. He talks about the incredible joy of being a priest of Jesus Christ.

July 7, 2012

Fr. Shawn Tunink is a priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and worked as a software engineer before entering Mundelein Seminary in 2003. He was ordained in 2008, and is in his second assignment as an associate pastor. He is also a high school chaplain and chaplain to the boy scouts in his archdiocese. He shares how his vocation was born out of a desire to know his faith on an intellectual level. You can keep up with him by logging on to his blog.

Dr. Matthew Bunson is a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, professor of Church History at the Catholic Distance University, Editor of Our Sunday Visitor’s The Catholic Answer Magazine, theologian, author, and well-known speaker

July 14, 2012

Fr. Brad Hagelin is a priest in the Archdiocese of Seattle. He attended Mundelein Seminary, and was ordained in June 2011. He has an uncle who is a Jesuit priest. He discusses his vocational journey, and the importance of building a culture of vocations that stresses how we will only be happy and fulfilled when we discover what God made us to do.

Fr. C. John McCloskey is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei. He currently is Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washinton, D.C. He has served as chaplain at Princeton University, and was Director of the Catholic Information Center for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. He joined us to talk about how the family is the seedbed of vocations.

July 21, 2012

Dan and Nell O’Donnell live in Mobile, Alabama. They own a hydrogeologic consulting firm. They are active members of St. Pius X Catholic Church, where they serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and are involved with Cursillo. Dan is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Men of St. Joseph. Their son, Sam, is studying at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. They share their thoughts and emotions about having a son in formation for the priesthood.

Deacon Doug Vu (Note: He was ordained in June 2012, just weeks after taping this episode of Vocation Boom Radio) is originally from Vietnam. He holds a Masters of Business Administration with emphases in accounting and finance. He spent three years working as a financial representative for a Fortune 100 company, dreaming of being the first Vietnamese-American to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He tells how God had other plans for him, and how happy he is to now be ministering to the People of God.

July 28, 2012

August 4, 2012

August 11, 2012

August 18, 2012

August 25, 2012

September 1, 2012

September 8, 2012

September 22, 2012

October 13, 2012

October 20, 2012

October 27, 2012

November 10, 2012

November 24, 2012

December 15, 2012

December 22, 2012

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"When we walk without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord." -Pope Francis