My cousin, the seminarian, is Rome-bound

I have an amazing, extraordinary family. One example of this is my cousin Stephen. Stephen and I were in the same grade during our school years and, after high school, he went on to join the U.S. Air Force. Pictured above, Stephen and I pose for a picture during my March 2007 visit when he was stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Stephen has since become a seminarian with the Diocese of Little Rock, the Catholic Church of Arkansas. It’s a step that is not really surprising for those who know him. In May, Stephen graduated from Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary School in Saint Benedict, La.

Today, Stephen began the next step in his journey to priesthood. He is headed to Rome, Italy, to study at North American University. The past week has been busy as our diocese and our family prepared for his departure.

We attended his candidacy in Little Rock last Friday where he took an oath to become a priest. Two days later, a sending forth mass was held in our hometown parish where our pastor gave Stephen a special blessing. It’s kind of exciting to think that Stephen, the little boy I grew up with and had wheelchair races with, will be an ordained pastor in only four more years.


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