By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — If all goes accordingly, eight seminarians will be ordained priests of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in 2015.
Seven of them were officially accepted as candidates for Holy Orders at July 10 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
They are: Bryan Amthor, Joshua Bartlett, Alex Kreidler, Ryan Koster, Timothy Leete, Gabriel Lickteig and Andrew Mattingly.
The eighth, Curt Vogel, could not attend and will be accepted in a separate rite when he recovers from knee surgery.
All eight men have completed their undergraduate degrees and will begin studies this fall toward advanced degrees in theology at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
“These men are here because they heard God’s word deep in their hearts,” Bishop Robert W. Finn told the congregation as he accepted the seminarians as candidates.
“Now they must be as that good soil,” he said. “God desires that his life take root more fully in them. The program of seminary formation and theological studies will help them know more clearly how God may be calling them.”
The seminarians have already earned their undergraduate degrees in philosophy, but still have a long road ahead, Bishop Finn said.
“Pray for them,” he asked the congregation. “They are good men. They are — each individually and together as a group — a true sign of hope for the church.”
Bishop Finn said the new candidates were responding to the power of God’s word.
“It searches hearts. It reaches its goal,” he said.
“Jesus is clear: Our hearts must be soil, plowed and ready to receive this real life,” the bishop said. “This is God’s plan for our holiness. It is the way that he speaks to us and changes our lives.”
Bishop Finn thanked “their parents and families, their pastors and teachers, their friends and associates for their generous encouragement as our candidates take this next important step in formation.”
“We humbly and confidently ask that the love and grade of God be poured out upon them,” he said.
“I commend them also to our Mother Mary, to St. Joseph, and all their saintly patrons,” Bishop Finn said. “Keep them on a safe path. Protect the seed of God’s word within them.”