The Adopt-a-Seminarian Ministry - It's Our 12th Year!

“Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers for His harvest."

                                                                                                                    --Matthew 9:35-38  

Thoughts From a Few Men

Who Have Been "Adopted" Through Our Program

Fr. Christopher Bond   writes,

“As a seminarian, my discernment of the priesthood was constantly nurtured through the continuous prayers of those who adopted me through this program.  As a priest, I witness the fruits of those same prayers every day!”

Fr. Matthew Bean writes,

"The program is something that greatly affected me as a seminarian.  First, it allowed me to keep a close connection with my home parish when I was far away at seminary and second, it also gave me great support to know that many people of the parish were praying for me and my vocation."

Father Aaron Huber wrote during his time as a seminarian:

“I have had the privilege of being edified by the holiness of the faithful as well as their love and respect for the clergy of Mother church.  This adoption program encourages me in my discernment and keeps me connected to the faithful."  

Free & Easy to Participate in 3 Easy Steps:

1. Let us know you want to participate. Fill out the form below anytime (or email us at  Technical tip: Be sure to add our domain to your safe sender's email list.  if you don't hear from us within a day, check your spam or junk email box in case the email was "rerouted" by the internet service provider.  

2. Then you'll receive your contact-free Adoption Kit by email.  This free kit consists of the Adoption Certificate for your seminarian, the Adoption Guide, and the Adoption Prayer Card, and will be emailed to you within 3 days of your sign up.

3. Finally, pray for your seminarian and send him a note of encouragement.  During this school year (from August 15 to May 14), pray for your seminarian and send him one note encouragement to introduce yourself and let him know you are praying for him (any support above and beyond this is optional, and we provide resources to help you decide if you'd like to do more).

Click here to see the Current Charlotte Diocese seminarians.

Our Ministry Purpose and Focus:

Our annual Adopt-a-Seminarian program focuses on providing prayer support and practical encouragement to all seminarians studying in the diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina during each seminary school year, from August 15 to May 14.

This ministry helps both laity and future priests!  It introduces the men who may become pastors to prayerful laity in the diocese where they desire to serve as shepherds.  Seminarians are able to experience the love of laity who are striving for holiness, and who are demonstrating their support through prayer and practical encouragement. 

In turn, this program gives the laity a personal spiritual connection with a man who is also striving to be holy and follow Jesus, and may one day be their pastor. Our seminarians pray for their adoptive families too! 

This prayerful relationship can be sanctifying for both parties.  Check out our FAQ (frequently asked questions) tab for more information.

This Year's Reflection from Our Spiritual Director, 

The Very Reverend Herbert T. Burke, V. F.

At Pray4Priests, our ministries focus on praying for the men discerning a call to, or already serving in Christ’s ministerial priesthood.  The call to the ministerial Priesthood of Jesus is an invitation extended by God the Father (Mt. 9:37-38), to men, to dedicate their lives to the service of God’s people. It's a journey that begins with a small whisper in the soul.  The journey of that soul in answering the call is reminiscent of a profound moment in the life of Christ Himself, when He faced the temptations of Satan in the desert, depicted in the artwork on the cover for this year (“The Temptation of Christ” by Ary Scheffer, 1854) .

Men called to the vocation of Holy Orders in Christ’s ministerial priesthood, are called to be directly configured to Jesus as an “alter Christus”, meaning “another Christ.”  (CCC 1547-1553).  Just as Jesus withdrew to the wilderness for forty days of fasting and prayer where he encountered temptations, so too seminarians enter a discernment and preparatory period of formation that is a withdrawing into a spiritual desert for a time of intense reflection, prayer, and immersion in God's Word and the life of Christ.  And like Christ, they too can face temptations. 

In Scripture we see in the 1st temptation of Jesus, Satan urges Christ to turn stones into bread to satisfy His physical hunger.  But Jesus responds, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).  Similarly, seminarians may encounter a temptation to prioritize their own comfort or desires, over formation.  But by seeking the daily nourishment in God's Word, they are fed with spiritual food to battle these temptations.

In the 2 nd temptation, the Devil selfishly misuses Scripture to tempt Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple. But Jesus  responds rightly quoting Scripture, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test" (Matthew 4:7), emphasizing that God’s Word must be handled with reverence and in accordance with God's will.  Seminarians may face the temptation to misuse the spiritual or physical goods they receive for personal validation or gain.  Being immersed in God’s Word is one such good, but during formation and through humility, seminarians learn to keep their eyes on the greater good of correctly using Scripture (II Tim. 2:15) and interpreting it through the authority of the Church and her sacred tradition.

In the 3 rd temptation, Satan offers Jesus dominion over all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. But Jesus again quotes Scripture, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve" (Matthew 4:10). Seminarians, too, may grapple with the lure of prestige, power, or the influence of ministry. But in seminary, they learn to battle such temptations and discover that true leadership in the priesthood is rooted in conformity to Jesus and humble service to God’s people.

In your good prayers for our seminarians in their discernment and formation, please also remember our priests including recently ordained Fathers Chinonso Nnebe-Agumadu, Christopher Brock, and Peter Rusciolelli , and all our Priests who have stepped out in faith to live the ministerial priesthood, a sacrificial call to serve the Lord and His people.  Please pray that the Lord will guide, strengthen, and equip us for this most incredible vocation of sharing in His priesthood — being Christ the Priest who brings salvation to the world through preaching the Gospel and the Sacraments.  May the Lord help us to be his faithful representatives through the precious gift of Holy Orders.  The harvest is great, the laborers are few – your prayers make a difference!