The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in recent years, has been blessed with an increase in vocations to the ordained priesthood. In light of the issues that our Church has been dealing with these past years, there are still men who are willing to say “yes” to the invitation of the Harvest Master to proclaim the Gospel and gather the harvest.
St. Joseph’s Parish can be proud that one of our own is in formation for ordained priestly ministry. Oliver Niles is completing his first year of studies and formation at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. It is my understanding that this is the first vocation from our parish in more than 30 years!
A vocation to the priesthood is not simply something between God and the man being called. It is about the local community affirming the vocation as they see within the man qualities that will make him a good priest. Certainly over the years, the parishioners of St. Joseph’s have impacted Oliver’s life as he began the discernment process of what God was asking of him.
During the Season of Lent we are called to spend more time in prayer. More often than not, we tend to focus on prayer for ourselves rather than intercessory prayer that is, praying for the needs of others.
I am asking that all of us pray the following prayer each day of Lent and beyond for Oliver. It is the prayers of the parish community that provide the necessary sustenance and support for the seminarian to continue on his journey towards ordination. I know that Oliver will be most grateful for our support.
Father, you bless us with so many gifts and ask that we share them with the world. You call each of us to be holy and to serve and love others in our own special way. We pray for our seminarian Oliver Niles whom you have called to serve as a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Please watch over Oliver, Lord, guide him, and help him to grow in holiness. Grant him wisdom and the courage to imitate Christ in his most generous love for all people. We pray also for the grace to grow in holiness ourselves and to know your will in our lives.
In your most Holy Name we make this prayer. Amen.
Mary, Mother of Vocations, Pray for Oliver.
— Father Dennis, March 24, 2019